On Tuesday the Buffalo Bills announced they hired former Kansas City wide receivers coach David Culley as quarterbacks coach. The move is an interesting one, because Culley spent most of his NFL coaching career as wide receivers coach with Andy Reid in Philadelphia.
The move was likely made by Culley as a chance for a faster track to an offensive coordinator position. Culley is 61 years old, and likely wants one last shot at rising through the coaching ranks. He’s been a trusted colleague of Reid’s for almost two decades.
Culley was the first African-American quarterback for Vanderbilt University. He rose up through the ranks of college football as a coach starting in 1978 at Austin Peay. Reid characterizes Culley as “brutally honest” but also the type of coach that cares deeply about his players.
Does that seem familiar? Hmmm. Didn’t we hear the same description about offensive coordinator Rick “Rico” Dennison, offensive line coach Juan Castillo, and defensive line coach Mike Waufle as well?
It seems like head coach Sean McDermott definitely has a type when it comes to selecting assistant coaches and coordinators. Boisterous or laid back personalities may vary, but there are a couple of traits that shine through every one of them selected.
Brutal honesty, highly disciplined with an emphasis on accountability.
Every one of McDermott’s hires have all three traits in great supply, along with impressive pedigrees that include decades of experience, some with previous head coaching experience. One cannot underestimate the importance of getting the right staff working together for a common goal.
That McDermott is fearless about hiring older, more experienced coaches with resumes longer than his own speaks to being comfortable in his own skin. When you listen to him speak, there’s little evidence of any uncertainty in his mannerisms.
Effective managers understand it only enhances their own productivity when assistants are highly accomplished. The men McDermott brought in so far have all been very successful elsewhere in the past. He’s obviously not afraid to surround himself with the best and brightest minds the NFL has to offer.
There’s already a very different vibe coming out of One Bills Drive since McDermott accepted the job. In a clear departure from his predecessor, McDermott’s low key style and quiet confidence should give Bills fans hope that this is exactly what will be needed to succeed in competing for championships.
One can’t help but get the feeling that this guy might just succeed where the past seven head coaches since 2000 failed. McDermott’s seriousness of purpose is in stark contrast to Rex Ryan’s penchant for comedy during press conferences.
While I always found Rex entertaining, the schtick got really old during games when he couldn’t effective manage the clock, personnel or the over abundance of penalties when it mattered most. McDermott and his experienced staff will be a welcome relief to watch on game day.
Of course we’ve been down this road of eternal hope many times over the years, only to have the whole thing shoved in our faces like a mud pie, so it’s understandable that we all take a wait-and-see approach. However, it doesn’t hurt to see in the meantime that there’s a new sheriff in town.
It will be interesting to watch this new sheriff and his very capable deputies come together and try to put humpty-dumpty back together again.