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How Sean McDermott helps heal the scar tissue that binds us as Bills fans

Photo from buffalobills.com.

Waking up for the third day of the 2017 NFL Draft was more than just a literal eye-opening experience for me this morning. Once the caffeine started hitting my brain I panicked slightly after realizing I wasn’t still tucked in a nice warm bed and dreaming.

There even seems to be more than the usual amount of delirium floating around after the Bills made yet another coaching change… and I convince myself for the ninth time since 2000 this is “the one”.

The minds of many of us as Bills fans are a tortured mess of scar tissue (thank you Steve Tasker). It makes us unable to refrain from immediately leaping to the worst case scenario for every permutation of possible disaster at every draft, every game, every day of the offseason. That’s how we roll after nearly 20 years of relentless failure.

So when this generation’s version of Opie showed up on Buffalo’s doorstep (Ron Howard’s character as a child in the Andy Griffith Show)… saying all the right stuff as the newest flavor of head coach… my brain did what it was trained to do; drink the kool-aid and hope for the best.

Really… would you have signed up for this odyssey from hell if you knew 20 years ago the Bills were going to own the biggest ‘Dynasty of Disaster’ in the history of the NFL? OK, then. It’s understandable why we react like a cornered snake being poked at with a stick every three years for the last couple decades. 

Photo from ESPN.com.

Then Sean McDermott came along and started doing things we haven’t seen in what seems an eternity. The Bills front office gets cleaned out, something past coaches like Marrone complained about incessantly but couldn’t get done.

Now we’re halfway through a draft that’s been nothing short of startling in terms of tactical maneuvering. We’ve not seen this kind of masterful manipulating of the draft board since Polian & Co. ran the show. We are so programmed to sniff out failure at every turn we might not recognize the signs of hope right in front of our eyes.

Make no mistake, this draft is clearly the Sean McDermott Show. And what a show it’s been already. While Rex Ryan wears his latest favorite hockey jersey and watches a playoff hockey game in Nashville, McDermott is busy undoing the nightmare Ryan left behind.

It’s so painfully obvious to see what the Bills lacked in terms of leadership after watching this draft start to unfold. This is how a draft works when the homework is done and you can relax and let the board fall to you.

Don’t miss the signposts of hope for the future because you’ve been duped for 20 years and don’t dare open your heart to the possibility that we may finally emerge from decades of despair. Opie looks like’s he’s having a good time, so maybe we should relax and let ourselves “BILLIEVE”.


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Robyn Mundy

About Robyn Mundy

Robyn Mundy is a retired oncology nurse and psychotherapist who loves to write about her life-long passion for the Buffalo Bills, and occasionally something of clinical or social relevance. She lives with her husband Gary and their dogs in the shadow of the glorious Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Robyn is also a proud founding sponsor. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynMundyWYO.

12 thoughts on “How Sean McDermott helps heal the scar tissue that binds us as Bills fans

  1. I might be a little old school but the only thing that’s going to get me excited about the head coach is done with wins. If not a year from now we will all be saying what fools ownership is for supposedly giving all this supposed power to a first time coach who hasn’t even ran a pre season practice yet

    • Understood. It’s a giant leap of faith, that’s for sure. Oddly, I’m more comfortable with this and the decision to fire Doug Whaley than I would be with a retread coach like Rex Ryan.

  2. It seemed like it was a new day for about 12 hours when they were actually trading down and picking up draft picks…but that quickly dissolved when they went back to the Whaley specialty and started throwing away draft picks to move up a few spots. They’ve now in essence cut Mike Gillislee and they gave away this year’s compensation for moving down more than half the first round…way to go.

    I dunno, maybe these picks will turn out great, but the notion that it’s a new day at OBD has been lost by the reruns of wasting draft ammunition to move up a few spots. Maybe I’d feel better about it if the times the bozos done it in the recent past it actually worked. Instead I’m just waiting for these guys to get hurt and someone better develop picked at or after the spot the Bills moved out of.

  3. Good morning…

    What is going on is a breath of fresh air… I can feel the positive vibes coming from 1 Bills place… Maybe it is wishful thinking but I can sense good things on the horizon…

    McDermott is the new sheriff in town and it shows… I love the first day move of trading down and getting an excellent CB and a no1 next year. The Bills in their heyday use to draft near the bottom and would come away with solid football players… Mayock said White was not splashy but solid as he can play outside or in the slot.

    “Citing character as being “part of our evaluation process,” McDermott noted White’s background as a high school valedictorian and team leader at LSU. Over the past two seasons, White wore No. 18, which is awarded to the Tigers player who best exemplifies the program on and off the field since 2003.”

    Zay Jones caught 158 passes last year…I read to read that stat 2x’s!

    Zay Jones (East Carolina) – 6017, 202, H-9”. Senior Bowl: Made himself some money Senior Bowl week demonstrating excellent ball skills and route running. Caught 6 passes for 68 yards and one touchdown in the game. His routes were sharp all week and he won matchups with all comers in one-on-one drills. He has the size and skill to play in the slot or outside. A reliable sure-handed weapon.
    Led all NCAA FBS receivers in receptions (158), receptions per game (13.20 rpg), receiving yards (1,746) and receiving yards per game (145.5 ypg) …Started 12 games, served as team captain and played all four receiver positions during course of campaign … Earned First-Team All-America Athletic Conference honors

    Dion Dawkins:

    Three year starter, mainly at left tackle, that ended his career with a First Team All-American Athletic Conference season. Dawkins has a little bit of raw still found in small areas of his game, but he has steadily improved each season of his career. Showing that he is very coachable and still very much on the rise. He has a natural and always-present level of power that you simply cannot teach. His future is likely at guard or right tackle in the league. If his technique continues to improve, he is a quality starter with some dominant traits.

    Honors: 2016 – Senior Bowl invitation … All-American Athletic Conference First Team (AAC, Phil Steele) … ECAC First Team All-Star …  Eastern Football/Metro Football Writer’s Offensive Lineman of  the Week (UCF) … Offensive Effort Player of the Week (Stony Brook) … 2015 – Fourth Team All-America by Phil Steele … All-Conference Second Team by American Athletic Conference … First Team All-American Athletic Conference by Phil Steele … All-Star by ECAC.

    2016 (Senior):  Returning as the starting left tackle for the 2016 season … recorded a fumble that he advanced 4 yards for a first down vs. Charlotte. 

    2015 (Junior): Starting left tackle … part of starting offense that ranks second in American Athletic Conference in time of possession … unit named to Joe Moore Award Honor Roll as top offensive line in the country (9/12) …missed a start at SMU.

    2014 (Sophomore): Fought back from a broken foot a year ago to earn the starting LT spot …one of the toughest players on the team (he and C Kyle Friend would have earned single-digit jerseys but NCAA rule prohibit offensive line men from wearing one) …  caught a deflected pass from Phillip Walker for seven yards vs. Navy … suffered an ankle injury vs. Tulsa and played through it at Houston, but did not play at UCF … protected the blindside of QB Phillip Walker as the O-line allowed just one sack per 19.2 pass attempts (best mark in school history).

    I see a return of values that reminds me of the Polian/Levy days when they went for good solid football players with football intelligence and high character… “WELCOME BACK” !!!!

  4. Robyn,
    Nice expressive article! Two things that help me get through it (or rationalize it as the case may be)-
    1) It is only year (3) of the (new) Pegula era.
    2) The sorriest team in the history of sports (who also wear red and blue) put en end to all of their curses last fall.

    Joma,
    The Bills made use of “surgical” trades to land their guys in need positions.
    So far they have drafted (3) players that have legitimate chances of starting and excelling next season. This year’s QB crop was as horrid as everyone believes and I am proud of the Bills for realizing this.
    The other thing I like is that they avoided the consensus “super stars” who often come with lots of baggage and attitude that can do lots of destruction to a team.
    And best of all a year from now if the QB class actually has some people worth going out on a limb for, the Bills will be in the driver’s seat. I may actually watch more college ball this season.

  5. Nells, who’s to say those same players wouldn’t have been available a few spots later? Its not like the guys were 1st round talent sliding and they had to jump up before someone else evitably snatched them up for unbelievable value… Like you said, they avoided the super stars…so what makes anyone think they needed to move up to get them? And even if they weren’t still there, they seemed confident enough in themselves to move back 17 spots in the first round and take whoever was still available that they were high on…they couldn’t do the same a few picks later? It’s supposed to be a deep draft and they pissed away a few prospects. The couple guys they maybe did it for (or maybe they did it for no reason at all) better damn well be above average starters.

  6. I hope it was Whaley’s decision to trade up the other night. If so, that’s worth firing him alone…giving away draft picks.

  7. Good morning…

    The Bills trade up and they get criticized and if they stand Pat they get criticized for not making a move…

    They may have gotten 3 starters with their first 3 picks… White will start, Jones will see plenty of action and Dawkins may start but also adds youth and depth to the O-line…

    I like the 2 LBs they drafted as they could be future starts and definitely add some oomph to the special teams…

    The QB Peterman was worth the pick as he was rated a #5 QB, hell we’ve been saying draft a QB until they get it right… Peterman did some excellent things in college including beating Clemson last year with 5 TD passes and no Ints….

    A very interesting draft under McDermott and say so long to Whaley !! There is rumored to be a house cleaning coming on the scouting staff.

  8. “There is rumored to be a house cleaning coming on the scouting staff.”

    What do you consider soon? Because if soon is two years, there’s a rumor the coach and GM will be fired soon, too…

  9. Good morning…

    Soon happened yesterday as the scouting staff was let go..

    Terry Pegula–“The decision to clean house was made by him and his wife Kim”…

    Kim’s name comes up with every decision that is made with both the Bills and the Sabres… Hmmmmmm

    .