Sean McDermott reflects on his relationship with mentor Andy Reid before Bills-Chiefs showdown


Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, front right, and Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott shake hands after their NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Sean McDermott has a lot of reasons to be grateful for what Andy Reid’s done for him, including firing him.

“We kind of jab about it here and there. We can do that because I think, like I said he told me then he said ‘this will be the best thing for you’ and he was right. So I use it now to help mentor and disciple some of the staff that I’m around and coaches around the league that want to continue to grow,” McDermott said.

Now for the second time since he’s been a head coach, McDermott gets to face his mentor as the Bills host the Chiefs on Monday night. McDermott has already beaten Reid once when the Bills the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in 2017.

But things are much different this time around. The Bills are now led by their offense with a passing attack that’s ranked second in the league while the Chiefs are the defending Super Bowl champs. And even ten years since he’s worked for Reid, he still reflects on how much he learned from him.

“In the role I’m in now it’s about developing people whether it’s players, coaching staff, in this case. Those are moments that you go through in life that you say ‘hey I came out better because of it’ and Andy knew that. He did that because he knew it was the best thing for me, he knew the situation in Philadelphia and I respect him for it” McDermott explained.

Reid fired McDermott as Eagles defensive coordinator after the 2010 season. Before that, McDermott worked his way up the ranks in Philadelphia starting as a scouting administrative coordinator in 1999, Reid’s first season as the Eagles’ head coach. He was then promoted to assistant to the head coach and held other roles on the Eagles’ staff from 1999-2010 including secondary coach, linebackers coach and eventually became defensive coordinator in 2009.

“I would say he’s just fair, he’s demanding and firm but at least you know what’s expected and I think players appreciate that although it may not be easy to hear on the front end of it but in the long run Andy’s fair,” McDermott said.

“That consistency bodes well for a football team and keeping a football team focused on the task at hand and he’s always going to do what’s in the best interest of his team even though it might be unpopular and that’s probably the biggest thing I’ve learned from him. I would say most people that have worked for him and been around him respect that and appreciate that about him.”

And although McDermott’s taken a lot from Reid, his fashion sense and favorite meal doesn’t carry over.

“That’s not necessarily my style but yeah he’s big into Hawaiian shirts and the cheeseburgers before the game the night before and everything,” McDermott laughed.

McDermott hopes he can be that mentor and someone his coaches look up to the way he does with Reid.

“I learned so much from him you know even to this day to say that a guy is my mentor you know a professional mentor I think is just incredible. I would hope that I would have that same effect on coaches that are around me you know later on in their career that maybe when I’m done and they can turn around and say hey I learned a thing or two from Sean.”

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