Does ________ fit Sean McDermott’s Scheme?


Does ______ fit Sean McDermott’s scheme?

That is the question that I have fielded for the last few days. It’s not an uncommon question, but it’s one that I think we need to approach MUCH differently than we did with Rex Ryan.

For example, fans want to know where second round draft pick Reggie Ragland and Louisville alumnus Preston Brown fit in new head coach Sean McDermott’s scheme. Here is my answer to that:

Good coaches know their personnel. If McDermott determines that Brown and Ragland aren’t sideline-to-sideline guys (a la Kuechly and Davis in Carolina), then he will scheme his defense to funnel plays to them. One example that everyone loves is the wide nine technique, which will force plays inside, and in turn make use of the downhill talent that these two linebackers possess.

Another scheme or technique that can be utilized is to have the defensive ends and tackles slant/crash (spill) plays to the linebackers.

McDermott can also use CBs and safeties in run support.

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Those are just a couple of ways to scheme defenses to fit your personnel.

If McDermott doesn’t think Brown and Ragland are the best man cover linebackers, then he won’t put those guys in man coverage. He will scheme his secondary to cover the first 3 or 4 threats (with DBs) in a multitude of ways and have the backers as support coverage. For example, McDermott might have our LBs wall off crossing routes, take away check downs, etc.

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McDermott will scheme ways to get the most out of Brown, Ragland, and all of his defensive personnel. Hiring Leslie Frazier or any other coach will not change the scheme from man to zone, or from a blitzing defense to a passive one. The importance lies in how well the chosen coaches teach said scheme or style created by McDermott.

Everyone runs cover 3 buzz, but how well are the players taught it?? The answer lies in the coaching of the details and, ultimately, the execution.


All in all, the PERSONNEL will determine the scheme and style of play of the Bills’ defense moving forward. That is why McDermott was hired. He was hired to get the right teachers, coaches, and leaders on his staff, then to create a scheme to best fit his players, which will in turn put the players in the best situations to succeed. If McDermott can do this, then he will be putting his whole team in a great position to succeed, too.