INDIANAPOLIS - The buzz Bills Mafia felt during the 2019 season and the hope for the future due to what general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott have built in the last three years has expanded beyond Buffalo. Many national analysts, head coaches and general managers around the league think Buffalo is back on the map and can be a consistent playoff team for years to come. Here's what they had to say about the Bills being back on the map.
1. ESPN's Field Yates thinks Buffalo's identity is working
The vibe amongst the national media is that Beane and McDermott's plan of how they want to form a winning culture is paying off.
"I think the Bills are back on the map," ESPN's Field Yates said. "First of all, it's a wins and losses-record league and they made major strides last year. I try my best to understand the plans of every NFL team, understanding that plans change. The Bills are one of the teams that the plan's been obvious for about three years now, and it shouldn't change going forward. It's a coaching staff and a personnel staff that work in great concert. There is an identity for the team right now, a hallmark defense with an ascending offense and a young quarterback. So, the Bills are definitely on the map. It's a team that I think has a chance to be consistently playing in January in games that matter which is really exciting."
2. Indianapolis' Frank Reich sees excitement in Buffalo
Former Buffalo Bills quarterback and current Colts head coach Frank Reich said he will always have a soft spot for Buffalo but is looking forward to watching what the Bills can do in 2020.
"I'm very excited for Sean and the Bills," Reich said. "Obviously playing there for 10 years, I'm a huge Bills fan. Even though they're in the AFC, when it doesn't hurt the Colts, I root for the Bills. I think very highly of Sean McDermott. I think he's all class. I think he's an excellent x's and o's guy. He's a great leader, very happy to see what he's doing there in Buffalo."
3. Houston's Bill O'Brien believes Bills are a tough opponent
Texans head coach and general manager Bill O'Brien recalled the tough game against the Bills in the first round of the playoffs this past season, explaining it's obvious to see it's a team that's heading in the right direction.
"They have an excellent team, they have a very tough team," O'Brien explained. "They have a team that plays great complementary football. It's a very physical team, very well-coached team, very disciplined team. They have a great young quarterback. They have a great head coach in Sean McDermott who does an excellent job. A really good coaching staff, strong guys on their staff, I know a couple of those guys. They're doing an excellent job. I mean that was a brutally hard game that we were fortunate to win."
4. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says the NFL is better when the Bills are winning
NFL Network and NFL.com insider Ian Rapoport believes when the Bills are winning games, it's better for the entire NFL. For now, he only sees Buffalo improving year-to-year.
"I feel like when the Bills are good, everyone kind of takes notice," Rapoport said. "Assuming that Josh [Allen] continues to kind of make the strides that he did, not that he's perfect but, it seems to be going in a good direction. I think this will be a team that'll be around for a while. If I had to guess, I would think they're only going to get better in the immediate future which will put them on the map, even more."
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5. Kansas City's Andy Reid thinks Buffalo has a talented staff
Kansas City head coach Andy Reid gave McDermott his first NFL coaching job during their time in Philadelphia and Reid is all in on what McDermott has created in three years with the Bills.
"Sean I think has done a tremendous job there," Reid said. "The toughness of the team is just the thing that jumps out at you. He's an organized guy that works extremely hard. We play them this next year so I don't want to give him too many credits here but they do a great job, a good coaching staff too."
6. ESPN NFL front office insider Mike Tannenbaum says the Bills leadership is strong
Former Jets general manager and current NFL front office insider for ESPN Mike Tannenbaum loves the leadership he sees from McDermott and his staff. Tannenbaum thinks this leadership can take the Bills far.
"Why I think Buffalo is in a good shape goes back to leadership because coach McDermott is a guy that when they've had bumps in the road, he's been the guy to steer the ship," Tannenbaum said. "There's a great identity. I think it's that defense, home field advantage and a young emerging quarterback."