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Bills HC Sean McDermott: 'Narrow-minded' to say Buffalo hasn't had success without Super Bowl win

Over the last few years, the Bills have gone from a perennial struggling team to the kings of the AFC East under head coach Sean McDermott, winning the division the last four years and going to the playoffs in six of the last seven seasons.

The 2023 season proved especially challenging early on for Buffalo, with the team going through a stretch of games midseason characterized by inconsistent play, culminating in a mid-season firing of offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey. But after quarterbacks coach Joe Brady took over as interim OC, the Bills seemed to come to life, winning six of their final seven games and defeating the Dolphins in Week 18 to secure another divisional crown and a playoff berth.

"It wasn't a surprise. Those moves, those staff changes are always tough, they're not fun in any way, shape or form, but I was not surprised by how our team responded, I wasn't," McDermott said in an interview with NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero at the Annual League Meeting on Sunday. "And so I think it says a lot about the character of the people in our building, and again a successful season, to be able to regroup and get done what we got done.

"But we're all still with one eye on the world championship, that's what drives us every morning when we get up."

Though the Bills have found success in the regular season, that final barrier of winning a Lombardi has remained elusive for the franchise, with postseason disappointment coming each year.

A good amount of scrutiny around these struggles has been focused on quarterback Josh Allen, who has helped turn things around in Buffalo behind his dangerous dual-threat abilities, but has also struggled at times, namely with turnovers, which have plagued him over the last two seasons (32 combined).

But McDermott remains adamant that with Allen under center the Bills can continue to improve and succeed, and that failing to make it to a Super Bowl shouldn't be the only measure of his team's, or Allen's, overall success.

"I think like anything, when you talk about the Bills, whether it's Josh, myself, our team, we've had so much success," McDermott said. "What's left for Josh and for all of us is to take that one more step that we need to take.

"To say we haven't had success or Josh hasn't had success, I think would be kind of narrow-minded. It's hard to win in the NFL, so you kind of regroup every year, and you take it one game at a time. But we're all looking for Josh to really be that face of the franchise, like he's been, and continuing to evolve, like he's always done."

If the Bills are going to make another run at a Super Bowl in 2024, they'll have to do so with a considerably different looking team than that which has spearheaded recent playoff runs. Allen is still under contract, but due to a lack of cap space there wasn't much wiggle room to retain other talents.

Free agents like Gabe Davis were allowed to sign elsewhere, and veteran defensive players including Tre’Davious White and Jordan Poyer were among notable cuts to get Buffalo under the cap.

Nevertheless, McDermott is embracing the change, getting set to build his team back up for another run at the postseason when fall arrives.

"Every year you start anew, and you keep that first game in front of you and that's what you focus on. People want to say this and that, but every year is different," McDermott said. "We've had to make a lot of changes to get underneath the cap, let's just start there. So with our roster right now, we're a work in progress, and we'll see where we get to, but the most important thing is that everyone understands their roles and embraces their roles."

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