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December 30, 2013

McDermott says he's ready to be a head coach

As he does every Monday during his weekly meeting with the media, Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott began with an opening statement.

Those opening remarks are typical of how head coaches begin their press briefings, which is what McDermott said is his career aspiration.

With at least six head-coaching vacancies around the league, McDermott could have a chance to reach that goal in the coming weeks.

He's a young (39), up-and-coming assistant for a 12-4, playoff-bound team who oversees the league's second-ranked defense.

McDermott was honest and direct Monday. Asked if he believed he was ready to be a head coach, McDermott said: "I do."

But McDermott said that's not his main focus.

"When you win, sometimes good things happen and people get opportunities. If that happens, so be it. That's part of the process," McDermott said. "But I'm just focused on getting this defense as good as we can get it for the next couple of weeks in this playoff run."

Assistant coaches on playoff teams with a first-round bye have a one-day window to interview for head-coaching positions on Jan. 5.

McDermott said he has not yet heard from any teams.

But McDermott, the son of a Division II coach in Pennsylvania, said becoming a head coach is his ultimate goal when the time is right.

"I'm not going to rush it. I'm a guy that believes in faith and whenever that's meant to be, that's going to happen. And so be it," McDermott said. "Those things happen. They're a result of good players and good coaches, and I've been very fortunate to have both."

The Panthers led the league with a team-record 60 sacks, topped by a nine-sack performance Sunday at Atlanta. The nine sacks were a franchise, single-game record, breaking the former mark of seven sacks.

The Panthers finished second behind Seattle in total defense (allowing 301.2 yards a game) and scoring defense (15.1 points a game). They also were second in rushing defense (86.9 yards a game).

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on December 30, 2013 at 01:55 PM | Permalink


Buyer beware,one doesn't know how much help he receives from Riverboat Ron,one of the best NFL DC's in recent memory. I'd be scared to assume it was much by McDermott

Posted by: Timmy from CLT | Dec 30, 2013 2:09:49 PM

When he's asked if he is ready to be a Head coach he says yes... what would you expect? "No not at all! I think I'd be the worst head coach ever!"?

Posted by: Richard | Dec 30, 2013 2:38:00 PM

Funny, that's just what Chud said last year. How'd that work out for him?

Posted by: archie | Dec 30, 2013 2:57:25 PM

The qualities that make a good coordinator are not necessarily the qualities that make a good head coach. Only time will tell whether McDermott has what it takes. He is a quality guy so I wish him the best if he gets a chance to move up. I do hope he is smart enough to pick his spot carefully. Many of the positions open are on teams that have dysfunctional ownership groups.

Posted by: Jimcat | Dec 30, 2013 3:26:17 PM

almost every great head coach in the NFL was a coordinator at some point.

this is just further pointing to the problem in the NFL.....nfl owners fire coaches wayyyy too fast and too often and hire the trendy guy instead of the proven guy. watch wisenhunt and lovie smith get passed over for guys like mcdermott and bill o'brien. mcdermott would be leaving a good thing for a year or 2 and then back looking for a job.

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 30, 2013 3:35:14 PM

I'm not about stopping a man's advancement, but I hope mc dermont stays because he has built a foundation in Carolina and as you can see with chud the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

Posted by: Taurus | Dec 30, 2013 4:42:28 PM

Chud should have never left. McDermott shouldn't leave either. The turnover in the NFL is proving to be bad because so many teams don't get winning formulas of switching coaches so often ORRRRRR coaches leaving for head coaching jobs. The league should really put an end to all this turnover. If you have a contract, YOU HAVE A CONTRACT!

Posted by: paul | Dec 30, 2013 5:14:53 PM

So McDermott had one good season.....Thank you Gettlemen not McDermott

Posted by: paul | Dec 30, 2013 5:16:04 PM

gettleman swapped jon beason for chase blackburn and brought in mostly new dbacks who were lauded by all as the biggest weakness on the team......munnerlyn being the only one to be there week in week out (hurney guy)....and he drafted lotulelei who hurney would have no doubt drafted.

you want to give gettleman the credit for what charles johnson, greg hardy, luke keuchley, thomas davis, dwan edwards, munnerlyn, etc. did in mcdermott's scheme?


he can hang his hat on ted ginn and mike mitchell, no doubt, but this is a team hurney built that's winning. it's the same team that went 7-9 last year losing 7 of the games because ron rivera didn't know how to manage them properly.

how many of those pro bowlers did gettleman draft?

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 30, 2013 5:53:53 PM

McDermott was never good. Not in Philly. That's why he lost his job. It was a matter of Rivera and Gettlemen.

Posted by: paul | Dec 30, 2013 8:41:02 PM

I really feel bad for Chud for what happened in Cleveland but he will be laughing all the way to the bank. They owe him $10.5 million. McDermott's time will come but it may not come this year or even next year. Only time will tell the tale. Go Panthers!

Posted by: Whitecomet77 | Dec 30, 2013 11:01:32 PM

Only in Charlotte do fans rip a DC of one of the top defenses in the NFL in one of its franchises best seasons. Any coach aspires to be a head coach. Who would want a coach, any coach including its DC, who didn't believe in himself? Sean McDermott has done a good job with the Panthers. If and when he becomes a head coach, I applaud him and wish him well.

Posted by: David | Dec 30, 2013 11:14:13 PM

Charlottean, Andy Reid didn't do well in Philly either, did he? As I recall, after McDermott lost his job there things collapsed around Reid and he was ushered out of Philly. He did well in KC this year though, didn't he? My point is that Philly collapsed because they went after high priced prima donnas via free agency and that rarely works out. See the NY Yankees in baseball for another example in this futile plan. McDermott is a bright, young coach. In the NFL, coaches get axe sometimes at their own fault, sometimes not. Pete Carroll didn't fare too well in a couple other NFL stops. John Fox was relieved of hos duties in Charlotte. Mike McCoy was once with the Panthers. Dom Capers was run out of Carolina too. They're all coaching in the playoffs and were once considered as not fitting the bill. NFL coaching jobs are truly on a carousel. That's why NFL could stand for "not for long."

Posted by: David | Dec 30, 2013 11:31:40 PM

McDermott you need to put up or shut up, You say your ready to be an nfl head coach make believers out of all of us by having the defense ready to win each of the last 3 games including the super bowl and we will all jump on that bandwagon, Imagine your resume with a finish like that it would no dought be a shoe in for a coaching job cause some of the teams will wait to see the outcome of this season before making there decisions on who to hire...

Posted by: joe | Dec 31, 2013 9:49:28 AM

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