There is plenty to love about the coaching job Sean McVay has done this season with the Los Angeles Rams.
He helped Jared Goff become a franchise quarterback and running back Todd Gurley an MVP candidate. He took a team that hadn’t had a winning season since 2003 and instantly transformed it into an NFC powerhouse. He made the Rams matter in L.A. and around the NFL.
In Carolina, Devin Funchess — the remaining big-and-slow Panthers WR — gets a volume boost, though he’s a pale imitation of Benjamin. This trade doesn’t mean Funchess is suddenly faster or has better hands. And in fact, Greg Olsen could return from his broken foot in a few weeks, and Carolina may have a more speed-oriented receiving attack in mind, utilizing the likes of Curtis Samuel, Christian McCaffrey and Russell Shepard more. In a week without byes, Funchess needs to play better before he emerges from the ranks of the WR3s.
McDermott lands in a far different situation in Buffalo. The Bills have not made a playoff appearance since the 1999 season. Ryan spent two seasons there attempting to get the team back to the postseason and couldn’t, failing to deliver on his pledge to make the Bills an on-field bully. Things looked particularly scattered at the end of the season when the team opted to sit down quarterback Tyrod Taylor for contractual reasons but then sent interim coach Anthony Lynn out to explain a decision in which he had not participated.
Lynn was the favorite for the job heading in. McDermott was coming off a season in Carolina in which the Panthers’ defense, minus inexplicably jettisoned cornerback Josh Norman, ranked 21st in the league. Carolina, coming off its Super Bowl appearance, failed to make the playoffs. But McDermott’s good work in previous seasons was not forgotten. He, like Joseph, had the advantage of being available right now. Teams with coaching vacancies like that, especially given the intense competition to fill out coaching staffs with top assistants.