We all know how much Sean McDermott appreciates certain intangible personality traits in players he wants on his roster. Part of the reason he works in a harmonious relationship with Brandon Beane is because they seem to value similar traits.
What is this mysterious thing, value?
In the context of creating a draft board, how does one define the word value? If you go down the list of definitions from dictionary.com, the word value in this context is related to No. 17…
“to consider with respect to worth, excellence, usefulness, or importance.”
Worth. Hmmm. Now that just leads us down that slippery slope of defining the term worth… and then your brain freezes from the frustrating limits of language.
However, the term value is one worth [yes I did that] exploring with respect to ‘McBeane’ because of their divergence from mainstream thought among front offices in the NFL with regard to how they put together a draft board. And don’t think for a minute other teams aren’t watching what the Bills are doing by reinventing team culture.
Just a hunch, but I think Brian Flores in Miami has been eyeballing what McDermott has done and plans to clear out the guys who just want to hang out on South Beach. Good for him. Flores picked a terrific offensive coordinator in Chan Gailey. We also now know why Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t going anywhere. What a great staff they are putting together. Fear the Dolphins much more than the Jets at this point, BillsMafia.
The Dolphins have a haul coming in this year’s draft, so you know Flores is clearing out for a big culture change. This draft is loaded with talent as well, so the Dolphins are setting themselves up for success, that’s for sure.
But we have our own trail-blazing forward-thinking head coach, so all is well at Orchard Park. Never was it made more clear to me that Sean McDermott is a psychologist at heart than when he recently commented on a One Bills Live broadcast that he comes to the NFL Combine to rule OUT players, rather than finding players because of their 40-time or how much they can bench press.
And by “ruling out” players, it seems McDermott is doing more behavioral reconnaissance than anything else. Very, very interesting. This is where ‘in the box’ thinkers get lost. They don’t accept or understand the skill set of being able to quietly observe people in their natural environment and identify traits as reliably as the inferences one can get from a 40-time.
But I get it because it’s what I did for a living. So exactly what behavioral traits is McDermott looking to rule out in players he’s studying? Take a look at the type of players he got rid of when he took the head coaching position and one might be able to cobble together a solid guesstimate.
The most notable shown the door were Marcell Dareus and Sammy Watkins. But I would argue Stephon Gilmore was also firmly entrenched on the ‘not my guy’ list. Here’s another tidbit I’ve noticed about McDermott; once you get on the ‘not my guy’ list, you’re done in his eyes.
So what sort of traits make players radioactive from Sean McDermott’s view?
The most obvious are the narcissists, who reveal themselves by the language they choose to use while being interviewed. If a player talks about being a ‘star’ for a team, red flag. If they focus on their own stats rather than what they can do to help their team win, another red flag.
Party boys who want to spend all their time in strip clubs and the night life also need not apply. McDermott once said he wasn’t looking for choir boys, but you can clearly see from the players he covets, he strongly prefers players who lead a quieter lifestyle.
So it appears Beane and McDermott have a solid set of criteria regarding personal traits they are looking for in their vision of a player for the Buffalo Bills. It obviously makes their draft boards unlike teams who place a lower value on personality traits. If you’re into doing mock drafts, it’s best to keep this in mind as you make selections for the Bills.
We are blessed to have a head coach and general manager with similar vision and who are forward thinking. The Bills are in good hands. This year’s draft board, once revealed will give us even more information about the type of players they value.
Editor’s babble: Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane are smart cookies. Let’s hope the Pegulas lock THEM up for the for the future with contract extensions… like yesterday. You can yell at me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.