Throughout the Browns' search for a new head coach, ClevelandBrowns.com will break down the candidates after their interview with the team's search committee is complete. It continues today with a look at Sean McDermott, who could very well end his fifth season in Carolina at the Super Bowl.
- The first thing that stands out when you look at McDermott's resume is the stability. Since 1999, McDermott has worked for just two NFL teams: Philadelphia and Carolina. When McDermott made the jump from his alma mater William and Mary to the Eagles, he did so for Andy Reid's first of 13 seasons. McDermott was hired by the Panthers just two days after he was dismissed as the Eagles defensive coordinator in January 2011. He's been the only defensive coordinator for Ron Rivera, who is similarly in his fifth season with the Panthers.
- Carolina enters the postseason with a 15-1 record and the No. 1 seed in the NFC, and a big reason why is because of McDermott's defense. The Panthers are sixth in total defense (322.9 yards per game), fourth in rushing yards per game (88.4 yards per game) and sixth in scoring defense (19.3 points per game). No one in the NFL has been better at forcing turnovers than the Panthers, who had 39 -- six better than the No. 2 team. That allowed the Panthers to finish with an NFL-best -- by a lot -- turnover margin of 20.
- The Panthers have been consistently among the NFL's top defenses since McDermott was hired in 2011, ranking in the top 10 in total defense in four of his five seasons. Carolina had four players on its defense make the Pro Bowl this season -- Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, Josh Norman and Kawann Short.
- McDermott's break in the NFL came not as a coach, but through the Eagles scouting department. In a recent interview with MMQB.com, he revealed how valuable that was to his rising of the ranks as a coach, which began in 2000 in his role as an assistant to Reid. "It was so valuable, just learning what (then-Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson) and Andy looked for in players," McDermott told MMQB. "I didn't know it at the time but I know it now—not everybody is fortunate to have those type of mentors at an early age." In McDermott's two seasons as Eagles defensive coordinator, no team in the NFL forced more turnovers and only three had more sacks.
- McDermott went from a walk-on to a team captain by the end of his playing career at William and Mary. He played alongside future all-pro safety Darren Sharper. Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin starred as a receiver at William and Mary and was a teammate of McDermott's for two seasons. Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy was the head coach at William and Mary for five years during the 1960s.