Panthers influence guiding Bills to possible AFC Championship glory
By Dean Jones
How many former Carolina Panthers are on the Bills?
There are no fewer than 20 players of staff members on the Buffalo Bills who were once employed by the Carolina Panthers. This is an astronomical number whichever way one looks at it and this familiarity with one another has been a crucial component in the team finally wrestling the AFC East crown from the New England Patriots and mounting a significant Super Bowl challenge.
They are led by Sean McDermott, the head coach who was once Carolina’s defensive coordinator. The widely experienced figure has worked wonders during his time in the role and although there were a few eyebrows raised when he got the job, there is nobody who would say he was the wrong hire at this juncture.
General manager Brandon Beane is another with strong ties with the Panthers and deserves a significant amount of credit for putting together a roster that is effective and dynamic in equal measure. Former linebacker Dan Morgan is also generating some buzz for his work behind the scenes in Buffalo and it was somewhat surprising that he didn’t get an interview for Carolina’s vacant head coaching position that was eventually filled by Scott Fitterer.
Other notable personnel includes:
- Ken Dorsey
- Joe Schoen
- Mike Szabo
- RJ Webb
- Jeff Mueller
- Eric Washington
- Heath Farwell
- Bobby Babich
There are also a number of players who can be proud of their accomplishments in Buffalo’s memorable campaign so far. Mario Addison has been a big hit after joining the Bills last spring, with Vernon Butler, Daryl Williams, A.J. Klein, Dean Marlowe, and Star Lotulelei also having some nice moments throughout the campaign.
Andre Smith was picked up by the Bills after being waived during Carolina’s training camp, and Bryan Cox, Jr. also spent some time with the team over a three-year period.