While Sean McDermott wrapped up his third interview in the past week for a head-coaching job, the Carolina Panthers continue to wait to see whether they’ll be replacing their defensive coordinator.
McDermott, 42, met with San Francisco on Tuesday about succeeding fired coach Chip Kelly, the 49ers announced. But a source has confirmed that on Wednesday McDermott is meeting for a second interview with the Buffalo Bills, in Boca Raton, Fla., where Bills owner Terry Pegula has a home.
That’s another sign pointing more toward McDermott becoming the next head coach of the Bills, possibly before the end of the week. The Buffalo News’ Vic Carucci reported the Bills are zeroing in on McDermott in their search for a replacement for Rex Ryan.
McDermott does not yet have an agreement in place with the Bills, but follow-up talks have been positive since his interview with Pegula last week, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.
McDermott, who has overseen a top-10 defense in four of his six seasons in Charlotte, has been in the mix for several head-coaching positions over the past several seasons.
He interviewed with Cleveland and Tampa Bay last season before those teams hired Hue Jackson and Dirk Koetter while the Panthers were preparing for their divisional-round game against Seattle.
A year later, McDermott could benefit from the Panthers missing the postseason.
A number of candidates for the five remaining head-coaching vacancies are with teams still alive in the playoffs.
The Panthers have a qualified candidate on staff to take over for McDermott in assistant head coach/secondary coach Steve Wilks, the Charlotte native who was key in the development of rookie cornerbacks James Bradberry and Daryl Worley this past season.
Washington requested permission last week to speak with Wilks about its defensive coordinator’s post, but Wilks is not believed to have met with Washington, yet.
The Panthers likely want to see whether McDermott gets hired elsewhere before allowing Wilks to interview in Washington and risk losing both coaches.
Wilks, who played at West Charlotte and Appalachian State, interviewed for the Los Angeles Rams’ head-coaching spot last week in LA.