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Sean McDermott
Defensive Coordinator
College:
William & Mary
Experience:
17

Bio

COACHING
Sean McDermott is in his fifth season as the Panthers' defensive coordinator, leading a unit that has developed into one of the best in the NFL. Under McDermott's guidance, Carolina is one of just three teams in the NFL to rank in the top 10 in defense each of the last three seasons.

In 2014, McDermott relied on the steady force of leaders like Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis and Charles Johnson to weather injuries and attrition. With young players in key roles, the Panthers ranked 10th in total defense and forced 20 fumbles, second most in the league. McDermott's unit powered the Panthers into the playoffs by ranking fifth in total defense and second in scoring defense over the final four games. In a 27-16 NFC Wild Card win, Carolina held the Arizona Cardinals to an NFL postseason record 78 total net yards.

Kuechly and Davis again showed why they are one of the NFL's most formidable linebacking duos. Kuechly earned his second Pro Bowl and All-Pro distinctions after leading the NFL in tackles, and Davis produced his third consecutive 100-tackle season and was named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. Johnson remained an anchor at defensive end, producing his fifth consecutive season with eight or more sacks with 8.5.

Also central to the Panthers' success was the development of young players in the secondary. Mentored by veteran safety Roman Harper, cornerback Josh Norman enjoyed a breakout season with career highs in interceptions and passes defensed, and rookies Bene Benwikere at cornerback and Tre Boston at safety became trusted starters by season's end.

In 2013, McDermott was named Sporting News Coordinator of the Year after leading a unit that ranked second in total defense. The Panthers also led the league in sacks while finishing second in scoring defense. The defense helped propel Carolina to a 12-4 record, an NFC South title and the team's first playoff appearance since 2008. The defense allowed just 15.1 points per game, its fewest since 1996, and set a team record with an NFL-low 21 touchdowns allowed while scoring a team record four defensive touchdowns.

McDermott's defense featured one of the best front sevens in the NFL. Kuechly earned the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award, and Davis returned to top form following three knee surgeries to set career highs with 151 tackles and four sacks. Defensive end Greg Hardy tied a franchise record with 15 sacks to earn Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors, and Johnson added 11 sacks as the pair each finished with double-digit sacks for the second consecutive year. Carolina's first two draft choices, defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short, earned All-Rookie honors.

In 2012, with 11 of Carolina's 16 games against opponents that finished in the top 15 in total offense, McDermott's unit rated 10th in total defense - an 18-spot improvement from 2011. Kuechly earned the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award after leading the league in tackles with a franchise record 205 and helped Carolina rank in the top 10 in sacks, third-down conversion percentage and negative plays created.

In McDermott's first year with the Panthers in 2011, his defense overcame youth and injuries to produce key stops and takeaways that contributed to wins in four of the final six games.

McDermott came to Carolina following 12 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, the last two as defensive coordinator, where he contributed to six division titles, five NFC Championship game appearances and a trip to Super Bowl XXXIX. In 2010, McDermott led one of the league's youngest defenses to a playoff appearance, finishing the year ranked in the top 10 in takeaways and sacks.

In his first season overseeing the Eagles defense in 2009, McDermott was named the NFL's top defensive coordinator by Pro Football Weekly after his unit ranked third in the NFL with 38 takeaways and 44 sacks. Philadelphia also stood second in third-down defense and fifth in yards per play allowed.

McDermott coached the secondary and linebackers before becoming defensive coordinator, learning under the late Jim Johnson, the Eagles' legendary defensive coordinator. Tutoring the defensive backs in 2008, McDermott helped the pass defense improve in nearly every statistical category, ranking third in the NFL in pass defense and second in net yards per pass play.  Free safety Brian Dawkins and cornerback Asante Samuel garnered Pro Bowl recognition, and strong safety Quintin Mikell captured second-team All-Pro accolades.

In 2007, McDermott took over the linebackers when Steve Spagnuolo left to become the New York Giants defensive coordinator. From 2004-06, McDermott served as the Eagles' secondary/safeties coach. Dawkins was a Pro Bowler all three seasons, and fellow safety Michael Lewis joined him in 2004.

McDermott worked as the team's assistant defensive backs coach in 2003 and as the defensive assistant/quality control coach from 2001-02, assisting with linebackers. He joined the organization in 1998 as a scouting administrative coordinator and primarily handled budget, collective bargaining agreement, salary cap and personnel matters before being promoted to assistant to the head coach in 1999.

PLAYING AND PERSONAL
An All-Atlantic 10 Conference choice at safety for William & Mary as a senior in 1997, McDermott graduated with a degree in finance and began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 1998.

HISTORY
Safety: William & Mary 1994-97. College coach: William & Mary 1998. Pro coach: Philadelphia Eagles 1999-2010, joined Panthers in 2011.

COACHING
Sean McDermott is in his fifth season as the Panthers' defensive coordinator, leading a unit that has developed into one of the best in the NFL. Under McDermott's guidance, Carolina is one of just three teams in the NFL to rank in the top 10 in defense each of the last three seasons.

In 2014, McDermott relied on the steady force of leaders like Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis and Charles Johnson to weather injuries and attrition. With young players in key roles, the Panthers ranked 10th in total defense and forced 20 fumbles, second most in the league. McDermott's unit powered the Panthers into the playoffs by ranking fifth in total defense and second in scoring defense over the final four games. In a 27-16 NFC Wild Card win, Carolina held the Arizona Cardinals to an NFL postseason record 78 total net yards.

Kuechly and Davis again showed why they are one of the NFL's most formidable linebacking duos. Kuechly earned his second Pro Bowl and All-Pro distinctions after leading the NFL in tackles, and Davis produced his third consecutive 100-tackle season and was named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. Johnson remained an anchor at defensive end, producing his fifth consecutive season with eight or more sacks with 8.5.

Also central to the Panthers' success was the development of young players in the secondary. Mentored by veteran safety Roman Harper, cornerback Josh Norman enjoyed a breakout season with career highs in interceptions and passes defensed, and rookies Bene Benwikere at cornerback and Tre Boston at safety became trusted starters by season's end.

In 2013, McDermott was named Sporting News Coordinator of the Year after leading a unit that ranked second in total defense. The Panthers also led the league in sacks while finishing second in scoring defense. The defense helped propel Carolina to a 12-4 record, an NFC South title and the team's first playoff appearance since 2008. The defense allowed just 15.1 points per game, its fewest since 1996, and set a team record with an NFL-low 21 touchdowns allowed while scoring a team record four defensive touchdowns.

McDermott's defense featured one of the best front sevens in the NFL. Kuechly earned the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award, and Davis returned to top form following three knee surgeries to set career highs with 151 tackles and four sacks. Defensive end Greg Hardy tied a franchise record with 15 sacks to earn Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors, and Johnson added 11 sacks as the pair each finished with double-digit sacks for the second consecutive year. Carolina's first two draft choices, defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short, earned All-Rookie honors.

In 2012, with 11 of Carolina's 16 games against opponents that finished in the top 15 in total offense, McDermott's unit rated 10th in total defense - an 18-spot improvement from 2011. Kuechly earned the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award after leading the league in tackles with a franchise record 205 and helped Carolina rank in the top 10 in sacks, third-down conversion percentage and negative plays created.

In McDermott's first year with the Panthers in 2011, his defense overcame youth and injuries to produce key stops and takeaways that contributed to wins in four of the final six games.

McDermott came to Carolina following 12 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, the last two as defensive coordinator, where he contributed to six division titles, five NFC Championship game appearances and a trip to Super Bowl XXXIX. In 2010, McDermott led one of the league's youngest defenses to a playoff appearance, finishing the year ranked in the top 10 in takeaways and sacks.

In his first season overseeing the Eagles defense in 2009, McDermott was named the NFL's top defensive coordinator by Pro Football Weekly after his unit ranked third in the NFL with 38 takeaways and 44 sacks. Philadelphia also stood second in third-down defense and fifth in yards per play allowed.

McDermott coached the secondary and linebackers before becoming defensive coordinator, learning under the late Jim Johnson, the Eagles' legendary defensive coordinator. Tutoring the defensive backs in 2008, McDermott helped the pass defense improve in nearly every statistical category, ranking third in the NFL in pass defense and second in net yards per pass play.  Free safety Brian Dawkins and cornerback Asante Samuel garnered Pro Bowl recognition, and strong safety Quintin Mikell captured second-team All-Pro accolades.

In 2007, McDermott took over the linebackers when Steve Spagnuolo left to become the New York Giants defensive coordinator. From 2004-06, McDermott served as the Eagles' secondary/safeties coach. Dawkins was a Pro Bowler all three seasons, and fellow safety Michael Lewis joined him in 2004.

McDermott worked as the team's assistant defensive backs coach in 2003 and as the defensive assistant/quality control coach from 2001-02, assisting with linebackers. He joined the organization in 1998 as a scouting administrative coordinator and primarily handled budget, collective bargaining agreement, salary cap and personnel matters before being promoted to assistant to the head coach in 1999.

PLAYING AND PERSONAL
An All-Atlantic 10 Conference choice at safety for William & Mary as a senior in 1997, McDermott graduated with a degree in finance and began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 1998.

HISTORY
Safety: William & Mary 1994-97. College coach: William & Mary 1998. Pro coach: Philadelphia Eagles 1999-2010, joined Panthers in 2011.