Bills DC Leslie Frazier Seen as Early Frontrunner for NFC Job Opening

Leslie Frazier

Getty Leslie Frazier on the sidelines at a Buffalo Bills game.

Black Monday could bring a big job opportunity for at least one top Buffalo Bills coordinator.

The day after the conclusion of the regular season always comes with a slew of head coach firings, and this year has been no exception as four coaches were handed a pink slip on Monday. While both of Buffalo’s coordinators have been pegged as likely candidates, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier may have already emerged as a frontrunner for one job in particular.

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Frazier Already Drawing Interest

After stumbling to a 6-11 season, the Chicago Bears on Monday fired head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace. Though Nagy was named NFL Coach of the Year just three seasons ago, leading the Bears to a 12-4 record in 2018, it was not enough to keep his job as the team was criticized for inconsistent play and an uneven development for first-round quarterback Justin Fields.

As Adam Jahns and Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic reported, there is a long list of potential candidates for the job, with Frazier among them. Frazier already has good standing with the franchise, playing safety for the Bears and recording six interceptions in 1985 for what was considered one of the best defensive teams.

“Frazier would bring something Nagy didn’t have — head-coaching experience,” the report noted. “The Vikings went 10-6 in 2012 but were 3-13 in ’11 and 5-10-1 in ’13. Buffalo’s defense ranked second in the NFL in 2018 and third in ’19. The Bills entered January 2022 as the top-ranked defense in football.”

The Bears have already sought permission to interview Frazier, and some see him as a potential frontrunner for the job.


Frazier’s Big Role in Buffalo

Before he has a chance to move into a head coaching role, Frazier still has a big role to play in what the Bills hope will be another deep playoff run. After the defense struggled at times this season, especially when facing some of the league’s top running backs, Frazier had his unit playing at its best to close out the season. The Bills held the New York Jets to a franchise-low 53 total yards in Sunday’s 27-10 victory, hounding rookie quarterback Zach Wilson all game while sacking him nine times.

The Bills ended the season with the league’s No. 1 defense, the first time in 22 seasons that they accomplished that feat.

“I’m super proud of those guys, but let me just make sure I’m clear here,” said head coach Sean McDermott. “Leslie Frazier runs the defense and I want to give credit where credit is due. This is not Sean McDermott’s defense, this is Leslie’s defense. And those defensive coaches have done a phenomenal job and those players. So, it was an outstanding performance and there will be bigger challenges ahead for us.”

While McDermott said that the team had not yet gotten a formal request from the Bears to interview Frazier, it is clear that the Bills coach will not be standing in the way. McDermott said on Monday that he is happy for any opportunity that Frazier has to become a head coach again.

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