Ex-Bills DC Leslie Frazier Could Make NFL Return This Year: Insider

Leslie Frazier

Getty Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier of the Buffalo Bills looks on before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Highmark Stadium on October 31, 2021.

Former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier could be making his return to the NFL sooner than expected, one insider speculates.

The Bills announced in March that Frazier decided to step away from the team and take a year away from football, but he has already started taking steps toward his eventual comeback and a potential return to a head coaching job. Frazier took part in the league’s Coach Accelerator in May, a three-day program that aims to make connections between potential head-coaching candidates and team executives.

Frazier also made a series of visits with teams, leading Nick Wojton of USA Today’s Bills Wire to speculate that the 64-year-old may return to the coaching ranks sooner than expected.

Leslie Frazier Looking at New Jobs

Frazier has not strayed far from the NFL after stepping away from the Bills. Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reported that he spent time with three teams after taking part in the Coach Accelerator program, making visits to the Green Bay Packers, Washington Commanders and New York Giants.

Wojton noted that neither the Bills nor Frazier revealed whether there were plans for him to return to Buffalo, but the visits indicate that he will likely jump to another team — and possibly sooner than expected.

“But it was never indicated by the team that Buffalo would have him back next season. Since Frazier stepped down, head coach Sean McDermott took over defensive coordinator duties,” Wojton wrote.

“Frazier could be back sooner than that if he’s already meeting with teams.”

Frazier, who served as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings before being fired after the 2013 season, has openly expressed disappointment that he had not gotten another crack at a head coaching job.

“I’d be lying if I told you that I felt like it would take this long to have that opportunity come along, especially after some of the success and particularly the most recent success we’ve had in Buffalo,” Frazier said in 2022 appearance on the AP Pro Football Podcast. “So it’s discouraging in some ways, but you just have to be able to control what you can control.”

Sean McDermott Taking Over for Leslie Frazier

The Bills opted not to fill the defensive coordinator position following Frazier’s departure, instead tapping head coach Sean McDermott to take on the role. McDermott served as defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers prior to becoming head coach in Buffalo, and said he was excited to return to the role.

In a May 24 appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, McDermott said he missed getting to work with players in a hands-on role and was looking forward to doing it again as defensive coordinator.

“To me, the head coach’s seat is a leadership seat and that’s all good, and I love that part of it. But what you miss the most is rolling up your sleeves, getting in with the players side-by-side and coaching and getting in that defensive room, in this case for me and really getting down to the details,” McDermott said. “So I missed that, and it feels good to be back doing that again.”

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