Last year, Frazier took a lion’s share of the blame for his team’s infamous “13 seconds” loss, where the Bills allowed Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow to get 30 first downs while missing three key starters on their offensive line.
WGR 550’s Nate Geary tweeted, “The Bills could have had Von Miller, prime Lawrence Taylor and Derrelle Revis and it wouldn’t have mattered with the god awful game Leslie Frazier called today.”
Cover 1 podcast hosts tweeted, “Frazier should not survive this. He blew it last year. We allocate most our resources to this defense. And he comes up small whenever it matters most. It won’t happen. It should happen. This defense is complacent.”
While rumors swirled on Twitter that Frazier’s contract with the Bills was up, the AP’s Jon Wawrow tweeted on January 26, “Received a couple of questions about this. Leslie Frazier’s contract has NOT expired.”
Bills’ general manager Brandon Beane addressed the harsh criticism toward both Frazier and offensive Ken Dorsey during his end-of-year press conference and strongly defended both coaches.
“We won 13 games,” Beane said. “It’s easy for us all to sit here and question Dorsey. … Everyone’s a Monday morning quarterback. Or Leslie Frazier, why didn’t you blitz more? Or why were the corners off? You can second-guess these guys all day long, but statistically speaking, we’ve had really good defenses. … Not everything was perfect for either one of them, but they’re both pros. You have to understand that sometimes games aren’t going to go for a player or a coach exactly the way you want and that’s the reality of it.”
Beane’s comments suggested he had no plans to fire Frazier, which did not sit well with Bills Mafia on Twitter. One fan tweeted, “This is such a weak position. ‘Whaddya gunna do?’ and a shrug is literally a surrender and admission that you have no solutions.” Another person wrote Frazier “has to held accountable” and “Frazier has got to go.”
The Dolphins Hiring a New Defensive Coordinator Reignited Fans’ Frustration
On Sunday, January 29, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that the Miami Dolphins landed Vic Fangio as their new defensive coordinator. For Bills fans, watching their AFC East rival hire Fangio, whom Pelissero deemed “one of football’s best defensive minds,” reignited their frustration that Frazier is likely staying in Buffalo.
While Fins fans and analysts were hyped over the new hire, a Bills fan retweeted the news and wrote, “Meanwhile Leslie Frazier is staying in Buffalo. Frustrating, Idc what the regular season numbers are.” Another person wrote, “I’ll be honest this was a nice move and we’re stuck with the nicest guy in football Leslie Frazier!!!😡😡😡🤬🤬🤬.”
Several Analysts Believe Keeping Frazier Is the Right Decision
Despite Bills Mafia’s frustration that Frazier seems likely to remain with the team, some analysts believe cutting ties with the former ’85 Bears legend would be a mistake.
The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia wrote, “The external heat on Frazier after the Bills’ exit from the postseason was a bit surprising. The Bills were without at least one key defender and had several injuries for many of those games.”
Buscaglia said that despite not having Tre’Davious White for the bulk of the season, losing Micah Hyde in Week 2, and Von Miller hitting IR, “Frazier’s play calling and scheme helped the Bills achieve great results and ranked fourth in Football Outsiders defensive DVOA.”
“Frazier is also beloved inside the building for his calm demeanor, how much his players respect him and his knack for dialing up some game-impacting play calls,” Buscaglia continued. “He has shown he isn’t afraid to pivot philosophy within a single game and has helped calm down some early-game struggles. The Bills have watched several defensive players reach their full potential within Frazier’s scheme.”
The Niagara Gazette’s Nick Sabato surmised, “Firing Frazier would be even nuttier. His defenses have ranked in the top-six in total defense in four of the last five years and top-three in points allowed in three of the last four years, both of which occurred this season. Yes, the defense has wilted in the playoffs three consecutive times, but that happened against Patrick Mahomes (twice) and Joe Burrow, who tend to make just about every defense look terrible.”