Leslie Frazier To Interview For Bolts’ HC Job

After a year out of football, Leslie Frazier said recently he is ready to return. The former Vikings HC and Bills DC is back on the radar, with ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter reporting the Chargers will interview him for their top coaching job.

Frazier served as Buffalo’s defensive coordinator from 2017-22, being the team’s primary play-caller during this span. But Sean McDermott went in another direction last year, opting to call plays himself for a team that had endured a one-sided home loss to the Bengals to close out the 2022 season. Nevertheless, Frazier — no longer under contract with the Bills, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler — is back in the mix.

Prior to his 2023 hiatus, Frazier had worked as an NFL assistant or HC for 24 straight years. The Bills initially framed his departure as the veteran stepping away, with the possibility of a return, but it was later believed McDermott made the call to move on from his six-year defensive lieutenant. Frazier is now eager to head elsewhere and vie for a head coaching job.

I want to be able to be a part of this hiring cycle. I would love to be able to interview with an owner or organization for one of the head coach vacancies,” Frazier said, via CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones. “And I’m basing it on my past experience as a head coach who took a team to the playoffs, the success I’ve had in the NFL as a coordinator. And hope that would warrant me that opportunity.”

The Bills ranked in the top four in scoring defense three times from 2019-22, doing so with key personnel injured. Tre’Davious White went down on Thanksgiving 2021, and Von Miller suffered what appears to be a career-altering ACL tear on Thanksgiving 2022. The Bills played most of last season without Micah Hyde as well. That said, Buffalo suffered a crushing loss in Kansas City in the 2021 divisional round. The team’s defense crumbled late in a shootout, losing on the first possession of overtime. The team then could not match the Bengals in a 27-10 divisional-round defeat the following year. McDermott removed Frazier from the equation soon after.

Frazier has been an HC carousel regular, interviewing for the Bears, Dolphins and Giants’ jobs in 2022. The Texans interviewed Frazier in 2021, and the Colts met with him in 2018. Promoted from interim Vikings HC to their full-time leader in 2011, Frazier went 21-32-1 as Minnesota’s HC. Much of that time came when first-round bust Christian Ponder quarterbacked the Vikings. Minnesota’s 2012 team, spurred by MVP Adrian Peterson, still ventured to the playoffs.

It would not surprise to see Frazier also end up back on the DC radar, given his experience. Frazier’s age also places him as the oldest candidate on the Bolts’ interview list, though Bill Belichick (71) and Jim Harbaugh (60) are on the radar. Bruce Arians, at 66, is the oldest NFL HC ever hired.

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