Leslie Frazier

Bills Promote Leslie Frazier

On Wednesday morning, the Bills promoted Leslie Frazier from defensive coordinator to defensive coordinator/assistant head coach. The new title likely comes with a pay bump for the veteran coach, who has guided a very effective defense in recent years. 

“Upon taking the job in Buffalo, it was important to me to add a coach with previous head coaching experience like Leslie,” head coach Sean McDermott said in a press release. “His fingerprints are all over our operation and I’m extremely grateful for all the years we have worked together. Leslie’s impact on our team is felt every day through his guidance, wisdom, and his genuine care for people. He is a great example to everyone within our organization.”

The Bills’ D has ranked top 5 in the league for the past two seasons. Last year, they placed third in the league overall and second in points surrendered. They were also top 10 in first downs allowed, third down defense, sacks, and total takeaways, something they had not done as a franchise since 1999. For his part, Frazier says he’s excited about the new title.

It definitely highlights that my role here goes beyond just being the defensive coordinator,” said Frazier. “What message it sends to owners I’m not all together sure, but it helps illuminate what my role is here in Buffalo.”

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Fritz Pollard Alliance Recommends HC Candidates

Every year, the Fritz Pollard Alliance releases a list of recommended minority head coaching candidates. This year’s edition is nearly double in size and features the likes of Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores and Cowboys defensive backs coach/defensive passing game coordinator Kris Richard, as Mike Jones of USA Today writes. 

Here’s the complete list of suggested candidates:

  • Keith Armstrong (Falcons special teams coordinator)
  • Teryl Austin (Former Bengals defensive coordinator)
  • Eric Bieniemy (Chiefs offensive coordinator)
  • Jim Caldwell (former Lions and Colts head coach)
  • George Edwards (Vikings defensive coordinator)
  • Brian Flores (Patriots linebackers coach)
  • Leslie Frazier (Bills defensive coordinator)
  • Raheem Morris (Falcons assistant head coach/wide receivers coach)
  • Hue Jackson (special assistant to the head coach of the Bengals; former Browns head coach)
  • Kris Richard (Cowboys defensive backs coach/defensive passing game coordinator)
  • Duce Staley (Eagles assistant head coach/running backs coach)

Flores, the de facto defensive coordinator of the Patriots, figures to be a hot coaching candidate this year. The same goes for Bieniemy, who is helping to guide one of the league’s most dangerous offenses.

Others on this list, such as Jackson and Austin, seem unlikely to garner real consideration for head coaching positions this offseason. The Browns turned the corner after dumping Jackson and appointing Gregg Williams as the team’s interim head coach, which isn’t a great endorsement for the offensive guru. Meanwhile, the Bengals hired Austin in January but fired him earlier this month as his defense was one of the lowest ranked in the NFL.

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Bills Notes: Allen, McCoy, Staff, CBs

Despite the quarterback battle between Nathan Peterman and Josh Allen being close during the preseason, the Bills did not want their No. 7 overall pick to have to play so soon. They hoped Peterman would keep the job “for a while” while Allen learned, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports. However, after Peterman’s 0.0 passer rating against the Ravens, little debate ensued about making the move to the rookie for Week 2.

You wish you had more to go on than just the three starts, and it might be different if this was a veteran with a five-year body of work,” a Bills source told La Canfora, recalling Peterman’s five-interception start against the Chargers last season. “But you don’t have anything else to go on, and after it happens a second time you can’t just write it off as an anomaly.”

Allen is now the starter, but La Canfora reports the Bills remain on the lookout for quarterbacks — via the waiver wire and on other teams’ depth charts. However, as for their QB1 job, it’s Allen’s. Sean McDermott confirmed as much Monday (via Joe Buscaglia of WKBW, on Twitter). Citing the Wyoming product’s intellect, the Bills did not envision their draft prize sitting an entire season like some expected, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link). In his first start, a loss to the Chargers, Allen completed 18 of 33 passes for 245 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.

Here’s the latest from Buffalo:

  • Allen may not have LeSean McCoy available to take handoffs in Week 3. The former All-Pro running back cracked rib cartilage against the Chargers, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets, adding McCoy will be questionable to face Vikings. Worries existed this injury indeed was cracked ribs, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter), who adds this injury won’t be classified as a fracture. Chris Ivory resides as Buffalo’s backup running back.
  • McDermott took over play-calling duties from defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier mid-game, he confirmed after the Bills’ loss to the Chargers. “I just thought we needed a spark and that’s my background,” McDermott said. Frazier said during his tenure he and McDermott have worked collaboratively, per Mike Rodak of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • Vontae Davis‘ mid-game retirement obviously caught the Bills by surprise, and it’s final. McDermott will not be reaching out to the cornerback, who signed with the Bills this offseason. “I have not been in touch with Vontae today,” McDermott said (via Buscaglia, on Twitter). “His actions were loud and clear. My focus is on my team right now.”
  • Despite the 30-year-old corner retiring, the Bills received a roster exemption for Davis, Rapoport tweets. It’s a left-squad designation, per NFL reporter Howard Balzer (Twitter link).
  • Phillip Gaines will now be counted on to start opposite Tre’Davious White, but he’s encountered some injury trouble. Gaines dislocated one of his elbows, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com tweets. That may not stop him from playing in Week 3, but it’s a concern at this point, per Rodak. After a shaky stay with the Chiefs, Gaines joined Davis in signing with the Bills this offseason. The Bills have fourth-round rookie Taron Johnson and third-year player Lafayette Pitts on their roster. With Davis gone and Gaines injured, Buffalo has three available corners at this moment.

Colts To Interview Leslie Frazier

Leslie Frazier will meet with the Colts about their HC vacancy on Saturday, Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets.

This will be the third confirmed interview of the team’s second search process, with the Bills’ DC joining Saints tight ends coach Dan Campbell and Eagles OC Frank Reich.

Frazier’s last head-coaching job came with the Vikings from 2011-13. He spent last season with the Bills and has been a defensive coordinator for four teams. The 58-year-old assistant also has Colts history, having spent the 2005 and ’06 seasons working for the Jim Irsay-owned franchise. The owner is reportedly fond of the former Indianapolis assistant head coach, who collected a Super Bowl ring for his Colts work.

As the only defensive-minded candidate among the three early interviewees, Frazier would bring a different style to the Colts — who were obviously all set to hire an offensively geared HC prior to the Josh McDaniels snafu. Counting six games as the Vikings’ interim HC in 2010, Frazier went 21-32 in his time leading the Vikes in the early 2010s.

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Colts Request Interview With Leslie Frazier

The Colts have officially requested an interview with Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier for their vacant head coaching position, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Rapoport hears that owner Jim Irsay is a big fan and he is of the belief that Frazier might restore normalcy in Indianapolis following the bizarre chain of events that have taken place. Leslie Frazier (vertical)

Frazier is now the third confirmed candidate for the Colts’ head coaching job. On Wednesday, the Colts lined up interviews with Saints assistant Dan Campbell and Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich. Campbell will interview with the team on Thursday while Reich’s meeting will take place on Friday.

Frazier previously served as the Vikings’ head coach and just wrapped up his first season as the Bills’ defensive coordinator. He also offers familiarity with the organization thanks to two years as a Colts staffer.

The Bills’ D didn’t light the world on fire, but the unit did okay considering that they traded away core players such as cornerback Ronald Darby and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus.


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Colts Could Consider Leslie Frazier For HC?

As the Colts restart their head coaching search in the wake of Josh McDaniels‘ rejection, one name that “could come up” is that of Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).Leslie Frazier (Vertical)

As Rapoport notes, Frazier has worked in Indianapolis before, as he served as the club’s assistant head coach/defensive backs from 2005-06, winning a Super Bowl title in the process. As such, Frazier enjoys a close relationship with Colts owner Jim Irsay, and would help Indianapolis “return to normalcy” following the McDaniels debacle. Frazier, 58, also offers the benefit of having been a head coach before, as he led the Vikings from 2010-13.

In 2017, Frazier spent his first season as the Bills’ defensive coordinator under head coach Sean McDermott, and helped the unit finish middle of the pack in most defensive statistics despite the club having traded away key players such as cornerback Ronald Darby and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. In addition to Buffalo, Minnesota, and Indianapolis, Frazier has also worked in Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Tampa Bay, and Baltimore.

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Coaching Rumors: Spagnuolo, Fins, Cowboys

While Giants interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo interviewed for the position, there is an upside for him in current Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur likely accepting the team’s offer to be their next head coach. With Shurmur on board, the veteran defensive coordinator is a more likely option to stay in the role he began the 2017 season in, opines Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com.

Back in 2008, Spagnuolo hired Shurmur as his offensive coordinator when he got the Rams head coaching job. The two also have history in the Andy Reid‘s coaching tree back when the now Chiefs head coach hired both coaches out of the college ranks.

Spagnuolo does have a track record of defensive success, and while this past season was more trying, the Giants unit was one of the best in football just two years ago. Based on the coaches’ history with one another, it appears that Spagnuolo has a good shot to retain his job. But if Shurmur does decide to go in a different direction, Dunleavy throws at names like Ohio State linebackers coach Bill Davis, Eagles linebackers coach Ken Flajole, Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and Chiefs linebackers coach Gary Gibbs that could make sense for the post.

Here’s more coaching news from around the league:

  • The Dolphins have let go of their secondary coach Lou Anarumo, per Barry Jackson the Miami Herald (Twitter link). Anarumo had been with the team since 2012. This is just one of a few changes Miami has made in regards to their coaching staff this offseason.
  • The Cowboys and Bengals have switched offensive line coaches this offseason. After Cincy hired former Dallas offensive line coach Frank Pollack to the same role, we learned today that the Cowboys have hired the guy who held that post for the Bengals in Paul Alexander, reports Alex Marvez of SiriusXM (Twitter link).
  • In other offensive line coach news, the Seahawks have brought in Mike Solari to replace Tom Cable as the primary guy handling the offensive front, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network (Twitter link). Solari has a history in Seattle, he served as the team’s offensive line coach from 2008-09. The team also recently hired Ken Norton Jr. to replace Kris Richard as defensive coordinator earlier today.
  • Andy Reid is adding a new face to the Chiefs coaching staff for 2018. The team has hired Jay Valai as a defense quality control coach, reports Terez A. Paylor of The Kansas City Star (Twitter link). Perez adds that Valai will also assist the either the Chief’s defensive back of linebacker group in addition to his primary duties.

Bills Hire Leslie Frazier As DC

The Bills moved quickly to bring in their next defensive coordinator, going with a high-profile assistant in Leslie Frazier, Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com reports.

Frazier’s name surfaced as a candidate to head up Sean McDermott‘s defense earlier tonight, and the Ravens’ defensive backs coach will transition back into a role with which he’s quite familiar. The 57-year-old coach has served as DC for the Bengals, Vikings and Buccaneers, with those roles sandwiching his HC tenure in Minnesota.

Frazier and Panthers linebackers coach Al Holcomb represented the primary assistants the Bills considered for this position. McDermott and Frazier have history after each spent time on Andy Reid‘s staff. Frazier served as DBs coach from 1999-2002 in Philadelphia while McDermott was breaking into the NFL as a scout.

McDermott broke into the coaching ranks midway through Frazier’s Eagles tenure, and the duo will now be tasked with repairing a unit Rex and Rob Ryan couldn’t elevate into an upper-echelon group. The Bills finished with the 19th-ranked defense in each of the past two seasons, representing a drop from their Jim Schwartz-led defense’s No. 4 ranking in 2014. Frazier and McDermott could well move this group back to a 4-3 after it spent two seasons as a struggling 3-4 outfit. McDermott’s Panthers defenses ran a 4-3 look, with Frazier’s groups in Minnesota and Tampa Bay doing the same.

Fired after three seasons with the Vikings, Frazier elevated the Bucs to the No. 10 defense last season. However, Tampa Bay did not exercise the option for a third year with Frazier once it canned Lovie Smith in 2016.

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Leslie Frazier In Running For Bills’ DC Job

The Bills named Sean McDermott as Rex Ryan‘s successor and are now in the process of determining who will be McDermott’s top defensive assistant. While the team has discussed bringing Panthers linebackers coach Al Holcomb to Buffalo as DC, Leslie Frazier‘s name is in the mix as well.

Frazier has emerged as the “name to watch” in this hiring process, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). The 57-year-old Frazier spent this season coaching the Ravens’ defensive backs.

The former Vikings HC has history with McDermott, with each coach being on Andy Reid‘s staff with the Eagles from 1999-2002. McDermott served as a scouting assistant during Frazier’s Philadelphia tenure, and Frazier coached the Eagles’ DBs during that span. Frazier then moved on to become the Bengals’ DC.

Stints as DC in Minnesota and Tampa Bay sandwiched Frazier’s three-year HC tenure in the Twin Cities. Frazier’s final Bucs’ defense ranked as the league’s No. 10 unit in 2015.

Holcomb worked with McDermott for four years as well, serving as Carolina’s linebackers coach since the 2013 season.

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Ravens Rumors: Frazier, Cullen, Front Office

Leslie Frazier will join the Ravens’ coaching staff as the team’s secondary coach, Jeff Zreibec of the Baltimore Sun reports (Twitter links).

The former Vikings head coach was dismissed recently, when the Buccaneers opted to not pick up his option to remain on staff as their defensive coordinator.

Frazier and the Ravens do not have a contract in place yet, but a verbal agreement’s been established, per Zreibec (on Twitter).

Although Frazier, the Vikings’ head coach from 2011-13, coached the Colts’ defensive backs during their Super Bowl campaign in 2006, his title was assistant head coach. A defensive coordinator or head coach since the Bengals hired him in 2003 to run their defense, the 56-year-old Frazier hasn’t been purely a position coach since presiding over the Eagles’ secondary from 1999-2002.

The Bucs’ defense ranked 25th and 23rd the past two seasons, respectively.

Here are some more items regarding the Ravens’ coaching staff and front office.

  • Joe Cullen will move alongside Frazier from the Bucs to the Ravens, joining John Harbaugh‘s staff as defensive line coach, per Zac Jackson of Pro Football Talk. Cullen coached the Bucs’ defensive line last season and guided the Jaguars’ defensive line from 2010-12. He was arrested in 2006 as a member of the Lions’ coaching staff for driving through a Wendy’s drive-thru naked. The Ravens’ previous defensive line coach, Clarence Brooks, will serve as a senior defensive assistant, per Zreibec (on Twitter). Brooks will undergo surgery in January or February for esophageal cancer but is expected to be ready for the 2016 season.
  • Chris Hewitt will assist Frazier in coaching the Ravens’ secondary after being in charge of the group this season, Zreibec tweets. The 41-year-old Hewitt also served in this capacity in 2014.
  • Matt Weiss will transition from cornerback coach to a job working with the linebackers under Don Martindale, who’s been the Ravens’ inside linebacker coach since 2012, Zreibec tweets. Outside linebacker coach Ted Monachino recently signed on as the Colts’ defensive coordinator.
  • Lastly, the Ravens retained and promoted Scott Cohen, who the Browns sought for a front office position, according to Zreibec (via Twtter). He’ll remain in Baltimore and work with opponent analysis.