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Will Leslie Frazier be an NFL head coach in 2023?

We discuss whether an NFL team will hire the Bills’ assistant head coach and defensive coordinator, Leslie Frazier, and which opening fits him best.

NFL: AFC Wild Card Playoffs-New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier could be in line for a head coaching position this carousel. He also added the assistant head coach job title under Sean McDermott in Buffalo. Frazier is in his sixth season as the Bills DC, and he held the assistant head coach role in half of those years. He last held a permanent head coaching position with the Minnesota Vikings from 2011-2013.

Who is Bills’ assistant head coach Leslie Frazier?

Frazier will be 64 years old when the 2023 regular season starts. He attended high school in Mississippi and attended Alcorn State University from 1978-1980 where he played defensive back. Frazier skipped his senior season for the NFL where he went undrafted but was signed by the Chicago Bears and led the 1985 Super Bowl team with six interceptions. His pro football career was cut short by a knee injury that he suffered in that Super Bowl.

Frazier quickly got into coaching and was named the first head coach of Trinity College in Deerfield, Illinois where he spent nine seasons in that role. He moved on to defensive backs coach at Illinois for two years and held that role for another four years with the Philadelphia Eagles. Frazier earned his first DC role in 2003 with the Cincinnati Bengals where he was for two seasons before two more years as a defensive assistant and assistant head coach/defensive backs coach in 2005-2006. After a year as the Vikings defensive coordinator, he was promoted to assistant head coach and then interim head coach. He secured the full-time HC role from 2011-2013.

Frazier was fired in December 2013 but picked up a defensive coordinator role with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two years and the Baltimore Ravens as a secondary coach in 2016 before being hired by the Bills.

Why would he make a good head coach?

Frazier is clearly known as a defensive mind that is respected throughout the league as four franchises have hired him to be in charge of the defense. Results have been there with the Bills, and that side of the ball has been a huge reason for the franchise’s recent surge. He’s been given the assistant head coach role twice in his career, so he is clearly capable of being a key voice in the locker room.

The Vikings finished 21-32-1 in three seasons with Frazier in charge, but second chances for head coaches are very common especially in the NFL. Minnesota did not have a franchise quarterback in those years, and that certainly puts a ceiling on what a team can do. If any defensive mind is deserving of another shot at a head coaching job, Frazier is near the top of the list.

Which teams are interviewing him?

TBD