Leslie Frazier has earned himself a reward.
Frazier’s main duty — coordinating the defense — will remain, but the additional title bestowed upon him by head coach Sean McDermott shows just how much the coach appreciates Frazier’s contributions over his last three years in Buffalo. During that span, the Bills twice finished in the top three in total defense in the NFL, including a No. 2 ranking in 2018 (No. 1 against the pass) and a No. 3 position in 2019, helping Buffalo return to the playoffs.
As Buffalo has rebuilt its offense around promising young quarterback Josh Allen, the defense has remained the reliable, steady force since McDermott took over in 2017. The Bills have become known as one of the tougher and more physical teams in the NFL, and that’s not by accident.
“Upon taking the job in Buffalo, it was important to me to add a coach with previous head coaching experience like Leslie,” McDermott said via a statement from the team. “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.”
McDermott and Frazier’s relationship goes back to the start of the century when McDermott got his first crack at NFL coaching as an assistant to head coach Andy Reid before being promoted to defensive assistant and quality control coach. In that same time (1999-2002), Frazier served as the Eagles‘ defensive backs coach.
Frazier has been a head coach before, leading the Minnesota Vikings as an interim coach in 2010 and as the permanent head coach from 2011-2013, but he’s best suited as a defensive coordinator. His past experience has undoubtedly assisted McDermott, a first-time head coach who has reached the playoffs twice in three seasons with the Bills, former owners of the league’s longest playoff drought before his arrival.