When Sean McDermott was hired as the Buffalo Bills head coach on January 11, 2017, he brought in defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier to run the Bills’ defense the very next day. Frazier was hired on January 12, 2017.
Now the Buffalo Bills will move forward into 2023 without Frazier at the helm of the defense. The team announced that he will be stepping away from the game entirely for the next year, with plans to return to coaching for the 2024 season. Whether that is with the Buffalo Bills or another team, will not be known for some time.
In a press conference, Brandon Beane was asked about Frazier’s return to Buffalo and stated they do not know the answer to that.
During Frazier’s tenure with the Bills, they have consistently been one of the best defenses in the league. In three of his six seasons with the team, the Bills’ defense ranked first or second in points allowed, while also ranking in the top six in four seasons.
Not too many will argue with the regular season numbers; however, his defense’s performances in the postseason have been called into question as of late. That said, had Von Miller, DaQuan Jones, and Jordan Phillips not suffered late-season injuries, I think we are singing a very different tune this offseason.
What does this mean for the Buffalo Bills going forward?
Time will tell but unfortunately most of the known defensive coordinators were hired to new teams weeks ago. Will the Bills promote from within the organization, or will they go outside of the team for their next defensive off-season? They could also roll with Coach McDermott calling the defensive plays for 2023 and reevaluate next off-season.
The team also announced that Al Holcomb was added to the Bills’ coaching staff as the Senior Defensive Assistant. Holcomb was most recently with the Carolina Panthers, serving two seasons as the interim defensive coordinator. He and McDermott coached together in Carolina from 2013 – 2017.