NFL Wild Card Weekend has come and gone, and let’s just say these Black defensive coordinators and their respective units put on some dominating performances. The level of professionalism and aptitude displayed by these elite assistant coaches during the most critical portion of the NFL season should lead to head coaching jobs for a few of them.
Leslie Frazier, Buffalo Bills
Frazier, a former Vikings head coach (2010-2013), just completed his fifth season as the head of a suffocating defense in Buffalo, which finished the regular season as the No. 1 overall defense in fewest points allowed (289), fewest yards allowed per game (272.8) and fewest passing yards allowed per game (163.0).
His defense completely stymied the division rival Patriots in a 47-17 blowout win. During the season the Bills showed a ton of promise and at times looked like the most complete defense in the league. Led by their All-Pro safety tandem of Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde, the Bills secondary excelled despite losing All-Pro corner Tre’Davious White to a torn ACL during the season.
The success of the Bills defense is a testament to the strategic brilliance of Frazier and the main reason why they are legitimate Super Bowl contenders.
Frazier’s big test comes this week as he matches wits with Andy Reid, Eric Bieniemy, Patrick Mahomes and the third-ranked Chiefs offense. Mahomes threw five TD passes in less than eleven minutes in a destruction of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Bills allowed scoring drives on a league-low 28.7 percent clip. Their only weakness at times has been stopping the run. Frazier was the head coach of the Vikings, compiling a 21-32 record over four seasons. In 2012, he led Minnesota to the playoffs. The next year he was gone. That would be Frazier’s last head coaching opportunity. He was Bucs defensive coordinator from 2014 through 2015 and Ravens secondary coach in 2016 before finding a home with the Bills in 2017.
Now he’s worked himself back into a position for a second crack at a head coaching gig. He’s at least getting interviews and reportedly has met with the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins with more to come.
Frazier lives by the motto “if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you,” and he expounded on those words in a zoom conference call.
“When things are smooth and complacent you can get a little complacent at times. Then you don’t always grow when you don’t get challenged. I think it’s important to be challenged in life. I think it’s not a bad thing to have some adversity every now and then or experience difficult times because it forces growth if you handle it the right way.”
Todd Bowles,Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bowles joined the Buccaneers in 2019 following a four-year run as the New York Jets head coach. Bowles joined back up with his former Arizona boss Bruce Arians. In 2020, Bowles’ defense was a huge piece to the Bucs’ run to a Super Bowl title
To find out more about the elite Black defensive coaches positioning themselves for a head coaching job during these NFL Playoffs, click here.
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