Getting to know the Bears head coach candidates: Leslie Frazier


A full house cleaning is underway at Halas Hall. Three football seasons have passed since Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace won accolades for their efforts in leading the 2018 Chicago Bears to a 12-4 record and the NFC North title, and now is the time for the franchise to find its feet. substitutes.

Despite this team’s problems, the positions of head coach and general manager are in high demand. And with Hall of Fame Super Bowl-winning Bill Polian lending a hand, the Bears are in a position to make some impact hires. Over the days, weeks, or however long it takes, we’ll dive into the best candidates available, including their story, what they schematically offer, how they fit in culturally, where they can take this team, and more. again. Let’s do it.

Former Head Coach Candidates: Doug Pederson, Nathaniel Hackett, Brian Daboll, Brian Flores, Matt Eberflus, Dan Quinn, Byron Leftwich

Previous candidates for the position of general manager: Glenn Cook, Jeff Ireland, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Ran Carthon, Joe Schoen (Joined by NYG on 01/21), Eliot Wolf, Omar Khan, Morocco Brown

Name, current team and position

Leslie Frazier, Buffalo Bills assistant head coach/defensive coordinator (2017-present)

Relevant experience

• Secondary coach of the Baltimore Ravens (2016)

• Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator (2014-15)

• Minnesota Vikings head coach (2011-13), interim head coach (2010), assistant head coach (2008-10), defensive coordinator (2007-10)

• Indianapolis Colts assistant head coach/defensive backs coach (2006), defensive assistant (2005)

• Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator (2003-04)

• Philadelphia Eagles defensive backs coach (1999-2002)

After parting ways with Nagy, it shouldn’t be surprising to see the Bears take it upon themselves to interview candidates who already have head coaching experience. But Frazier has more than that going for him. Frazier has one of the most extensive resumes of any Bears head coach candidate. His coaching career includes stints at seven different franchises, four stops as a defensive coordinator, three trips as a defensive backs coach and twice as an assistant head coach.

We do not know the precise parameters of Bears research. But we know their story of zagging after zagging. So it makes sense that Frazier would have four former head coaches interviewed for Chicago’s best coaching gig.

Existing Rumors and Bear Links

In addition to his time coaching the rival Vikings, Frazier has a deep familiarity with the Bears due to his playing career in Chicago. Frazier was a standout corner for the Super Bowl XX champions. Even though he only played 65 games in a five-year career, his run from 1983 to 1985 was elite. Three years, 43 games, 18 interceptions, 343 return yards on those picks and two touchdowns. No wonder he is looked upon fondly at Halas Hall.

Adding to that history, Frazier has been on the Bears coaching radar for much of this winter. His name was presented as a head coach candidate twice in December. And 11 days after requesting an interview with Frazier, the Bears finally managed to lock one up.

Potential adjustment

Hey, that might work…

The Last Jedi is the eighth (and arguably most polarizing) chapter in the Star Wars saga. But one thing I took away from it were the many applicable life lessons. Among them, there is one that makes sense in this place.

Yoda’s “greatest teacher, failure is” line to Luke Skywalker is perfect. Bears fans who have seen Frazier’s failures as a head coach at Minnesota might see that as reason enough not to list him as a strong contender. But there is one reality in which Frazier has learned from his mistakes. Frazier’s last two saves have been in Baltimore and Buffalo. Who’s to say Frazier hasn’t learned a few things coaching Sean McDermott and John Harbaugh?

And if he can apply what he’s learned, then there’s a real chance that Frazier will get the most out of another coaching move.

OK, maybe it’s not the right one…

We all dream of them being like Bill Belichick, but not all second chance coach candidates are the same. And while NFL history is full of great stories from second chances, there are plenty of examples of those opportunities revealing why things didn’t go so well in the first place. And if that were to happen in Chicago, it could taint the positive memories Bears fans have of Frazier as a player.

Granted, it’s not a draw, but I remember Alan Trammel getting a managerial job with the Tigers. Trammel was a Hall of Famer Detroit legend. But he was also in the manager’s chair for the team’s 119-game losing streak. And this has long embittered the fans. Trammel’s story is a cautionary tale for coaches who want homecoming stories.

At the end …

Frazier’s career arc makes me believe he’s due for another shot. He’s paid his dues, is back in the conversation, and the time seems right. NFL teams recruited fewer candidates and gave them jobs while coaches like Frazier waited their turn. And with those many openings, there might be a team that would make a nice landing for Frazier.

I just don’t think the Bears — in their current situation — are that team. Not with so many heavy lifting to do on both sides of the ball. Not just in attack, where it’s obvious. But also defensively where changes seem to be looming from a personal point of view. And at 62, a former Bears Stud cornerback probably deserves a better landing spot than inheriting the mess Nagy and Pace left behind.


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