ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Buffalo Bills will be without Leslie Frazier in the 2023 season.
It was announced Tuesday morning that the team’s defensive coordinator and assistant head coach would be taking a year off from coaching, planning to return in 2024.
Like head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane, Frazier joined the Bills in 2017. He previously spent time with the Ravens, Buccaneers, Vikings, Colts, Bengals and Eagles.
Prior to the start of his coaching career, Frazier was on the field as a Chicago Bears defensive back between 1981-86.
In addition to this, the Bills announced four other coaching staff changes:
- Austin Gund named offensive assistant/offensive line coach
- Adam Henry named wide receivers coach
- Al Holcomb named senior defensive assistant
- Kyle Shurmur named offensive quality control coach
During a Tuesday press conference at the NFL Draft Combine in Indianapolis, Beane addressed Frazier’s decision to step away.
“Leslie reached out and just talked through some things,” Beane said. “Ultimately, he doesn’t want to retire, he’s not there in his mind, but he just wanted to take a step back. The way we left it, he’s going to take 2023 off, but talking to him, he has full plans to return to coaching in 2024.”
While Frazier does plan to return to the sidelines after this upcoming season, it’s unclear if that will be in Buffalo.
“I don’t know that yet,” Beane said of bringing Frazier back in 2024. “We’re just going to take this year off and let this year be and cross that in 2024.”
The loss of Frazier creates a sizable hole at defensive coordinator, and Beane was unsure about what will be done to fill it at this time. He mentioned that if Frazier did not opt to step away, he would’ve been the team’s defensive coordinator in 2023.
“Still working through what we would do,” Beane said. “I feel like we’ve got some really good minds in there [on the defensive coaching staff], adding Sean in there as well I’m sure he’ll be even more hands-on at this point. If Sean decided to take over the play-calling, I’ve seen him do it for a long time with great success … If that’s the route he feels is best for us, I’m going to support that.”
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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.