NFL insider sheds new light on why Frazier left Buffalo


In late February, the Buffalo Bills announced that defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier would not be back in 2023 and would return to coaching in 2024.

“I think my reasons for stepping away were the right reasons; I feel good about it,” Frazier told Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.

The perception is that Frazier, who has been coaching in the NFL since 1999, just needed a break.

“He doesn’t want to retire,” said Bills GM Brandon Beane in February. “He’s not there in his mind. But he just wanted to take a step back. So, 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.”

But according to former NFL GM Mike Lombardi, there is more to the story than Frazier just needing a break.

“This Leslie Frazier situation has kind of been pushed under the carpet,” Lombardi said on VSIN. “It’s really a bigger story than it was. (Sean) McDermott wanted to take over the (defensive) play-calling and because he wanted to take over the play-calling, Leslie Frazier, when he went there, was the (defensive) play-caller. Frazier’s like, ‘Look, that’s not the deal we had. If you want to take over the play-calling, I’m out, but you’re paying me. I’m not going to sit here and make money and watch you (McDermott) call the defense if I’m not.'”

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