The Chicago Bears are casting a wide net in their general manager and head coaching search.
One of the first names the Chicago Bears requested to interview was Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator and former Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier.
Frazier should be familiar to Chicago Bears fans as he was the starting cornerback on the 1985 Super Bowl Championship team. He, unfortunately, tore up his knee in that memorable game in New Orleans and never played another down of football again.
The former Bears player and Vikings head coach is considered a front runner to be the next Bears’ head coach.
His fellow Bills co-worker, offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, already interviewed causing Fraizer’s interview to be pushed back to sometime this week.
Maybe Daboll is taking the lead in the race. Plus, Frazier is not exactly the most exciting candidate out there. I mean there really is not a lot of excitement for Frazier.
Let’s take a deep dive at the possible next Chicago Bears head football coach.
Defensive philosophy and scheme
Frazier has been schooled in the 4-3 defensive base scheme. He likes to mix in the Cover 2 defense he learned under Tony Dungy along with being aggressive in his blitz calls to make the quarterback uncomfortable. In addition, getting takeaways is a big staple of his defenses.
He is a mix of Dungy and the legendary Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson. The need to get takeaways was molded during his Chicago Bears playing days when played for one of the best defensive coordinators of all time in Buddy Ryan. Frazier led the famed Bears’ 1985 defense in interceptions.
If the Bears hire Frazier, that will mean going back to getting players to fit the 4-3 scheme. Currently, the Bears defensive personnel is fit for a 3-4 base scheme. It might be worth it as Frazier was listed as one of the best defensive play-callers by Pro Football Focus as recently as 2020.
Let’s look into his path that shaped Frazier as a coach.
Frazier’s early coaching days in college…
Leslie Frazier’s coaching career started at Trinity International University back in 1988 when he became their head coach at 29. He literally built the program from scratch. He went 38-37-3 at the small university in the Chicago suburbs.
He had four winning seasons during his time running the program. His best season as a head coach came in 1993 when Trinity went 8-2. Frazier left such an impact on the program that the school plays its games on a field that uses his name.
Frazier left Trinity after the 1996 season to join former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator, Ron Turner, at the University of Illinois.
He was in Champaign, Illinois during Turner’s first two head coaching seasons as the defensive backs coach working under defensive coordinator Tim Kish. Those were some tough seasons as Turner rebuilt Illinois. The Illini went 3-19 while Frazier was there.
Illinois defensive backs had 22 interceptions in that span. Illinois allowed 207 passing yards a game in 1997 and 218 yards in 1998.