While everybody can agree the Chicago Bears will move on from Matt Nagy after the season ends in January, the real discussions have been on who could replace him. There are the hot offensive names out there like Josh McDaniels, Kellen Moore, and Byron Leftwich. Second-chance options like Doug Pederson and Jim Harbaugh as well. Most agree the selection must be with the success of quarterback Justin Fields taking priority.
That is what made ESPN insider Dan Graziano’s recent revelation so jarring. He and fellow colleague Jeremy Fowler covered the NFL’s coaching carousel in a recent article and boy it was packed with nuggets. Perhaps none bigger than the one saved for the Bears. According to Graziano, Nagy is all but gone as expected. When it comes to a replacement? There is a name floating out there, and it isn’t one a lot of fans were probably expecting.
“And speaking of that job, there’s a fair bit of smoke connecting Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier to Chicago. The question then would be who he would bring as offensive coordinator to oversee the development of Fields. Current Bills quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey could be a candidate, though he is also a candidate to get the Bills’ offensive coordinator job if the current holder of that job, Brian Daboll, gets a head-coaching job elsewhere.”
That is definitely a surprise.
Most Bears fans know Frazier as a formercornerback who was part of their iconic 1985 Super Bowl team. So he has navy blue and orange in his blood. That no doubt appeals to George McCaskey. Beyond that is a track record of proven success as a coach that stretches back 16 years. In his career, he’s produced a top 10 defense eight times with three different teams. That included three with his current one in Buffalo.
This also fits the criteria of what SM has heard since the beginning. That McCaskey wants somebody with head coaching experience. Frazier was the head coach for the Minnesota Vikings from 2011 to 2013. He made the playoffs in 2012 but overall had a record of 21-32. Some may accuse him of being the reason for that but when you have the likes of Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel as your quarterbacks? It’s hard to win games.
Leslie Frazier wouldn’t be an inspired choice
He could best be described as a safe one. The opposite of Nagy. Nothing flashy. Just a good, solid football coach. Given his success in Buffalo of late, he does deserve consideration. There are two issues though. Frazier is 62-years old. So his longevity must be called into question for such a demanding position. Then there is the obvious part. His defensive background. Some people will inevitably wonder if he has what it takes to develop Fields.
The good news on that front? He’s watched two other defensive-oriented head coaches do it successfully in the past. Marvin Lewis with Carson Palmer in Cincinnati and now Sean McDermott with Josh Allen in Buffalo. So he understands the necessary process of building a capable offensive staff. That and figuring out who he’ll be working with at GM. Ryan Pace might still be in play but if not, there are possible options.
Guys he has connections to.
There is Bills assistant GM Joe Schoen, Vikings co-director of player personnel Jamaal Stephenson, and Ravens director of player personnel Joe Hortiz to name a few. All come with proven track records. The familiarity with Frazier could make things flow much smoother when it comes to getting this roster fixed.
Either way, this is a fascinating development to continue watching. There are still five games left in the season. Leslie Frazier likely isn’t the only notable name on the Bears’ list. Minds can change fast in the NFL.