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Should Leslie Frazier Be The Favorite To Be Bears’ Next HC?

  • The Draft Network
  • December 9, 2021
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Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy is, obviously, on the hot seat. In fact, his seat is boiling. It’s probably more accurate to describe it as nuclear. Atomic. Whatever the hottest of hot is, that’s the temperature of Nagy’s chair. And if you thought it couldn’t get worse for the fourth-year coach, it’s about to. The Bears travel to Green Bay to take on the Packers in front of a national television audience on Sunday night, and if they lose as badly as expected, that hot seat may finally explode.

I wrote a piece a few weeks ago about the top potential replacements for Nagy when it became a foregone conclusion that he’s a proverbial dead man walking. And while those names remain quality options for this Bears team, it’s possible Chicago will go in a different direction and not target the up-and-coming coordinator who’s searching for his first head coaching gig. Instead, the Bears may decide to hire a proven leader with head coaching experience; a guy who will pick an innovative offensive mind to run the offense and an aggressive defensive personality to maintain the Monsters of the Midway reputation.

According to ESPN, a name being connected to Chicago is a former Bears player and current Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator, Leslie Frazier.

“There's a fair bit of smoke connecting Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier to Chicago,” wrote ESPN’s Dan Graziano. “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. Daboll remains high on the list of candidates expected to get interviews this time around, as he was last year.”

Frazier would make a ton of sense, wouldn’t he? He has experience as a head coach in the NFC North from his time with the Minnesota Vikings from 2010-13, and while his record during that stretch wasn’t great (21-32-1), he did lead the Vikings to a 10-win season and second-place finish in the NFC North in 2012. It was the biggest single-season turnaround in Vikings franchise history.

Frazier would be a familiar face in Chicago, too, having played for the Bears from 1981-1985. He led the Bears’ 1985 Super Bowl team with six interceptions, so if Chicago wants a coach with instant credibility in the city, Frazier seems like an obvious choice.

Hiring a coach like Frazier would fly in the face of the popular trend of targeting the 30-something demographic. Frazier, 62, represents more of an old-school hire (no pun intended); a been there, done that guy who’d command respect based on his experience and track record in the league. He’s served under some of the best coaches in league history—Andy Reid and Tony Dungy. Now, as the assistant head coach of the Bills, he’s back in the mix for a second run at a head coaching gig.

Sometimes, it’s better to go with a known commodity than to roll the dice on an unproven coaching prospect. We’re seeing that playing out in Chicago right now. Nagy was that guy, the offensive guru who was supposed to be capable of revolutionizing an offense. It feels safe to say the Bears learned the hard way that he’s not that guy.

Frazier isn’t a coaching ‘prospect.’ He isn’t a guy who’s enjoyed a season or two of favorable analytics and is a projection moving forward. He’s a football player turned football coach who’s been around the league for a very long time. He’s been part of several winning programs, including the only Super Bowl win in Chicago.

Hiring Frazier to replace Nagy wouldn’t be a headline-grabbing or overly exciting decision, but it’s exactly what the Bears need at this point in their rebuild with a young superstar quarterback ready to take off. A stabilizing presence like Frazier can steer the franchise through the highs and lows while his coordinators do the rest. 

Leslie Frazier, head coach of the Chicago Bears. It sorta sounds right, doesn’t it?

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