Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier has been head coach Sean McDermott's right-hand man when it's come to making the Bills defense one of the league's best units. In recognition of his strong expertise and execution with his players, McDermott gave Frazier the additional title of Assistant head coach on Wednesday.
"Upon taking the job in Buffalo, it was important to me to add a coach with previous head coaching experience like Leslie," McDermott said. "His fingerprints are all over our operation and I'm extremely grateful for all the years we have worked together. Leslie's impact on our team is felt every day through his guidance, wisdom, and his genuine care for people. He is a great example to everyone within our organization."
The steward of Buffalo's defense for the past three seasons, Frazier has led the unit to a pair of top five finishes the last two seasons. This past season the Bills defense ranked third in the NFL overall, 10th against the run, fourth against the pass and second in points allowed.
They also had top 10 rankings in first downs allowed, (6th), third down defense (7th), total takeaways (9th) and sacks (10th).
To find top 10 rankings in that many categories you have to go all the way back to Buffalo's number one defense in '99.
"I'm definitely pleased and honored that Sean along with Kim and Terry would feel moved to place that title alongside my name," said Frazier. "I don't know how much it changes my role. I feel like Sean and I communicate on so many things regarding our team. I just appreciate that our ownership along with our head coach felt the desire to put that title next to my name. Just very appreciative."
Despite Frazier's success the past two seasons, the defensive coordinator has not been able to garner any interest the past two offseasons for any vacant head coaching opportunities in the league. He did interview for the Indianapolis Colts head coaching position after the 2017 season.
Frazier maintains his focus in 2020 is on perfecting Buffalo's defensive unit, but he does appreciate how his new title could indicate to those outside the organization that his role goes far deeper than just running the Bills defense.
"It definitely highlights that my role here goes beyond just being the defensive coordinator," said Frazier. "What message it sends to owners I'm not all together sure, but it helps illuminate what my role is here in Buffalo."
Other assistants earn promotions
In addition to Frazier, four other assistants on the Bills staff earned promotions.
Offensive quality control coach Marc Lubick was promoted to Assistant wide receivers coach/game management. Defensive assistant Jim Salgado was promoted to Nickel coach. Offensive assistant Shea Tierney was named Assistant QBs coach and coaching assistant Ryan Wendell was named Assistant offensive line coach.