Coordinator Frazier provides Bills calm, reassuring presence

ORCHARD PARK (N.Y.) -- Leslie Frazier, a man of many emotions, gathered his most difficult memories from growing up Black in America and shared them with Bills players after George Floyd's tragic death.

Coordinator Frazier provides Bills calm, reassuring presence

Coach Sean McDermott asked Buffalo's defensive coordinator for historical perspective and personal insight. This was in an effort to keep a multiracial team together in June 2020.

Frazier spoke from his heart.

Frazier shared his experiences as an 11-year old who had to change schools in Mississippi during desegregation. He also talked about how he managed to overcome the hate and enjoy the benefits of getting to know people different from him. Frazier also spoke about the time he was stopped by police while he was shopping in a Chicago suburb mall.

"It was a moment when you kind of know exactly where they are," Frazier said. This was because the players were angry just like our country. Frazier stated that somehow, we have to stay together, stressing that his message last year was not directed at one race but the whole group.

We didn't want our team to become divided by what's happening in the world. It could happen," he said. "And that was what i tried to convey to them, that despite all the chaos in the world, there is still one us."

Frazier, now 62 years old, was thrust into this role by the unexpected present. His experiences and his reassuring voice make him the ideal candidate for this moment. This is why he is respected by both his former and current players and is considered one of the most respected assistants in the NFL.

"That really opened up a lot of guys' eyes to see that we have a coach and one of our mentors, a buddy who lived it and is still reliving it today,'" defensive end Jerry Hughes stated. We just sit down and take in everything he says.

Frazier's former players were no exception.

Troy Vincent, a former safety and NFL executive, said that leadership is what makes the difference. Vincent was there when Frazier became a defensive backs coach in 1999.

You will start to see people sitting up when you give real-life examples. When you start to see heads move a bit forward, you realize that Coach didn't have the obligation to share this. He not only understands my feelings, but he also listens to me," he said.

Frazier is a powerful and commanding voice. It has been affectionately called the "Voice Of God."

It's not surprising that Bills safety Jordan Poyer and Vincent both recall times when Frazier would reassure them after they had given up a touchdown.

Vincent stated, "I just got my stomach whooped, and I returned to the sideline and he was like, "Hey, make this slight adjustment, and you'll make that play,"

Poyer retold a similar story almost word for word, crediting Frazier with "calm breeding calm."

Frazier's even-keeled nature has allowed him to enjoy a relatively stable NFL career. This includes a three-year stint as the Vikings head coach, from 2010-13. He is in his fifth year at Buffalo, his seventh NFL season.

After the Eagles' first collaboration, he was McDermott's first assistant. McDermott regards Frazier as his most trusted confidant.

McDermott stated that McDermott sees things differently than me because he didn't play in the league. McDermott said, "He's an African American in the business, and I am not. So mutual respect for each other that way."

Frazier's players would, in the meantime, run through a wall to support him. This was evident in a win over Houston of 40-0. In Week 4, Buffalo's defense dedicated this game to Frazier, after he failed last offseason to fill the Texans' head coaching vacancy.

Safety Micah Hyde stated that "Frazier, a helluva coach, and helluva person," he said. He would be a blessing to any league. This is my opinion. It was eye-opening for me that he didn't get the job.

Frazier didn't know the motivation of his unit until Hyde entered,

Frazier said that Micah approached me and grabbed me, hugging me, and then went, "Man, and they turned your down coach?" "And I replied, "I'm in the right spot." It was a good feeling that Micah and other players felt this way.

Frazier is being mentioned once more as a candidate for head coaching. His name was most recently linked to Chicago, where Matt Nagy is currently in serious doubt.

"Leslie's ready. McDermott stated that McDermott was disappointed that he wasn't able to get one of these jobs last year.

Vincent said, "The time has come." He also noted that Vincent's support for Frazier is not based on his skin color or how the NFL continues its laggard in hiring minorities to the top coaching positions.

"Forget color. Put the tape on. Vincent asked, "Is the group performing?" Vincent spoke October about a unit that has been ranked first in NFL for the 11 consecutive weeks in terms of the most yards allowed. It was second and third in 2018 & '19, respectively.

Frazier dismissed questions about his future, saying that his only focus is on Buffalo's next match.

He said, "You can just trust that everything will turn out as they should." "If I never become a head coach, it'll be fine. It's true, I have had a great career."

This might be true for Buddy Ryan, who was a Chicago player, Andy Reid, Jim Johnson, and Tony Dungy, in Indianapolis. He also won a Super Bowl as both a coach and player.

Frazier offered a glimpse behind his calm demeanour when he said he doesn't seem to sweat.

Frazier stated, "The fire is burning." It's under the chest cavity and burning, but it's there.

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