As many of you may know, Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier is up for a couple head coaching jobs. Frazier has brought remarkable consistency to our secondary during his time in Buffalo, and deserves massive credit. If he leaves, it’s because he’s earned the opportunity, and his body of work for the Bills demonstrates that well. He may not go anywhere. Regardless, we must be ready. Below is a list of various candidates from both within the franchise and around the NFL.
John Butler – Buffalo Bills DB Coach
Butler is to the defense what Ken Dorsey is to the offense… Crucial. The importance of his work since joining the Bills as defensive backs coach in 2018 cannot be overstated. Tre’Davious White, Jordan Poyer, and Micah Hyde all earned All-Pro selections during his tenure. The Buffalo secondary has excelled in every aspect. He is beloved by his players and a natural fit for the organization. There’s no reasonable candidates that deserve the promotion more than him. He will be a defensive coordinator eventually, the only question is when.
Bob Babich – Buffalo Bills LB Coach
Babich has been effective as the Bills’ linebacker coach. A key figure in the development of Matt Milano, his extensive history with the position dates back to 1985. His specialization in the LB position could alter our defensive scheme, as we typically run with five defensive backs and only two linebackers. But we may not have the personnel to make that work right away. The promotion would be indicative of a major change in defensive ideology. His hiring would be dependent on the retention of John Butler; a knowledgeable hand in the secondary would be a necessary assistant.
Greg Williams – Arizona Cardinals CB Coach
Despite low expectations after the loss of Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals’ secondary overperformed and it’s largely due to Williams. He’s gotten above-average seasons out of a whole host of mediocre to bad players, and would be a stellar hire if we lost John Butler. Though an uncommon candidate, Williams moved quickly upwards since the beginning of his coaching career, with a wide range of jobs across the country. His resume is expansive, and his experience would likely benefit our defense greatly. If he’s joining Buffalo, our elite secondary would likely maintain it’s current pedigree, which should be a priority of this offseason.
Larry Foote – Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Coach
A former player turned coach, Foote won two Super Bowl titles with the Pittsburgh Steelers before he moved into coaching with the Arizona Cardinals. Bruce Arians brought him to Tampa Bay in 2019, and his impact has been notable. The linebacker core is a controversial area of this Bills defense, and if he could maintain our strengths whilst elevating the play of our LBs, then we could see huge dividends as early as next season. Foote is something of a boom-or-bust candidate, but he’s worth considering.
Al Holcomb – Carolina Panthers Defensive Run Game Coordinator
The Panthers-Bills pipeline is alive and well, as Holcomb has familiarity with McDermott and Beane from their time together in Carolina. He has a variety of experience dealing with the front seven. Were he to fill the shoes of Frazier, he could be expected to focus heavily on defensive line play. He’s done good work, as his area of the Carolina defense has excelled despite limited personnel this season. Al is a competent coordinator with 25 years of defensive coaching experience and a reasonable hire.
For the offensive side of things, check out these potential replacements for Brian Daboll.