Under new rules adopted earlier this year by the NFL, assistant coaches can now interview for head coaching vacancies with two weeks left in the regular season. That window has just opened for teams around the league, and both of the Buffalo Bills’ coordinators could get strong looks this offseason.
Defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazier was a finalist for the Houston Texans a year ago, has led a top unit in the NFL this season and for the last several years, and has previous head coaching experience. His calm demeanor and reputation as a leader of men make him a stabilizing option for a team in chaos.
Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll was a hot name in last year’s search after Josh Allen exploded as an MVP candidate, and he’s sure to get looks again this offseason. He has a strong coaching pedigree with the Bills, New England Patriots, and the University of Alabama and would seem to fit with a team looking to mold a young quarterback. That’s most of the teams that will be hiring this cycle.
For his part, head coach Sean McDermott spoke glowingly of both of them on Monday when asked by reporters.
“I would welcome those opportunities for those men,” McDermott said. “They’ve done a phenomenal job for us here in Buffalo. I would give them my highest recommendations. I want nothing but the best for those guys.”
Coaches can interview now but they can’t officially accept the job until after their current team’s season is over. There are windows of time when the coaches can and can’t be asked to interview in addition to how many times each prospective employer can conduct an interview.
The Bills have had some experience losing talent from the front office over the last few years. Brian Gaine was hired away from the front office to be the general manager over the Houston Texans in 2018. Dan Morgan was hired by the Carolina Panthers as assistant general manager this past offseason.
It’s one of the things Bills’ fans haven’t had to worry about in a long time. The team’s last coordinator hired to be a head coach in the NFL was Mike Pettine, who went from a solid defensive coordinator to the Cleveland Browns’ top job for two seasons in 2014 and 2015.