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Buffalo Bills’ Leslie Frazier to take 2023 season off from coaching

The Bills will need a new defensive play-caller for the 2023 season, and perhaps beyond

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills announced on Tuesday morning that assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier will be taking the year off from coaching in 2023.

Frazier, who will turn 64 in April, has been Buffalo’s defensive play-caller for the past six seasons working under head coach Sean McDermott. No replacement defensive play-caller has yet been named by the Bills. The team did say, nebulously, that Frazier plans to return for the 2024 season, but no hard claims were made about where he’d be coaching.

The Bills also announced the previously reported coaching hires of Al Holcomb as senior defensive assistant, and Adam Henry as wide receivers coach. Holcomb, who has worked with McDermott previously as a member of the Carolina Panthers’ coaching staff, immediately becomes a candidate to take up Frazier’s mantle as the defensive play-caller, having done so previously for both the Panthers and the Arizona Cardinals.

Other internal candidates who could potentially take the reins as play-caller this season include senior defensive assistant and defensive line coach Eric Washington, defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator John Butler, or linebackers coach Bobby Babich. McDermott himself could also assume those duties, as he has for brief periods of time during his run as Bills head coach.