Leslie Frazier says he’s headed to Tampa as defensive coordinator


It’s been an interesting few days for Leslie Frazier.

He was fired as the head coach of the Vikings on Monday, called a coward by former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe on Thursday and ended the week by getting a new job. Josina Anderson of ESPN reports that Frazier told her that he is “headed to Tampa” to be the new defensive coordinator for the Buccaneers.

Frazier was mentioned as a possibility for the coordinator position shortly after Smith was reported as Tampa’s choice to replace Greg Schiano. Cowboys defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, who worked with Smith in Chicago, was also mentioned in relation to the job, but there was some question as to whether the Cowboys would approve a move to Tampa.

That appears to be a moot point now. Frazier worked as an assistant under Tony Dungy in Indianapolis, so there’s plenty of familiarity with the Cover 2 scheme that Smith, who worked for Dungy in Tampa, prefers to run.

He joins offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford as members of Smith’s first staff as the head coach in Tampa.

109 responses to “Leslie Frazier says he’s headed to Tampa as defensive coordinator

  1. If Lovie and Co can right the ship in Tampa (pun intended, Pirates) and The Falcons can return to form…watch out for the NFC South to be as competitive and the NFC West.

  2. Ah, Leslie Frazier and Lovie Smith together in the land of zero personality. I can take a wild guess where Hard Knocks won’t be filmed next year.

    How does a defensive coach, with one of (if not) the worst defenses in his franchises history, given the keys to the defense. Sorry Tampa, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, and Matt Ryan will pick apart your cover 2 defense for the foreseeable future.

  3. As a Viking fan I am happy for Leslie Frazier. He is a first class person and I am sure he will do well as the Bucs new DC.

  4. Good for Leslie. He may have made some moves in Minnesota that were questionable but I do believe he is a good person and deserves the best.

  5. This suggests to me that Marinelli will replace skiff in as DC in Dallas once Kiffin is finally convinced that if he does not retire he’ll be fired. Can’t see him getting another DC job in any of the other remaining HC openings as I don’t see any other Cover 2 coaches out there to be named as HC anywhere.

  6. Good to see Dungy’s old crew assembling in Tampa. I think the fans will react well after being divided over Morris and Schiano for a few years.

  7. Congrats leslie, wont find a higher quality human being. class act, and was a decent DC while her in MN. Bucs Def. is gonna be much better under Smith, and Frazier.. congrats…

  8. i’m one of the few vikings fans who seems to like frazier. i can see this going one of two ways, however.

    1) mevis excels in a cover 2 scheme

    2) mevis is terrible in a cover 2 scheme, and asks to get released/traded.

    i don’t think he is particularly well suited to play zone.

    just my 2 cents.

  9. Frazier is a good guy and a good coach who was handed a very tough quarterback situation thanks to upper management. I know he’ll succeed in Tampa (especially if he ends up getting Jadaveon Clowney to lead the pass rush) and I hope he gets another crack at head coaching with a more stable quarterback situation.

  10. So… The Vikings defense was one of the worst in the league for several years under Frazier and now he’s….
    Becoming a defensive coordinator. Yah. The NFL is run by geniuses.

  11. Glad to see Leslie land on his feet. He’s a good man and a good coach. As a Vikings fan, I wish him nothing but the best. (And he is no coward.)

  12. I wish him well — sincerely. I don’t think he’s seen his last days as a head coach yet.

  13. Is this some kind of joke? Want the good news or the bad news?
    There is no bad news.
    Got fired from Minnesota and have to move to Tampa Bay in January!

  14. Leslie is a class act and he joins a long list of Vikings coaches that will have left the organization and gone on to be very successful. Unfortunately the list is entirely too long. Truth is that Priefer should have every chance to coach this team next year. He has the “it” factor, knows football, is a strategist and can hire correctly around him but most of all he knows damn well where to begin and hopefully can talk the Wilfs into seeing that they guy who just chose him as head coach should be the next one to go.

  15. Great for Frazier. I still don’t understand why the DC and OC for Minnesota have not been let go yet. Scratching my head but then again, Spielman is still around and something tells me he going to play this coaching search out to where Minnesota gets the guy left standing that no one else wanted which he’ll hire for a cheap price and like Peterson, the young players will be old and the Vikings will still be trying to figure it out.

  16. One thing about Lovie, he loves hiring ex-head coaches. I think he had 1 year with the Bears like 5 head coaches working with him. Guess it’s a good thing with all that experience.

    Don’t know about Minnesota that Lovies likes so much. He hired Mike Tice as his offensive coordinator and now Leslie Frazier as head defense.


  17. Good to hear. Whether he seemed to be overwhelmed as a head coach, or he just didn’t have defensive talent; he’s a good man and a helluva defensive coordinator

    Minnesota’s D ranked in the top 10 all three years he was the coordinator. Glad to see him get another gig.

  18. Solid hire. Lovie’s really the only one who’s run an effective version of a Cover-2 base lately– he makes it work because they make turnovers not just a philosophy or an emphasis, but a religion. With a solid DC and a number of pieces already in place on that side of the ball, Smith should be able to replicate a lot of Chicago’s defensive success. The real question remains whether Tedford can provide the offensive success that eluded a series of coordinators in Chicago, or develop a legit franchise QB. Either way, though, Lovie and the new staff should at the very least bring the professionalism and competitiveness that were so sorely lacking in Tampa under that clown Schiano.

  19. That is potentially one impressive staff. I guess my question is, can 2 guys that were head coaches put egos aside and answer to Lovie? Lovie. Still can’t get over a Lovie and a Leslie on the same staff. 😉

  20. My first thought was that Leslie should probably step away from the game for awhile to get some focus. Then I remembered he coached the Vikings so I guess he’s been away from the pro level for a few years already. Tampa should be a good fit for him.

  21. I think is a good hire for Tampa. He is a decent coach. Though I hate the stupid Tampa 2. It is out dated and just doesn’t work anymore. I laughed playing the Vikings because this defensive scheme doesn’t work.

  22. This is the thing about Lovie, he is hiring all his old-school friends as usual. Remember the Mike Tice and Mike Martz offenses? I do.

  23. I never really thought Marinelli was a real candidate for the job. He’s probably still ticked off at the Glazers for not letting Joe Barry leave when he got the Lions job.

  24. Man Tampa making all the right moves. Order of bizness quarterback starter or good backup. Pass rusher, solid #2 cornerback , and a solid #3 speed receiver. Playoff bound if all bizness is meet.

  25. I don’t know what Kluwe’s problem is-

    Oh wait, yes I do. He’s a liberal progressive and as such he feels justified in verbally attacking others while being as vulgar and classless as one can be.

    I’ve had strong opinions, I’ve been an activist but I quickly came to realize that not everyone I encountered was as passionate as I was over certain things. The last thing you want to do is insult and harass people when you’re trying to change the way the world looks at things.

  26. Perhaps a Tampa Bay special teams player will get to the bottom of Frazier’s thinking on evolutionary biology?

    Wouldn’t that also be swell?

  27. good luck Frazier.
    I would’ve thought a defensive desperate “team,” example: cheesebay, would have picked you up asap.

  28. Leslie with Lovie? The men with deer in the headlights look together?? This should be interesting.

    And the Bucs thought they were going backwards with Schiano? I look forward to the train wreck that will be the 2014 Bucs.

    After 30 turnovers in 2006 prior to the Super Bowl, “Rex is our Quaterback. Rex is our Quateraback” -Lovie 2008: Rex is no longer his QB and Lovie still cost the Bears a Super Bowl.

    After Lovie got the Bears smoked as the #2 seed at home by Steve Smith & the Panthers… “Cover 2 is our defense.” “Cover 2 is our defense”

    Forget the fact that it is 2014 and the fact great that coaches adjust game to game and quarter to quarter. Belichick has switched from a 3-4 to 4-3 to sub packages more in week 17 than Lovie Smith has in 15 years.

    You keep staying with that Cover 2 Lovie. And enjoy Leslie.

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

  29. Good for Les Frazier. Sorry it didn’t work out for him as the head coach of my favorite team, but he’s headed for better things with Lovie Smith at Tampa.

  30. I personally think he got a bit of a bad shake in Minn.

    He didn’t prove he’s a great coach and surely made some errors, but you cannot win in the NFL without a QB.

    Good luck in Tampa and I hope he gets another shot at HC in a few years.

  31. Gruden will take the Bucs job once Lovie has created the super bowl caliber team. Only to take credit for building the team.

  32. Cool with that. Maybe Marinelli comes this/next year as Assist.to the HC. Keep up that good stuff, GoBucs

  33. Tampa is going to be one of the most stale defensive programs/schemes with them running more than likely, the Tampa 2…which confounds no one at this point. I’m not entirely sure they’ve got the personnel to run it effectively. Warren Sapp isn’t walking through that door…

    On top of that, they’ve got one of the best cover corners and if they use that scheme, what…they’re going to put Revis in zone coverage?

    No other word for it comes to mind than “stale”.

  34. congrats, you shouldn’t have been fired in the first place, spielman put you in an impossible situation to win with ponder

  35. He’ll do well as a defensive coordinator. I’m don’t know that the quarterback fiasco was all his fault.

  36. This guy scares me.. He was dumb enough to pick up Freeman and start him then wised up and benched him the rest of the season. One should always learn from ones mistakes, however, stupid is as stupid does and that pattern will not bode well for us… Has he learned his lesson or will he be in Lovie’s war lobbying to bring in the next Brian Bozworth (a defensive equivalent to Freeman on every level)

  37. I never thought Lovie was a good head coach. Frazier neither so now the Bucks have jumped on two guys who failed at coaching and expect them to turn things around. Hum?

  38. What a terrible hire. Leslie will bring his awful, outdated cover 2 with him and by week 3 next year Tampa fans will calling for his head.

  39. As a Bears fan can tell the TB fans that you will certainly have a stellar D with Lovie Smith at the helm. But unfortunately you will struggle on offense with him simply because Lovie has a terrible judge of OC characters. So count on your D being amazing, though.

  40. not really sure about this one. when he was with the vikings, he coached stellar defensive lines, but horriffic secondaries. and all that was related to personnel the vikings had…so…who knows.

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