The Chicago Bears interviewed Leslie Frazier for their head coaching vacancy. Here’s what to know about the Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator.

The Chicago Bears have reached out to at least 15 general manager and 11 coaching candidates for interviews. As they go through the process, we’re looking at each of the prospects.

Leslie Frazier interviewed for the head coaching position Friday, the team announced.

Leslie Frazier

Age: 62

Title: Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator

Experience

Frazier has been coaching in the NFL since 1999, including a stint as the Minnesota Vikings head coach which began on an interim basis for the final six games of the 2010 season. Frazier was then hired full-time and coached the Vikings for the next three seasons, posting a 21-32-1 record during that span. In the eight years since, he has spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills. He has been the Bills defensive coordinator and assistant head coach under Sean McDermott since 2017.

You should know

Under Frazier’s watch, the Bills defense led the NFL in total yardage allowed during the regular season (272.8 per game). The Bills also tied for third with 30 takeaways, finishing in the top 10 of that category for the fifth consecutive season.

Chicago connection

Frazier entered the NFL with the Bears as an undrafted defensive back out of Alcorn State in 1981 and was an invaluable piece in the vaunted defense that coordinator Buddy Ryan built. During the Bears’ iconic 1985 season, Frazier recorded a team-high six interceptions and finished in the top 10 in the league in that category as the Bears recorded 61 takeaways and held opponents to 12.4 points per game. Frazier tore his ACL during a trick punt return in Super Bowl XX and never played again.

What’s been said: “Leslie is special. With his connection to the Bears and knowing that city, the organization and the mentality there, I don’t know how you couldn’t give him serious consideration. … Les knows how to galvanize people. He brings players together. And he has always had a good vision for how to get the most out of people.” — Hall of Fame coach and NBC analyst Tony Dungy

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News

      

Dolphins lose receiver Kirk Merritt to New Orleans Saints

One of the Miami Dolphins’ top practice squad performers has signed with his hometown team.

Kirk Merritt, who spent two years blossoming on the Dolphins’ developmental unit, has signed a futures contract with the New Orleans Saints, joining the NFL franchise he grew up rooting for as a Louisiana native.

The Dolphins, who are searching for a new head coach after firing Brian Flores last week, have been in the process of re-signing some of the team’s practice squad players.

Tailback Gerrid Doaks, receiver Cody Core, cornerback Javaris Davis, offensive tackles Adam Pankey and Kion Smith. and defensive back Quincy Wilson have signed with the Dolphins to futures contracts.

Merritt was one of Miami’s top performers during training camp, and he contributed in three games his first two seasons.

Practice squad players become unrestricted free agents at the end of the season, and signing futures contracts, which are minimum-salary-based deals, virtually allows them to train with an organization in the offseason. However, it doesn’t guarantee a training camp spot.

Regardless of who is named Miami’s next coach, it is likely the team will infuse an arsenal of new receivers.

Jaylen Waddle, the Dolphins’ 2021 first-round pick who led the team with 104 receptions for 1,015 yards and seven touchdowns, DeVante Parker, a seven-year starter, Allen Hurns, Lynn Bowden Jr., who spent all of 2021 on injured reserve, and Core are the only receivers under contract in 2022.

And considering Parker and Hurns’ contracts are voidable, it is possible that they could be released to create more cap space. Parker is slated to earn $5.75 million, and another $500,000 in per-games-played bonuses. Hurns, who spent all last season on injured reserve because of a hand injury he suffered in training camp, could earn $2,575,000 if he makes the 53-man roster, with another $600,000 in per-games-played bonuses.

If the Dolphins released Parker, who has started 64 of 93 games, it would potentially clear $3.55 million in cap space. Releasing Hurns would create nearly $3.2 million in cap space.

The Dolphins already have a league-high $74 million in cap space to work with this offseason, but the franchise has numerous avenues available to create another $20 million-plus of cap space to spend on free agents and re-sign their own free agents.

Will Fuller, a free agent added last offseason who only played in two games, Albert Wilson, who started five games last season, Isaiah Ford, Mack Hollins and Preston Williams are the receivers expected …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

      

The Chicago Bears interviewed Leslie Frazier for their head coaching vacancy. Here’s what to know about the Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator.

The Chicago Bears have reached out to at least 15 general manager and 11 coaching candidates for interviews. As they go through the process, we’re looking at each of the prospects.

Leslie Frazier interviewed for the head coaching position Friday, the team announced.

Leslie Frazier

Age: 62

Title: Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator

Experience

Frazier has been coaching in the NFL since 1999, including a stint as the Minnesota Vikings head coach which began on an interim basis for the final six games of the 2010 season. Frazier was then hired full-time and coached the Vikings for the next three seasons, posting a 21-32-1 record during that span. In the eight years since, he has spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills. He has been the Bills defensive coordinator and assistant head coach under Sean McDermott since 2017.

You should know

Under Frazier’s watch, the Bills defense led the NFL in total yardage allowed during the regular season (272.8 per game). The Bills also tied for third with 30 takeaways, finishing in the top 10 of that category for the fifth consecutive season.

Chicago connection

Frazier entered the NFL with the Bears as an undrafted defensive back out of Alcorn State in 1981 and was an invaluable piece in the vaunted defense that coordinator Buddy Ryan built. During the Bears’ iconic 1985 season, Frazier recorded a team-high six interceptions and finished in the top 10 in the league in that category as the Bears recorded 61 takeaways and held opponents to 12.4 points per game. Frazier tore his ACL during a trick punt return in Super Bowl XX and never played again.

What’s been said: “Leslie is special. With his connection to the Bears and knowing that city, the organization and the mentality there, I don’t know how you couldn’t give him serious consideration. … Les knows how to galvanize people. He brings players together. And he has always had a good vision for how to get the most out of people.” — Hall of Fame coach and NBC analyst Tony Dungy

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News

      

Could ex-Dolphins coach Brian Flores return home to New York? Giants hire former Miami exec as GM

Could a return home to New York be in store for former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores?

The New York Giants are expected to interview Flores, according to an ESPN Friday report. Flores, a Brooklyn native, has already been interviewed by the Chicago Bears for their head coaching vacancy and is a name that has been mentioned in connection to the Houston Texans’ opening, as well.

Flores was fired on Jan. 10 after three seasons with the Dolphins, when the team went 24-25. His dismissal was a surprise around the NFL as he took over a roster devoid of talent in 2019 and squeezed five wins out of the team before then producing back-to-back winning seasons in 2020 and 2021. Dolphins owner Steve Ross attributed the decision to Flores’ methods of communication and collaboration within the organization.

The Dolphins have since lined up at least seven known interviews: Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel, Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph and Los Angeles Rams running backs coach Thomas Brown. The latest of those interviews — with Joseph and Brown — are wrapping up on Friday, according to NFL Network.

Frazier, Quinn and Joseph have previous head coaching experience. Daboll, Quinn and Joseph have had a previous stop with the Dolphins, and Brown is a former Miami Hurricanes offensive coordinator.

Flores was born and raised in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn and attended Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn before playing college football at Boston College. When the Dolphins topped the New York Jets, 24-17, on Nov. 21 at MetLife Stadium, where the Giants also play, Flores wore an FDNY shirt to the postgame press conference as a tribute to his uncle, a retired firefighter for Ladder 118 in Brooklyn.

The report came as the Giants announced Friday that they hired Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen, who was a longtime Dolphins executive, to fill their general manager vacancy.

The Giants’ hiring of Schoen could also lead to him pulling Daboll from Buffalo to join him with the Giants. ESPN also named Daboll and Quinn as additional candidates for the New York coaching job.

Schoen and Flores never crossed paths in Miami as Schoen joined the Bills in 2017, two years before Flores …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

      

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