Leslie Frazier’s name has been floating publicly for a year in head coach chatter, with the angle being that the long-time defensive-leaning coach would be ripe for a second-chance opportunity at being a head coach hire in this hiring cycle.
And finally, the time has come for Frazier to begin the interview portion of that process. Today, it was with a franchise he knows all too well:
We have completed interviews with general manager candidate Ryan Poles and head coach candidate Leslie Frazier.https://t.co/TxbKqgukKG
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 21, 2022
The Bears announced they were hosting Frazier (head coach) and Ryan Poles (general manager) for interviews on Friday. This brings Chicago’s football team to eight head coach candidates and 11 aspiring general managers getting official interviews since Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace were sent packing.
Frazier is one of the most polarizing candidates the Bears will chat with in this hiring cycle. He was a Super Bowl XX champion and standout cornerback during his time in Chicago. But Frazier’s pro coaching career has yet to come back this way. Instead, it includes stops with the Eagles, Bengals, Colts, Vikings, Bucs, Ravens, and Bills. His time as a head coach in Minnesota (21-32-1) was generally underwhelming, however the 62-year-old Frazier is seeing new life running the defense under Bills Coach Sean McDermott. But it’s that record with the Vikings and questions surrounding if Frazier has what it takes to build an offensive staff around Justin Fields that weighs heavily against his candidacy. Even if he is three cities and eight football seasons removed from his time in Minnesota.
Poles is a newish name on the radar, and a popular one to boot. But he has grown through years with the Chiefs, climbing the ranks to earn his current position of Executive Director of Player Personnel. Before that, Poles held several other titles — but perhaps none more important than Director of College Scouting in 2017. Which, yes, that would mean Poles was the chief of the department when the franchise made the decision to trade up and take quarterback Patrick Mahomes with the 10th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. None of us want to re-hash that right now. But I wouldn’t mind picking the brain of someone who was part of that decision-making process.
Unless something unexpected happens, Chicago’s GM and coach search will see a third week when the sun rises on Monday. We’ll dig deeper into these candidates (and others) late.