Buccaneers name Leslie Frazier as defensive coordinator

Leslie Frazier was the head coach for the Vikings for more than three seasons.

Trevor Ruszkowski/Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Spor

TAMPA, Fla. — Another piece of Lovie Smith’s coaching staff is in place.

Leslie Frazier was announced as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defensive coordinator Monday night, hours after Smith was introduced as the franchise’s 10th head coach at One Buc Place. Frazier, fired by the Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 30, went 21-32-1 in more than three seasons as a head coach.

Great expectations

"I’m excited about Leslie Frazier being my defensive coordinator," Smith said Monday afternoon. "I had a chance to get to know Leslie first when we were both assistant coaches, him as a defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings and then lately, of course, having an opportunity to compete with him. As I looked for a defensive coordinator, it just so happens we played in the NFC North division too, he knows it."

Frazier, 54, enters his 16th season as an NFL coach. He began his career in the league as a defensive backs coach with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2002, before serving as the Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive coordinator in 2003 and 2004.

From there, he was a defensive assistant/defensive backs coach with Indianapolis Colts in 2005 and 2006. He was the Vikings’ defensive coordinator from 2007-2010 before being named the team’s interim coach with six games left in the 2010 season after Brad Childress was fired.

Frazier, as Minnesota’s head coach, guided the Vikings to seasons of 3-13 (in 2011), 10-6 (2012) and 5-10-1 (2013). He was 3-3 as an interim coach.

Frazier will lead a defense that was Tampa Bay’s strength last season. The unit includes the team’s most recent Pro Bowl selections, cornerback Darrelle Revis and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. The Bucs finished ranked 15th in rush defense (110.1 yards per game), 17th in both pass defense (237.9 ypg) and total defense (348 ypg), in addition to 21st in scoring defense (24.3 points per game).

"He’s a great man for you ladies or gentlemen that know Leslie Frazier, just a great leader," Smith said. "It was a no-brainer really to get him, for us to merge together. We always wanted to work together."

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