Lovie Smith’s coaching staff in Tampa Bay is starting to take shape, as yet another key member of the staff has fallen into place on Friday evening.
According to a report from Josina Anderson of ESPN, Leslie Frazier has confirmed he will be the next defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Filed to ESPN: Leslie Frazier just text me "going to Tampa." Frazier then told me he will be the next defensive coordinator for the Bucs.
— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) January 4, 2014
Frazier was most recently the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, who fired him after the 2013 season. He was previously the defensive coordinator for the Vikings, and before that he spent time as a defensive coach with the Eagles, Bengals and Colts.
The 54 year old has coached one top-10 defense in terms of points, and three top-10 defenses in terms of yards during his span as a defensive coordinator and head coach. He has worked with Tony Dungy and Marvin Lewis, and will now work with a fellow Tony Dungy associate Lovie Smith in Tampa Bay.
This likely means that Rod Marinelli will not be coming to Tampa, as it’s unlikely the Buccaneers can draw him away from the Dallas Cowboys to make a lateral move to a similar position on defense.
But Frazier is an experienced head coach with a similar personality to Lovie Smith who will take over the task of facilitating Smith’s defense to the Buccaneers’ defenders. It also brings a connection to Jared Allen to Tampa, which is convenient considering Allen’s free agent status and the Buccaneers’ need for a pass rusher.