Coach Analysis: Part I

Over this week, we're asking the experts about Buffalo's coaching candidates. Today, the spotlight is on Minnesota defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and New York offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. One is influenced by a former Super Bowl winner while the other has gained a special perspective on life. Subscribers, read on...

Leslie Frazier blew the Bills brass away at his interview, presumably vaulting him as the current favorite for the job. In all likelihood, we have a ways to go still. Buddy Nix and Ralph Wilson have vowed to take their time with this decision — and with good reason. The Bills must nail this hire. The franchise is in limbo. With so many needs at so many spots, the team must have a clear path toward the future.

To get a good grasp of the candidates, we're turning to the experts. Over this week, we'll have analysis on the coaches rumored to be in the running.

Vikings Update's Tim Yotter says Frazier is heavily influenced by Tony Dungy, while Jets Confidential's Dan Leberfeld hits on Schottenheimer's offensive philosophy. Both coaches are in the midst of playoff runs. Whereas Frazier prepares to unleash his dangerous front four on Tony Romo, Schottenheimer is fresh off a flawless job in Cincinnati. The Jets ran over the Bengals, while mixing in some healthy play-action passes.

LESLIE FRAZIER, Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator

Tim Yotter, Vikings Update

The reason Leslie Frazier has been a finalist for a couple of head-coaching jobs over the past three years is his demeanor. He coached under Tony Dungy and projects a lot of the same qualities — a calm presence that still demands the respect of his players.

He was groomed as a cornerback under Buddy Ryan during the Super Bowl days (1985) of the Chicago Bears, but a knee injury that year ended his playing days. After spending time at the college coaching level, he returned to the NFL in 1999 with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he learned under Jimmy Johnson. He got an opportunity with the Cincinnati Bengals as their defensive coordinator, but didn't always see eye-to-eye with Marvin Lewis. He went to the Colts from 2005-06 before the Vikings gave him another opportunity as a coordinator when Mike Tomlin become head coach of the Steelers. Under Dungy, he learned the intricacies of the Tampa-2 style defense that both the Colts and Vikings run.

During his time in Minnesota, he had had the top-ranked rushing defense for two seasons, a unit finished second this year. He gives his position coaches the game plan and let's them work with the players. He is given autonomy over the defense by Brad Childress and has the respect of coaches and players alike.

BRIAN SCHOTTENHEIMER, New York Jets offensive coordinator

Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential

Brian Schottenheimer has done a good job developing Mark Sanchez. He's a former quarterback himself, serving as a backup at the University of Florida. While he's still pretty young, he's wise beyond his years due to growing up around the NFL with his father's teams.

He's a really good guy with a very likable personality. He gets his points across without being a jerk. He always has a smile on his face. Remember, he had a cancer scare when he was younger, and that probably changed his perspective on things a little bit.

Rex Ryan thinks he's going to lose him after the playoffs. He said that after the game Saturday. Schottenheimer runs the same offense as Norv Turner and Cam Cameron. It's very innovative with a lot of movement and gets a lot of players involved.




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