In the event that off-season changes to the FO and coaching staff are in order, here is the first of a series of scenarios that might make sense for the Arizona Cardinals.
One of the initial tasks of a GM search is to identify the top candidates from the top franchises and then, from there, identify the coaches that the GM candidate could bring with him.
This is a wise thing to do because whenever a team hires a new GM who is able to bring coaches with him, there is a level of trust in how the GM and the coaches are going to combine forces to turn their new program around.
A strong case can be made for a package of Buffalo Bills who could be eager to bring their talents, experience and team building acumen to Arizona.
This all starts with a GM candidate who actually is a familiar friend for Michael Bidwill and the Cardinals —- the Bills’ Senior Director of Pro Personnel, Malik Boyd.
Boyd was hired as a scout by Rod Graves in 2005 and spent 13 years in the scouting department through what was the winningest stretch in Arizona Cardinals’ history.
Since 2017 to the present, Malik Boyd has been one of the principal architects of the Bills’ championship caliber roster. He has worked very closely with head coach Sean McDermott and the coaching staff in order to match their personal needs with the correct draft picks and free agents.
Malik Boyd’s Resume:
- As a player:Minnesota Vikings (1994–1996)
- As an executive:Indianapolis Colts (2003–2005) —- Scouting Assistant
- Arizona Cardinals (2005–2008) —- Midwest Area Scout
- Arizona Cardinals (2008–2014) —-Western Regional Scout
- Arizona Cardinals (2014–2017) —- Assistant Director of Pro Scouting (In 2014 Malik Boyd won the Fritz Pollard Alliance NFC Scout of the Year Award as the Western Regional College Scout)
- Buffalo Bills (2017–present) —- Senior Director of Pro Personnel
I think that because Malik Boyd would be able to return to the Cardinals with a far better understanding of how to pick coaches and players who are suited to vie for championships, his perspectives and experience could be extremely valuable. In that sense in terms of overall experience and accomplishments, it can be reasonably argued that Malik Boyd is more qualified at the present time than Quentin Harris and Adrian Wilson and it could spare Michael Bidwill the onus of trying to pick one over the other. Harris and Wilson have worked with Malik Boyd previously, so a reunion should be advantageous.
- GM: Malik Boyd
- HC: Leslie Frazier —-24 years, 4 years as HC (Vikings), multiple years as DC and Assistant HC
Leslie Frazier’s Resume (since 2006):
- Indianapolis Colts (2006) —- Assistant head coach & defensive backs coach
- Minnesota Vikings (2007) —- Defensive coordinator
- Minnesota Vikings (2008–2010) —- Assistant head coach & defensive coordinator
- Minnesota Vikings (2010) —- Interim head coach
- Minnesota Vikings (2011–2013) —- Head coach
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014–2015) —- Defensive coordinator
- Baltimore Ravens (2016) —-Secondary coach
- Buffalo Bills (2017–2019) —- Defensive coordinator
- Buffalo Bills (2020–present) —- Assistant head coach & defensive coordinator
Leslie Frazier is one of the most prolific teachers in the NFL. He is a galvanizer, who coaches with a steady and firm hand. He’s poised, dependable and confident.
- OC: Aaron Kromer —- 21 years, 2 as offensive coordinator (Bears)
Aaron Kromer’s Resume:
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2006–2007) —- Senior assistant/offensive line
- New Orleans Saints (2008) —- Running backs coach
- New Orleans Saints (2009–2012) —- Offensive line coach
- New Orleans Saints (2012) —- Interim head coach
- Chicago Bears (2013–2014) —-Offensive coordinator
- Buffalo Bills (2015–2016) —- Offensive line coach
- Los Angeles Rams (2017) —- Offensive line coach
- Los Angeles Rams (2018–2020) —-Run game coordinator & offensive line coach under Sean McVay
- Buffalo Bills (2022–present) —- Offensive line coach
What’s very appealing about Aaron Kromer’s NFL background is his diverse experience coaching side by side with the likes of Marc Trestman, Sean Payton, Ron Riviera, Sean McVay and Sean McDermott. Eight years ago, he was charged with assault and battery after a scuffle with a small group of teenagers who were committing an act of vandalism. Eventually, all charges against Kromer were dropped, Currently, the Bills are 4th in the NFL in rushing (at an average of 5.0 yards per carry) and tied for 2nd with runs of over 20 yards with 16. The Bills are also 4th in the NFL in passing. It’s rare when an NFL offense is Top 5 in rushing and passing.
- DC Eric Washington —- 15 years, 2 as defensive coordinator (Panthers)
Eric Washington’s Resume:
- Chicago Bears (2008–2009) —- Defensive assistant
- Chicago Bears (2010) —- Defensive line coach
- Carolina Panthers (2011–2017) —- Defensive line coach
- Carolina Panthers (2018–2019) —- Defensive coordinator
- Buffalo Bills (2020–2021) —- Defensive line coach
- Buffalo Bills (2022–present) —- Senior defensive assistant/Defensive line coach
- Note: One would imagine that Leslie Frazier would run the defense hand in hand with Eric Washington.
- Another intriguing DC candidate from the Bills is their LB coach, Bobby Babich. Babich’s dad coached in the NFL for a long time and recently retired. Bobby Babich started out as the Bills’ safeties coach and helped to develop the prolific tandem of Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde. Sean McDermott shifted him to LBs coach and look at the tremendous job he’s been doing with Matt Milano (78.2) and Tremaine Edmunds (78.2).
What’s very appealing about this GM/HC/OC/DC package via the Bills is the experience the coaches have at their positions (highlighted in their resumes). In other words, none of them are new to the jobs or first-time play callers. Plus, if the Cardinals are going to build championship caliber roster, they need to focus on winning games up front on both sides of the ball.
It’s always interesting to see what free agents from their current team could be available in 2023.
2023 Buffalo Bills Free Agents:
Here’s the full list from Spotrac:
ROTB Member Questions:
1 —- If you could pick 3-4 of the Bills’ 2023 free agents, which ones would you take? (I’ll jump in with mine after you at some point).
2 —- I thought about Bills’ OC Ken Dorsey for HC, but opted instead to tap into Leslie Frazier’s outstanding experience. Dorsey may be a HC one day, but his volatility reminds me some of Todd Haley’s and I just wonder if it would be too soon to consider him as a legit HC candidate. just as it was when Haley was hired as a HC. Do you agree or disagree?
2 —-On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest, how would you rate this potential GM/HC/OC/DC package, courtesy of the Buffalo Bills?