Skip to main content

Leslie Frazier's Plan To Increase Turnovers On Defense


Just about every player on the Ravens defense answered a question about turnovers at some point last year.

The Ravens had a franchise-low 14 takeaways, and a key priority going into the offseason was to find a way to create more turnovers in 2016. 

That's where new Secondary Coach Leslie Frazier comes in. The veteran NFL coach and former Super Bowl champion cornerback has a long history of working with players on the back end of the defense, and his focus is to instill a ball-hawking mentality with the unit.

"It's something you can teach," Frazier said. "It's something you can talk about. But a lot of it is a mindset – getting to the football and just thinking 'takeaway' when you get there – not just being content to make the tackle when you get there, but finding a way to force the football out.

"If you get in that mindset, we think those takeaways will come." 

Teaching how to force turnovers can be a tricky task because they are sometimes determined by a simple bounce of the football. But defenders can also practice ways to create them, and Frazier plans to make that part of the routine by having the defensive backs work on hands drills and punching out the football from ball carriers.

"It's something that you have to talk about, but you can work at it as well," Frazier said. "We're going to have some drills where we're working on taking the football away in practice."

Frazier is now in the business of teaching, but he can also lean on his playing experience in the turnover department. He won a Super Bowl as a starting cornerback for the 1985 Chicago Bears on perhaps the best defense ever (or second best behind the 2000 Ravens), and he also had 20 interceptions over a four-year span.

"There is going to be a lot of respect already given to him just knowing his history, who he is and the kind of coach he's already been," cornerback Will Davis said.

Coaches regularly stress how turnovers can decide games, and the inability to force takeaways last year was part of the reason the Ravens finished 5-11. The only two teams to finish with fewer turnovers than Baltimore – the Cowboys and 49ers – both finished last in their respective divisions.

On the flip side, the Carolina Panthers led the NFL with 39 takeaways and the Denver Broncos ranked seventh with 27. The two teams met in Super Bowl 50.

Frazier and the Ravens know they need more takeaway production from their defense next season, and the new secondary coach expects to spend plenty of time talking about that over the next several months.

"When you're playing good defense, that's the buzzword – takeaways, takeaways, take the ball away – and if you can do that,your football team and your defense is going to be better," Frazier said. "It's something that we're going to be talking about throughout the year and hopefully we can get those numbers up."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content