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Buccaneers hire Buckner as new DL coach

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The Sports Xchange
Arizona Cardinals' quarterback Carson Palmer (3) is sacked by Tampa Bay Buccaneers Clinton McDonald in the second quarter on October 15 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. File photo by Art Foxall/UPI
Arizona Cardinals' quarterback Carson Palmer (3) is sacked by Tampa Bay Buccaneers Clinton McDonald in the second quarter on October 15 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. File photo by Art Foxall/UPI | License Photo

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the NFL's worst pass rush last season and they made a move Monday in an attempt to do something about it.

The Buccaneers went out and hired Brentson Buckner to be their new defensive line coach.

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The 46-year-old Buckner spent the last five seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, who led the league in sacks with 48 in 2016. Three of those came that year against Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston as part of a dismal three-interception, one-fumble loss to the Cardinals.

Buckner will take over for Jay Hayes, who was sacked on Feb. 9 after the Buccaneers finished last in the NFL in sacks with 22 in 2017. The last Tampa Bay player to reach double digits in sacks in a season was Simeon Rice in 2005.

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Under Buckner, the Cardinals were also effective stopping the run, giving up the second fewest rushing yards per game (93.8) in the NFL last year and the third fewest total yards allowed (3.24.7).

No terms of Buckner's contract were available.

Among those who interviewed for the opening were former Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Ted Monachino and University of Miami defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski.

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Buckner will inherit one defensive line anchor, Gerald McCoy, who was named to six Pro Bowls as a player, and former second-round draft pick Noah Spence.

Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht was with the Cardinals as vice president of player personnel with Buckner was hired in Arizona. In Buckner's five years there, his defenses never finished a season with fewer than 35 sacks.

As a player, Buckner was with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers during his 12-year career. He played in Super Bowl XXXVIII for the Panthers against the New England Patriots.

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