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Lori Locust, NFL's lone female defensive coach, among 6 coaches fired by Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles (C) fired six assistant coaches this week. File Photo by Steve Nesius/UPI
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles (C) fired six assistant coaches this week. File Photo by Steve Nesius/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 20 (UPI) -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have fired defensive line coach Lori Locust, the only female defensive coach in the NFL, in addition to five other staff-members, the team announced.

The Buccaneers announced the firings Thursday night. Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, specialist coach Chris Boniol, wide receivers coach Kevin Garver, offensive quality control coach Jeff Kastl and running backs coach Todd McNair will also leave the organization.

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The team said quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen, senior offensive assistant Rick Christophel and outside linebackers coach Bob Sanders decided to retire.

"We appreciate the hard work and contributions that all of these coaches made to our successes over the past four seasons," Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles said in a news release.

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"As a collective group, we did not meet the high standards that had been set for this past year and my focus now is on doing what is needed to ensure a successful 2023 season.

"These were very difficult decisions but something that I felt was necessary for our football team going forward."

Locust, Leftwich, Boniol, Christensen, Christophel, Garver and McNair spent the last four seasons on the Buccaneers staff. Sanders joined the staff last off-season.

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The Buccaneers went 8-9 in the regular season, but that was good enough to win the NFC South division title. The Dallas Cowboys then beat the Buccaneers 31-14 in the wild-card round Monday in Tampa, Fla.

The Buccaneers, who acquired Tom Brady in 2020, went 11-5 and won the Super Bowl in the star quarterback's first season with the franchise. They went 13-4 in 2021, but lost in the second round of the playoffs.

The Buccaneers ranked inside the Top 5 in points and Top 10 in yards in 2020 and 2021, while led by head coach Bruce Arians. They slipped to No. 25 in points and No. 15 in yards in 2022, Bowles' first season.

The Buccaneers defense ranked No. 8 in points allowed and No. 6 in yards allowed in 2020. They ranked No. 5 in points allowed and No. 13 in yards allowed in 2021. The 2022 Buccaneers ranked No. 13 in points allowed and No. 9 in yards allowed.

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