The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have interviewed a handful of candidates since letting defensive line coach Jay Hayes go, but according to a report from Mike Garafolo, they have settled in on and have agreed to terms with Cardinals defensive line coach Brentson Buckner.

Bucs general manager Jason Licht knows Buckner, who is 46, from his days in Arizona in 2013 before coming to Tampa Bay. Buckner was the Cardinals’ defensive line coach for the past five years under Bruce Arians.

In his first season as an NFL defensive line coach in 2013, Buckner helped the Cardinals record 47 sacks, led by John Abraham’s 11.5 sacks, while Calaias Campbell had nine and Darnell Dockett contributed 4.5. The next season, rookie Alex Okafor notched eight sacks, while Campbell posted seven sacks and Frostee Rucker had five. In 2015, newly arrived Dwight Freeny finished with a team-high eight sacks with Campbell pitching in five, along with four from rookie Markus Golden and three from Rucker.

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Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]

27 COMMENTS

  1. I am shocked….i thought for sure they would go with the guy that coached with them at jacksonville. Great Pick up

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  2. Great move! 1st step in figuring things out on the D-Line.

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    Rating: +37. From 39 votes.
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  3. It’s a good hire, but there’s only so much difference a DL coach can make Mike Smith’s garbage defense.

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  4. Does no one remember when he used to talk tons of trash about the Bucs DL when he was in Carolina? I’m still tight about it.

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    • What non bucs fan wouldnt talk trash about a division foe? Thats him being a competitor, love it. If you’re still tight about that you need a few hobbies 😉 Love Big Buck. Congrats and bring it on. Hope he gets total control of the unit on game days. Great hire.

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  5. Congratulations, welcome aboard.

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  6. Closest thing to having Sapp on the sideline but with experience! Fiery coaching gets results.

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    • I couldn’t agree more bEubanks11. The other thing that is great are those EYES!!! Just look at them in that photo above, he looks like he is ready to go charge onto the field and play right beside his players! Gotta love that, and I’m sure his players do too!

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      Rating: +10. From 12 votes.
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  7. Congratulations I hope the Bucs give you some talent too work with!

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  8. Welcome aboard Brentson! Was the guy I immediately thought of when Jay Hayes was released. This may turn out to be a great hire if the Bucs run more 3-4 sets as PR suggests. Perhaps they were impressed with Buckner’s aggressive style of defense in Arizona. I think they might have also been impressed with how well Arizona’s defense played against the Bucs in each of the last two years. Can see why they wouldn’t want to emulate that pass rush. May be a sign of a change in attitude along the D-Line. Go Bucs!

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    • Can’t see why……

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      • The way I understood some remarks I heard Smith make during the off season last year, he was not worried about what base anyone wished to say that the Buccaneers use. He talked about mixing formations being common in the league. (Trevor, I am sure you, if anybody , could find the particular interview I saw.)

        This is why I would be happy if we were to acquire Vita Vea if we are not able to get Bradley Chubb. I think we are in a win-win situation with our draft pick no matter what.
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        Go Bucs!!!!

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    • Curious if Spicer remains as the assistant. Like the idea of having 2 ex-players who are also seasoned coaches as well leading the DL. See he’s still listed on the Bucs website, but so is Dave Borgonzi, who left to become Indy’s LB coach last week. Assume it will get updated when Buckner is added.

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      • Borgonzi’s been removed, that didn’t take long. Spicer’s still listed though.

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  9. Congratulations Mr. Buckner. Welcome to Tampa. As I am sure you are aware The Buc’s have had some problems with their DL, especially when it comes to Edge Rushers. While we don’t expect miracles 20 more sacks a game would sure cool down a lot of fans and might save our coach and GM’s job in 2019. Best of Luck, Go Buc’s.

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    • 20 more sacks per year is what I meant to say, 20 more per game would constitute a “Miracle.”

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  10. Welcome aboard matey

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  11. Jay Hayes was a great hire when he came aboard. Coached a very productive unit in Cincinnati but ultimately didn’t succeed here. Somebody had to be held accountable for the worst GM in the division and Mike Smiths comatose defense. I’ll be excited when the results improve.

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    • I was just thinking the same thing stlbucsfan, I thought everybody was very excited with the Jay Hayes hire at the time. I just hope this great hire works out better. Hopefully, he will instill some fire into this Dline and possibly it will spread into the entire defense!! The main person that needs a kick in the but and some extra fire is coach Smith!!

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  12. Ever optimistic. This announcement adds some excitement to a quieter news period for the offseason.

    He must have liked something he saw going on here in Tampa Bay with the Bucs. He probably wasn’t expecting Bruce Arians to change his mind soon and come out of retirement.

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    Go Bucs!!!!

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  13. Having to watch my hometown Ravens employ the 3-4 for what seems like forever, I’m hoping we’re finally gonna see it’s return in Tampa

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  14. As I mentioned once before, we could hire Elmer Fudd as D-Line coach and probably do as well rushing the passer and stopping the run as our collection of linemen did last season. Likewise, I would not expect Rod Marinelli to be able to create the Fearsome Foursome out of this bunch either. Hopefully Jason Licht gets Chef/Coach Buckner some better groceries in his cupboard. Throwing Swaggy Baker out with the trash will be a good start too.

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  15. His first year with the Cards they had 47 sacks! They also had Abraham, Campbell, and Docket, we don’t. I like that they went outside with the hire rather then promote Spicer. For this new hire to succeed they’ll have to invest in the D line.

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  16. This is great news! Out of all the interviews he was the one I wanted to hire. Its a step in the right direction. Now lets get him some Dlineman to work with.

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  17. Fiery former DT, that’s going to be coaching McCoy and his lineman?

    I literally have zero idea what’s going to come of this.

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  18. I simply don’t know guys. New poster here. Been a Bucs fan longer than some of yas been around. I don’t have a great feeling about Mike Smith. They say he sits high in his pressbox perch for a better view but…you would think he’s want a better view to lead his troops on the sidelines. Upstairs has not worked. To be honest, Buckner is a great addition. But I’d rather have seen him get a shot at DC and let Smitty go. I know my view is not popular with a lot of yas. But I feel Smitty’s time has come and gone. He did not get in done in ATL and is not doing so here. But the great thing about this season? Its do or die for both Koetter and Smitty. So we shall see. I just hope Koetters allegiance to Mike Smith does not get him fired.

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    • Welcome Mike

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