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.
Former Bucs DE Will Clarke and DL coach Jay Hayes – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
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.
In 2016, the Cardinals had 48 sacks and were led by Golden’s 12.5, while Chandler Jones, who was acquired in a trade with New England, recorded 17, while Campbell added eight. Last year, in Arians’ final season in Arizona, Chandler led the league with 17 sacks, which was nearly half of the Cardinals’ 37 sacks. Campbell was lost to Jacksonville in free agency and Golden suffered a season-ending injury early in the year. But Buckner did help develop Olsen Pierre, who posted a career-high 5.5 sacks.
Buckner, who was a defensive tackle selected in the second round by Pittsburgh in 1994, played three years with the Steelers, one year with the Cincinnati Bengals (1997), three years with the San Francisco 49ers (1998-2000) and five years with the Carolina Panthers (2001-05). He recorded 425 tackles, 31 sacks and two interceptions in his 12-year NFL career.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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