FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots
• PewterReport.com has learned that former Arizona Cardinals defensive line coach Brentson Buckner is among those who has either interviewed for the vacant Tampa Bay defensive line coaching position or will interview for the job. The position became available after PewterReport.com reported that Jay Hayes was abruptly fired last weekend after Tampa Bay recorded a league-worst 22 sacks in 2017.
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.
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.
• In addition to interviewing assistant defensive line coach Paul Spicer, the Bucs also interviewed former Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Ted Monachino, who has previous ties with head coach Dirk Koetter, serving as his defensive line coach in Boise State and Arizona State, and working together in Jacksonville along with former Jaguars defensive coordinator and current Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith.
Now the Bucs have thrown Brentson Buckner’s name in the ring for the defensive line coaching job, too, and may be inquiring to see if former Tampa Bay defensive line coach Joe Cullen, who was with the Bucs from 2014-15, can get out of his contract in Baltimore to interview. The common denominator between Monachino, Buckner and Cullen is that all three of those defensive line coaches have coached in a 3-4 scheme, which Tampa Bay may be switching to in 2017.
Monachino has also coached a 4-3 front, as he did in Jacksonville, before becoming the Ravens linebackers coach from 2010-15 where he was in a 3-4 system. As the play-caller in Indianapolis from 2016-17, Monachino ran a 3-4 base scheme. Buckner coached a 3-4 for all five years in Arizona, while Cullen has experience in both the 4-3 and the 3-4 schemes. Cullen coached in a 3-4 in Cleveland in 2013 and has been in a 3-4 with the Ravens for the past two years.
Will Tampa Bay be changing to a 3-4 base defense or at least being even more multiple next year? Whoever the Bucs hire to be the team’s defensive line coach could be an indicator.
• Pewter Nation – thank you for getting the @PewterReport Twitter account to 28,500. If you haven’t followed us on Twitter yet and want everything from breaking Bucs news updates, live tweets during Bucs practices, press conferences and games as well as notifications about new PewterReport.com, join the legions of Bucs fans who do and please click here to follow us. And you can join the increasing number of PewterReport.com Facebook fans by clicking here.
• There is a new Pewter Nation Podcast this week with plenty of discussion about the Bucs defensive line coaching candidates, the team’s plans in free agency and the latest with contract talks between Tampa Bay and star wide receiver Mike Evans. Listen to the latest Pewter Nation Podcast and be entertained and informed by Mark Cook, Trevor Sikkema and yours truly. Here is a link to that Pewter Nation Podcast – Episode 61: Bucs Coaching Changes, Evans Contract
If you haven’t listened to this week’s podcasts yet, it’s the perfect way to enjoy your lunch on a Friday afternoon or battle rush hour traffic on your way home from work. In addition to listening to the Pewter Nation Podcasts on PewterReport.com you can also subscribe to the free podcasts at PodBean by clicking here and on SoundCloud by clicking here.
• When PewterReport.com came out with its second 2018 Bucs’ Seven-Round Mock Draft that featured Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea going to Tampa Bay at No. 7 quite a few PewterReport.com readers were surprised and perhaps disappointed. For a team that has an obvious need for an outside edge rusher, drafting a 6-foot-4, 345-pound defensive tackle that has 9.5 career sacks through three seasons didn’t sound too appealing.
But Vea needs to be scouted through film – not stat sheets. He’s an absolute terror as a pass rusher in a 3-4 front, although the Huskies did run a 4-3 front as a change-up from time to time. While he didn’t pile up the sacks he created an awful lot of sack opportunities for his fellow defensive linemen and linebacker by pushing the pocket and flushing the quarterback to his left or right.
Let’s face it. I doubt many folks in Florida watched Pac-12 games regularly and saw Washington play, but I did – and so did many within the Bucs organization. Tampa Bay fans may be more familiar with Florida defensive tackle Taven Bryan as opposed to Vea, but Vea is an athletic freak that is supposed to generate a ton of buzz at the NFL Scouting Combine, according to NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah.
You might have also seen that NFL Network’s Mike Mayock has Vea listed as the top defensive tackle in this year’s draft, ahead of Alabama’s Da’Ron Payne and Michigan’s Maurice Hurst. I spoke with Mayock last month at the East-West Shrine Game about a couple of options in the first round of the draft for the Bucs and he raved about Vea.
You’ve probably seen Vea listed in the top 20 and perhaps even the top 15 in the first round in several mock drafts around the Internet. If Vea performs as well as expected at the NFL Scouting Combine and runs in the 4.9 range, expect him to suddenly appear in the top 10 picks in those post-Combine mock drafts. And just remember that PewterReport.com had him as a top 10 pick back in January going to the Bucs.
• And finally, PewterReport.com is proud to be partnered with Ford’s Garage, a great auto-themed restaurant expanding across the state of Florida and recently to a new location in Westchase. Ford’s Garage offers an assembly line-style burger order concept, in addition to other great menu items like a great lineup of mac and cheeses, appetizers, grilled chicken, steak and a huge drink menu.
Next Thursday night at the Ford’s Garage location in Westchase at 10413 Sheldon Rd in Tampa we will be taping the Pewter Nation Podcast with Tampa Bay starting tackle Demar Dotson who will be our guest, and also available for autographs and pictures from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
To make things even better, Ford’s Garage will be serving the “Dotson Big 69 Bison Burger” burger created by Dotson – a bison burger with shrimp served all the way on a pretzel bun. Ford’s Garage will also offer drink specials as well, and 10 percent of all sales that night will go to WhatTheBuc.net’s annual golf tournament that raises money for pediatric cancer.
There will also be raffle items that fans can win, including autographed pictures to help raise money for the featured charity.
PewterReport.com editor Mark Cook talked about the event.
“A big thanks to the folks at Ford’s Garage for partnering with us this year, but also for hosting the event,” Cook said. “Ford’s Garage is a fun place to eat and is very family friendly. I really love the concept. Ford’s Garage is very community-minded and the company’s willingness to donate proceeds to fight pediatric cancer is proof of that.”
The Pewter Nation Podcast is one of fastest growing Bucs podcasts, and Cook, Trevor Sikkema and yours truly are excited to bring the podcasts to our readers and Bucs fans on PewterReport.com each week. Dotson will be joining us to talk about career and time in Tampa Bay and what he expects in 2018. Attendees can ask their questions on the podcast as well.
“We hope to see a lot of our readers and podcast listeners come out and support Ford’s Garage and also What The Bucs’s endeavors to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer,” Cook said. “We are also thankful for Demar taking time in his offseason to be our guest. Demar has always been the consummate professional and willing to help out any chance he gets. He is a real asset to the Tampa Bay community. Thursday night will be a unique chance for Bucs fans to come out, have a great meal and mingle with a Bucs player and more importantly raise money for a great cause.”