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Bucs interview Brentson Buckner for defensive line job

Former Cardinals coach is the latest to interview for opening on Dirk Koetter's coaching staff.
Brentson Buckner, playing for the Panthers, sacks Bucs quarterback Rob Johnson during a 2002 game in Tampa. [Times files (2002)]
Brentson Buckner, playing for the Panthers, sacks Bucs quarterback Rob Johnson during a 2002 game in Tampa. [Times files (2002)]
Published Feb. 16, 2018|Updated Feb. 16, 2018

The Bucs continue to move quickly with the defensive line opening on Dirk Koetter's coaching staff, interviewing former Cardinals assistant Brentson Buckner.

Buckner, 46, spent the last five years as Arizona's defensive line coach, leading the unit to an NFL-best 48 sacks in 2016 and at least 35 sacks each year. The Bucs, by comparison, had an NFL-low 22 sacks last season, leading to the firing last week of defensive line coach Jay Hayes.

Buckner is the second outside candidate known to interview for the job, following former Colts defensive coordinator Ted Monachino, who worked as Koetter's defensive line coach at Boise State and Arizona State and worked with Koetter and defensive coordinator Mike Smith in Jacksonville. The Colts finished with 25 sacks last year, ranking 31st in the league.

Buckner lacks experience with Koetter, but Bucs general manager Jason Licht was in Arizona in 2013 when Buckner was hired. Arizona has beaten the Bucs in each of Koetter's two seasons, jumping out to a 31-0 lead in 2017 and winning 40-7 in 2016 for Koetter's first loss as a head coach.

Buckner spent 12 years in the NFL as a defensive lineman from 1994-2005, finishing with 31 career sacks. Pewterreport.com was first to report of his interview Friday.

Koetter has a smaller opening to fill on his defensive staff as well, as quality control coach Dave Borgonzi, a Bucs assistant for the past four years, has been hired by the Colts to be their new linebackers coach. Borgonzi worked with new Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus when they both were with the Cowboys from 2011-13.

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