Ex-Steelers Defensive End Joining Jaguars Coaching Staff: Report

Brentson Buckner

Rick Stewart/Getty Images Defensive end Brentson Buckner of the Pittsburgh Steelers raises his arms after a big play against the Detroit Lions at Three Rivers Stadium on September 3, 1995.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brentson Buckner, 50, is moving from Arizona to Jacksonville, this according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, who reports that the former second-round pick has been hired to coach the Jaguars’ defensive line—the same job he held last season while with the Cardinals.

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Earlier in the offseason, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Clemson was looking to add him to Dabo Sweeney’s staff, with the obvious connection being that Buckner played his college football with the Tigers between 1990 and 1993, overlapping the career of Clemson/Steelers inside linebacker Levon Kirkland. Yet Buckner has apparently decided to remain in the pros, having coached in the NFL since 2013, with most of his time having been spent with the Cardinals.

Specifically, he coached Arizona’s defensive line between 2013-17, leaving to work for the Buccaneers in 2018 and the Raiders in 2019. He joined Kliff Kingsbury’s staff in 2020, where he coached alongside former Steelers coaches Sean Kugler (run game coordinator/offensive line) and ex-Steelers running backs coach James Saxon, who was reunited with James Conner this past season, with Conner scoring 18 touchdowns in his first season in Arizona.

The Steelers Selected Brentson Buckner No. 50 Overall in 1994

Before he began coaching, Brentson Buckner had a 12-year playing career in the NFL, including three seasons in Pittsburgh, where he played defensive end in Pittsburgh’s 3-4 scheme, first under defensive coordinator Dom Capers and then under Dick LeBeau.

He appeared in 44 games for the Steelers (35 starts) and recorded 102 total tackles, with eight sacks, one forced fumble and three fumble recoveries. Buckner was part of the 1995 team that advanced to Super Bowl XXX against the Dallas Cowboys, but he was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the spring of 1997.

He went on to spend the 1997 season with the Cincinnati Bengals before playing three seasons for the San Francisco 49ers and then finishing his 174-game career with Carolina (2001-05). All together, he recorded 430 tackles, 31 sacks, two interceptions, five forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries in his career, mostly playing defensive tackle after leaving the Steel City.

After his playing career ended, Buckner coached high school football in his hometown of Charlotte, serving as a defensive coordinator and then as a head coach for two years. He went on to work as a training camp intern with the Steelers for three years (2010-12) before landing a job with the Cardinals the following year.

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Matthew Slater Wins 2021 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

In other news from earlier this week, New England Patriots wide receiver Matthew Slater won the 2021 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, which recognizes those who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.

In the eight-year history of the award, no Steelers player has won the honor. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was the team’s nominee in 2021.

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