Buccaneers hire Mike Phair as assistant defensive line coach

Brian Kersey

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have added former Bears defensive line coach Mike Phair to their coaching staff.

Mike Phair will be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' assistant defensive line coach, according to Jenna Laine of Sports Talk Florida. Phair was fired earlier this year by the Bears after a really poor defensive season in which no player topped 7.5 sacks, although that was in part due to a significant number of injuries all over the defense.

That was by far the worst performance of a defensive line under Phair, who also coached the Bears' defensive line in 2011 and 2012, when the team managed 32 and 41 sacks respectively, with 30 and 38 of those coming from the defensive line, respectively.

Phair will help Joe Cullen, who was hired as the team's defensive line coach. Cullen's resume is far from impressive, with none of his pupils ever reaching double-digit sacks. Having Phair in the building to help him should be a positive, at least.

The defensive line will be key to the team's defensive performance next year. The Bucs have arguably the best defensive tackle in the NFL in Gerald McCoy, but the edge rush has been disappointing the past few years. If the defensive line coaches can get better production out of Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers, as well as any other defensive ends they may add, this defensive has a chance to be very good.

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