Buccaneers to hire Joe Cullen as defensive line coach

Joe Robbins

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers now have their defensive line coach in Joe Cullen, as Lovie Smith continues to fill out his coaching staff.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will hire Joe Cullen as their defensive line coach, according to Alex Marvez of Fox Sports. Cullen was recently fired as the defensive line coach for the Cleveland Browns, and was interviewed by the Atlanta Falcons as a possible DL coach earlier this week.

Cullen has 23 years of experience as a defensive coach at various colleges, and seven years of experience as a defensive line coach in the NFL. He got his start as a defensive line coach under Rod Marinelli, coaching the Lions' defensive linemen from 2006 through 2008. He was the Jaguars' defensive line coach from 2010 through 2012.

Under Cullen, the Browns' defense produced a solid 40 sacks in a two-gap, 3-4 scheme, even though no single defensive lineman topped 5.5 sacks. In fact, none of his defensive linemen have been able to produce double-digit sacks in the NFL. However, he presumably comes with Rod Marinelli's recommendation, given his work under the former Lions head coach and the close relationship between Marinelli and Lovie Smith.

Cullen certainly shares some personality traits with Marinelli, as he appears to rather enjoy yelling at his players. One thing he doesn't share with Marinelli (I hope, for Rod): Cullen once was arrested for driving naked through a Wendy's drive-thru.

Cullen will get to coach the best three-technique defensive tackle in the NFL in Gerald McCoy, and will be charged with revitalizing the careers of defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers. The Bucs have struggled to get anything resembling a pass rush going since Simeon Rice left town back in 2007.

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