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Buccaneers hire Bobby Slater as head athletic trainer

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have swiftly replaced Todd Toriscelli as the head athletic trainer.

Justin K. Aller

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced the hiring of Bobby Slater as their head athletic trainer, replacing long-time trainer Todd Toriscelli, who left for the Tennessee Titans. Toriscelli had been with the team for 17 years, but it's not clear whether he left his position voluntarily or was forced to leave.

Slater served as a member of the Chicago Bears' athletic training staff for the past 15 years. He was promoted to director of rehabilitation in 2002, and has served as the assistant head athletic trainer since 2012. The Bucs presumably hired him because Lovie Smith was familiar with him from his time with the Bears. According to Football Outsiders, the Bears were one of the healthiest teams in the league in 2012, though it should be noted that there's very little year-to-year consistency in those rankings. In other words: it's mostly luck.

The hiring of yet another former Bear clearly shows Lovie Smith's far-reaching influence on the Buccaneers. Smith said that he had "a deep respect for the work Bobby [Slater] did" at the Bears. "I witnessed first-hand his expertise and attention to detail in working with the players and I know he will provide our Buccaneers with great medical care."

Slater will have to help a few key Buccaneers recovering from season-ending injuries, including Doug Martin, Carl Nicks and Mike Williams.