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Cardinals announce staff changes, including Brentson Buckner’s hire

Arizona Cardinals Defensive Line coach Brentson Buckner talks into his headset during an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals announced a series of coaching staff changes on Wednesday, including the official hire of Brentson Buckner as defensive line coach.

Arizona also announced former tight end Jim Dray accepting the offensive quality control position, Mark Naylor taking over as assistant strength and conditioning coach, and Derius Swinton filling the assistant special teams coach opening.

Additionally, the Cardinals promoted Charlie Bullen to outside linebackers coach, Don Shumpert to offensive assistant and Spencer Whipple to assistant wide receivers coach.

The 48-year-old Buckner was the Cardinals’ defensive line coach from 2013 through 2017 under then-head coach Bruce Arians, who has since gone on to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Buckner joined Arians for a season in 2018 before going to Oakland last year.

Buckner, who was fired by the Raiders after the 2019 season, replaces Chris Achuff, who was reportedly fired in December along with assistant special teams coach Randall McCray.

Swinton replaces McCray and has spent time with six NFL franchises. He last served as an offensive assistant with the Detroit Lions in 2018.

Dray was most recently with the Cleveland Browns working as an offensive quality control coach, though it is unclear what position he will hold in Arizona. He joined Cleveland last year under then-head coach Freddie Kitchens, who was Dray’s tight ends coach with the Cardinals from 2010-12.

Dray, a seventh-round draft pick by Arizona in 2010, played for the Cardinals through the 2013 season before joining Cleveland, Buffalo and San Francisco. He returned to Arizona in 2017, playing one game before being released.

Naylor replaces Vernon Stephens, who was the assistant strength and conditioning coach last year.

Whipple takes the place of Peter Badovinac, who was assistant WR coach in 2019.

The Cardinals also lost defensive assistant Chris Wilson this offseason.

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