Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Bryan Cox Sr. believes combine incident led to his firing by Falcons 

Former Falcons defensive line coach Bryan Cox Sr. believes he was firing was not performance related and that he was dismissed for an off the field incident.

Cox, who was with the Falcons for three seasons, believes he was fired for shoving a low ranking scout from the Arizona Cardinals at the scouting combine in 2016, according to The Charlotte Observer. 

“You go from your unit playing really well in the Super Bowl and sacking the quarterback five times and having (nine) quarterback hits ... and (three) days later you get fired,” Cox Sr. said this week during a phone interview with Joe Persons of The Charlotte Observer. “I wasn’t given an answer to why I was fired. I was left to go back and kind of play stuff over. 

“And the only thing I can come up with is the combine incident that kind of led to it.”

Cox did a great job helping to develop defensive end/linebacker Vic Beasley, who led the league in sacks, and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, who had three sacks in Super Bowl LI. 

He was fired along with former defensive coordinator Richard Smith. However, defensive backs coach Marquand Manuel, who also had an incident at the 2016 combine , was promoted to defensive coordinator. 

"I don’t know why I was fired," Cox said. "Wasn’t given an answer. It doesn’t even much matter anymore. You move on. I ain’t got no hard feelings. I’ve got people in that building I love. I’ve got people in that building I love a little less.”

His son, former Florida defensive end Bryan Cox Jr., was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Carolina Panthers. 

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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.