Atlanta Falcons Blog

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

Where do you stand on the Bryan Cox hire?

Bryan Cox is one tough dude.

He’s from East St. Louis, the toughest town in America.

He played for the East St. Louis High Flyers and legendary prep coach Bob Shannon.

He once took on the entire Bengals sidelines and gave Buffalo fans the middle finger salute.

Falcons fans have to hope that he’s matured and has learned how to teach and instill that intensity and toughness into his pupils.

Arthur Blank wants the team to play tougher and closer to the edge of the line of indecency and outrageousness (My interpretation).

If the Falcons make a move up and draft South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, Cox would be the most important position coach on the staff.

This will be his second stint as the defensive line coach. He coached the Browns defensive line in 2009 and 2010.

He was the assistant defensive line coach for the New York Jets in 2006-08. He was something called the pass rush coach for Mike Nolan and the Dolphins in 2011 and was Tampa Bay’s defensive front seven  coach in 2012-13.

He was one of the most feared linebackers in during the 1990s in the NFL. After his days in Miami, he was a free agent and I had the pleasure of meeting him at Chicago Stadium during a Chicago Bulls’ NBA game. The Packers had lost to the Cowboys in the NFC Championship game and were trying dethrone the Cowboys and 49ers as the powers in the NFC.

Cox made the wrong choice and went with the Bears. The Packers went on to win the Super Bowl the next season.

Not really sure how much credit to give Cox for the development of Tampa Bay defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David, but he was their coach. New Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith must not have been impressed or he would have kept him.

While with the Browns he coached linemen that accounted for 11.5 of 40 sacks in 2009. The following season, the defensive line had just 3.5 of the Browns 29 sacks. The Browns were 8th in sacks in 2009 and 25th in 2010.

The lines coached by Cox were not stout against the run. In 2009, the Browns gave up 144.6 yards per game, 28th in the league. In 2010, the Browns gave up 129.4 yards per game, which ranked 27th in the league.

So, what do you think about the hire of Cox?

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About the Author

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