The Falcons will reportedly hire former Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rush specialist Bryan Cox to coach the defensive line, filling their vacancy on the other side of the ball just a few days after hiring Mike Tice to handle the offensive line.
#Falcons to hire Bryan Cox as their defensive line coach today.— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) January 11, 2014
While the mutual interest between Mike Tice and the Falcons was clear a couple of weeks ago, the Cox hire seems to spring out of nowhere. Cox probably was not returning to the Buccaneers with Lovie Smith coming aboard, so the Falcons moved quickly to snap him out before he draws interest elsewhere. Given that he has never coached with Mike Smith, this might seem like an unorthodox hire, but he did work with Mike Nolan in the past.
Cox, as noted in our previous post about his interview, is a guy with 12 years as a linebacker in the NFL and several years coaching. He's been the defensive line coach in Cleveland, a pass rush specialist in Miami and most recently one in Tampa Bay. In all those capacities, he's done a solid job, and he has a reputation for being one tough dude and someone who can help your development efforts with young players.
Ultimately, this is the kind of hire everyone has been clamoring for but will be justifiably cautious about now that it has happened. Cox isn't a longtime DL coach with a proven track record of success, but he's a tough former player who has meaningful experience coaching up pass rushers. After Ray Hamilton, Cox represents a leap in the right direction. Let's hope he works out, and I'll be eager to see if the Falcons add any assistants.
Your thoughts regarding Cox's hiring?