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Bryan Cox

For other people named Brian Cox, see Brian Cox (disambiguation).
Bryan Cox
Cox in Iraq, 2006
Team Atlanta Falcons
Personal information
Date of birth (1968-02-17) February 17, 1968 (age 52)
Place of birth St. Louis, Missouri
Career information
Position(s) Defensive line coach
College Western Illinois
Team(s) as a player
199195 Miami Dolphins
199697 Chicago Bears
19982000 New York Jets
2001 New England Patriots
2002 New Orleans Saints
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
2006–08 New York Jets
(Assistant Defensive Line Coach)
2009–10 Cleveland Browns
(Defensive Line Coach)
2011 Miami Dolphins
(Pass Rush Coach)
2012–13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(Defensive Front Seven Coach)
2014 Atlanta Falcons
(Defensive Line Coach)
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Bryan Keith Cox (born February 17, 1968) is a former American football linebacker who played twelve seasons in the NFL from 1991 through 2002. He is now a Defensive Line Coach for the Atlanta Falcons. Cox was a three-time pro bowler with the Miami Dolphins and was also a member of the New England Patriots club that won Super Bowl XXXVI. He is currently the defensive "front seven" coach for the Atlanta Falcons.

Cox generated controversy while a Miami Dolphin in 1993, when he waved the middle fingers with both hands at fans prior to a road game against the Buffalo Bills.[1]

High school and college

Cox was a member of the East St. Louis High School Flyers, where he was coached by Bob Shannon.

Cox attended Western Illinois University and was a Mass Communications Major and a letterman in football. In football, he was a four-year letterman and a two-year starter. As a senior, he was named as a First Team All-America selection by the Football Gazzette and was a First Team All-Conference selection. As a junior, he was named the Western Illinois University M.V.P. As a sophomore, Cox played in every game, and finished his sophomore season with 54 tackles, four forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, two interceptions and three blocked kicks. As a freshman, Cox was a reserve nickel-back and finished the season with 30 tackles.

National Football League

Cox was drafted by the Dolphins in the 5th round of the 1991 NFL Draft, chosen 113th overall. As a rookie, Cox started 13 games as the Dolphins right outside linebacker, racking up a total of 61 tackles along with two sacks. Miami finished out the season 8-8. In his sophomore campaign, Cox blossomed and helped lead the Dolphins to an 11-5 record and the AFC Championship Game. He made his first Pro Bowl and was named to the All Pro team after recording 127 tackles, 14 sacks and five forced fumbles.[2] Miami switched to a 4-3 defense in 1993 and Cox was moved to right linebacker. The team started out 9-2, but lost their last five to miss the playoffs. Cox again led the team with 122 tackles, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He also collected five sacks and an interception.

Cox earned his second Pro Bowl selection in 1994, starting 16 games at middle linebacker, leading the team with 100 tackles.[3] Miami finished the season 10-6, winning the Wild Card Game against the Kansas City Chiefs, 27-17 before losing the Divisional Playoff to the San Diego Chargers, 22-21. In 1995, Cox was selected to his second consecutive Pro Bowl, and third overall. He again started every game at middle linebacker, finishing the year with a team high 119 tackles, 7.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. The Dolphins went 9-7 before bowing out in the Wild Card Game to the Buffalo Bills, 37-22. The defense tied for the AFC lead by allowing only seven rushing touchdowns. Overall, Cox spent five years with the Dolphins playing both outside and middle linebacker, starting 75 out of a possible 78 games.

Cox would go on to play seven more seasons in the NFL for the Chicago Bears, the New York Jets, the New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints. In a career encompassing 165 games, Cox recorded 764 tackles, tallied 51.5 quarterback sacks, caught four interceptions and forced 22 fumbles. Among his most famous plays was a 27-yard interception-return touchdown against the Patriots in September 1999 while playing with the Jets; another famous play came with the Patriots in September 2001 in a game against the Indianapolis Colts; Cox hit receiver Jerome Pathon in the first quarter, a hit that briefly knocked Pathon out.

Throughout his NFL career, Cox was easily recognizable on the field due to the unusual headrest- or "surfboard"-style neck roll he wore and colored to match his uniform jersey.[4]

Post-playing career

From 2004-2005 he worked as an analyst for TVG Network. He was an assistant defensive line coach for the New York Jets for three seasons (2006–08) under Eric Mangini. After Mangini was fired and became the coach of the Cleveland Browns in January 2009, he brought Cox with him, where Cox was the defensive line coach.

On February 21, 2011, Cox was hired by the Miami Dolphins as their pass rush coach.

On February 17, 2012, Cox was hired to become a defensive assistant at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was hired the same day as Bill Sheridan.

On January 11, 2014, Cox was hired by the Atlanta Falcons as their defensive line coach.

Notes and references