Cox Excited To Be Reunited With A Good Friend

We now sit two months away from the start of the 2015 season for the Atlanta Falcons, with training camp set to get underway later this month. It will also be the start of the non-stop NFL schedule and this year’s journey through those weeks with new head coach Dan Quinn.

While some of the players and fans in Atlanta might not be as familiar with Quinn and his style to this point. That does not include Falcons defensive line coach Bryan Cox.

Cox is of course known for his at-times abrasive style as a player and now coach. The latter was chronicled on the HBO/NFL Films reality series ‘Hard Knocks’ last summer.

The two coaches first had the chance to work with each other back in 2007, when Quinn was named the New York Jets defensive line coach. Cox was already with the organization as an assistant defensive line coach.

Those two years in New York with Quinn, became the start of a soon to be reunion down the road in the coaching world. That friendship even ended up helping out the Cox family.

“We became really good friends and had a connection at that point,” Cox said. “My son chose (to play at) the University of Florida, because he was the defensive coordinator. So, we’ve got a good history together. He’s a good man and good coach.”

Bryan’s son is number 94 Bryan Cox Jr. He is a 6’3” 261 pound defensive lineman, who is entering his junior season with the Gators. He would start 10 games last season for Florida and has a career total of 34 tackles (eight for a loss) and six sacks.

While Cox Jr. chose to play for Quinn at Florida, he would redshirt in 2012. Quinn left the next season to re-join the coaching staff with the Seattle Seahawks.

Now Bryan Sr. and Dan Quinn are back on the same coaching staff, since their days with the Jets. Cox is still an assistant to Quinn. Now, it’s just with a little more responsibility.

Cox says he wasn’t surprised that Quinn became a head coach. In fact, he thinks he’s an inspiration.

“He was always destined to be where he was,” Cox said. “It’s just so hard in this league for defensive line coaches to get a shot to move back to become coordinator to move up the ladder. He’s proven that if you give anybody a shot, it’s amazing to what they can do. No limits to what they can do.”

One of the strengths of Quinn as a coach is the fact that he loves the game of football and is a tireless worker to not only increase his knowledge of the game, but those around him as well.

Cox attests to this fact and admits that even though they hadn’t coached on the same staff since 2008, Quinn was always a huge presence in the way he leads his players.

“The good thing about this system for me is that a lot of what I know he taught me,” Cox said. “So, it’s just basically us getting back together and saying ‘ok, here’s what we’re doing.’”

Relationship building and retention of those close connections with players and coaches has been another noted strength of Quinn’s. Cox says that he noticed this back in New York, when he met some of Quinn’s friends from his upbringing in Morristown, New Jersey.

Cox continued on by saying that this group of coaches came together so quickly from hanging out at the team facility in Flowery Branch or away from Falcons Parkway. The environment has been an extremely enjoyable experience to this point.

“It really is a family atmosphere,” Cox said. “A lot of people had working relationships with each other before they came here. “Q” brought a lot of his really good friends over, so a lot of us knew each other just by connecting through him. So it was already easy. When it came together, it was like ‘ok let’s roll.’”

While the players and coaches are officially off until the start of training camp at the end of this month. One thing is already for certain… Quinn, Cox and the rest of coaches are still working on evaluating the team to get ready for 2015.

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