Longtime NFL linebacker and assistant coach Bryan Cox has been unemployed for four years.
He’s still not quite sure why, but he said he’s trying to focus on making himself better in case he gets another chance to coach.
The 52-year-old Cox told D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he’s willing to own his part in previous issues, since he was fired three days after the Falcons lost Super Bowl LI. At the time, his 2016 Scouting Combine incident (in which he shoved a Cardinals scout in a disagreement over access to a player) was mentioned as a possible reason.
“For me, it’s just a matter of doing some self-analyzing,” Cox said. “Trying to make myself better and go from there. “I’ve been looking at some of the mistakes I made and [thinking about] what I would do differently. Not putting the blame on anybody else, but trying to look at what I could have done personally differently. . . .
“One of the biggest things that I think I would come up with, when people that are supposedly close to you, but don’t feel like you’re approachable, that they can talk to you. You have to take a look at that. The people that said they were close to me. That I was loyal to, that I felt like I was close to them, but they were not able to have a conversation with me. I must not be approachable in some situations. I’m trying to work through that. I’m trying to figure out some legitimate reasons why that could have been.”
Cox played 12 years in the NFL, making three Pro Bowls during his time with the Dolphins, and won a Super Bowl with the Patriots. He got into coaching with the Jets in 2006 with the Jets, and also worked with the Browns, Dolphins, and Buccaneers before joining the Falcons.
Repairing relationships with his family was part of that. After he was fired, he moved his family from Atlanta to Houston, but a protest from his daughter caused them to go back to Georgia.
“My now 11-year-old daughter said I stole her life from her, took her away from her life and her friends,” he said. “I’m just down here spending time with the family.
“I want to get back into coaching. But the phone hasn’t rung in four years, and that’s a hard thing.”
After so long out, it’s unclear if that call will come. Now he’s working on being a father, and watching his son’s career. Bryan Cox Jr. signed with Buffalo this offseason.