Former Atlanta Falcons defensive line coach Bryan Cox isn’t sure why he was fired, but he thinks it may have been because of an incident during the 2016 NFL scouting combine, according to Joseph Person of The Charlotte Observer.
Cox was fired three days after the Falcons’ crushing Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots, when Atlanta’s defense blew a 28-3 lead.
“I wasn’t given an answer to why I was fired. I was left to go back and kind of play stuff over. And the only thing I can come up with is the combine incident that kind of led to it,” he said.
Cox is referring to the 2016 incident where he shoved an Arizona Cardinals scout at the combine during a disagreement over access to a prospect. The former NFL linebacker later apologized for the scuffle.
“I don’t know why I was fired. Wasn’t given an answer. It doesn’t even much matter anymore,” he added. “You move on. I ain’t got no hard feelings. I’ve got people in that building I love. I’ve got people in that building I love a little less.”
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Falcons did not officially link the decision to fire Cox to the shove in 2016.
Cox was originally hired as Atlanta’s defensive line coach in January 2014.
He played 12 years in the NFL, making three Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team. Cox spent time with the Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints during his career.
He was part of the Patriots team that won Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002.