The Atlanta Falcons have hired former Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant Bryan Cox as defensive line coach, the team announced Saturday.
Cox spent two years on Greg Schiano’s staff in Tampa, where he coached the defensive front seven and served as a pass rush specialist.
In Cox’s two seasons with the Bucs, the defense generated a total of 62 sacks, finishing 23rd in the league in this statistical category in 2013 (35.0) and 29th in 2012 (27.0). In 2012, his unit yielded the fewest rushing yards in the league, giving up just 82.5 yards per game and 3.5 yards per rushing play.
His most notable achievement was helping defensive tackle Gerald McCoy reach the Pro Bowl for two consecutive seasons. (Or if you’re one for theatrics, his shoving match with Adam Hayward on the sidelines in that New Orleans blow-out two years ago was pretty entertaining).
Last week, Schiano’s assistants learned that they would not be retained under new head coach Lovie Smith. Cox is the first of that group to find a new job.
Cox inherits a Falcons defensive line that has had its own share of struggles getting to the quarterback, finishing 29th in the league in sacks in 2013, which led to the firing of Ray Hamilton, Atlanta’s defensive line coach for six seasons.
Former offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan had an interview with the New York Giants on Tuesday for their vacant offensive coordinator position.