How Will Derek Cox Respond To Being Benched?

Sep 22, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; San Diego Chargers cornerback Derek Cox (22) defends a pass intended for Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt (18) during the second half at LP Field. The Titans beat the Chargers 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Not too long ago, I posted an article about Derek Cox. The question I asked was “should we be worried about Cox”? Some people agreed that we should be concerned. Others thought he was adjusting to a new system, and Pagano’s scheme was the main reason he was playing so badly. There was a general consensus that he should be lined up in press coverage, and be given the opportunity to bump the receiver off the line. Pagano had been lining him up ten yards back from the receiver.

Well, they are still lining him up ten yards off, unfortunately. The problem is, we have seen Cox in press coverage lately, and he really isn’t much better. Opposing offenses keep targeting Cox, and he gives up big chunks of yardage. RGIII targeted him 5 times on Sunday, and completed 4 of those passes for 78 yards! In all fairness, Shareece Wright wasn’t much better. He let Griffin complete 5 of 6 passes on him for 68 yards. That’s 9 out of 11 targets for 146 yards!!! No bueno.

One month later, he is still struggling mightily. In Sunday’s contest against the Redskins, Cox was benched for Johnny Patrick. A player of Cox’s talent level should never force his coordinator to replace him with a less talented option. Johnny Patrick has made some good plays this season, despite the bad rep he seems to have with some fans. I have seen him take one for the team a couple of times, and stop crucial running plays. He has also been used with some success in blitz packages (neither of which Cox is very good at). But, Johnny Patrick is clearly not a very good cover corner.

When a player gets benched, one of two things can happen. It could light a fire under them, force them to address the reasons why they were taken out of the game, and raise their level of his play. Or, it could just backfire, and have a much deeper effect. It could kill whatever confidence the player has left, nothing changes, and their play just gets worse. Hopefully, the former of those two scenarios happens, for everyone’s sake.

As Charger fans, we have seen this before. There were times when Cason was getting burned repeatedly. He was replaced by Wright, Gilchrist, or even Greg Gatson for a certain amount of time. We also saw Ryan Mathews ride the pine, after fumbling the ball against Atlanta last season. In both of those cases, I can’t say that benching the player really worked. However, different players respond to different types of motivation. It is the coaches job (in this case John Pagano) to make sure that the player’s confidence doesn’t completely erode, and go on a downward spiral.

How will Derek Cox respond to this situation? He isn’t a rookie, and probably has never been benched in his NFL career. On the other hand, he has probably not played this poorly, either. Tom Telesco never would have signed him to begin with, if he knew his play would be this bad. Can he snap out of it, and play better? Can John Pagano help him regain his confidence? Can Ron Milus use his expertise as a defensive backs coach to raise Cox’s level of play, and get him to stop giving up huge plays?

These questions need to be answered quickly. We face the NFL’s best QB on Sunday, and he will pick apart this secondary like it’s the last piece of chicken. If we are starting Johnny Patrick, we are in big trouble. Furthermore, if Tom Telesco were to cut Derek Cox after one season, he would take an 8 million dollar bath against the cap. After releasing both Gaither, and Meachem, I don’t know if TT would be willing to jump back in the tub for another one. So, what do you think….. can Derek Cox get back on track? Personally, I will continue to hold onto hope that he is just going through a funk, after switching teams. Come on Derek!!!! Get this ship back on course!!!

Keep Bolting Toward Excellence!

Peter Thompson

 

Topics: Derek Cox, San Diego Chargers

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  • Trey P
    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      I was wondering about that. Thanks for looking it up. So, this is strike two then.

      • arnie

        Context…..

      • C.Steele

        Good article Peter. I got a sneaking suspicion this is gonna be TT’s first free agency bust! However, at 4 years $20M I don’t think it’s an outrageous failure. I do believe we will be using 2 draft pics on corners next year. Starting with the 2nd Rd, (1sr Rd will be OL). #GoBolts!

      • Trey P

        No problem bro im always looking up stuff on the chargers and our players

  • tubbs45

    Maybe he will quit, cause he has really been mediocre at best.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      However, if Heyward-Bey wouldn’t have dropped that pass over the top, we might not be saying that he had a great game that night. He had Cox beat, and it would have been yet another burn. But, he didn’t catch it… so.. we will never know. Thank God.

      • tubbs45

        Great point PT. HB actually dropped 3 when cox was covering him.

  • arnie

    I don’t know if he’ll bounce back, I hope he does, but we’ll see. What did encourage me? Pagano made a decision that was best for the football team. Now, will Pagano play more press to help his DB’s out, challenge every pass, an give the front seven that extra second to reach the QB, before he gets benched?
    Now that Cox in on the sideline, we can’t throw stones at him and focus on his poor play alone. If the defense plays better after benching Cox, problem solved. If not who do they bench next? Gilchrist? Butler? Weddle? Let’s face it the talent pool in the backfield is the the greatest. Knowing this, why to you stay a scheme that doesn’t help cover that lack of talent?
    Peter, Cox is on the bench, now begins act two. Let’s watch and see what happens…..

  • veazy

    Deja Vu… I think there’s a similar issue going on for the US national soccer team. Let’s hope Cox isn’t making a big deal out of it personally.

  • joerockt

    I figured this guy might be a bust. When you’re the “best player” on a shitty team, you’re still a part of a shitty team that you yourself make shitty. It was the same thing with Asomugha. People rode his jock back in the day saying how great he was. I never saw it. And so you see what a mediocre player he really was when going to a decent Eagles team.

    • shayaaa

      Nnamdi was an absolute shut down corner for quite some time in Oakland. 7 years, four pro-bowls, 4 all proteams, and the 2000′s all decade team.

      2008
      “Opposing quarterbacks tested him only 27 times the entire season resulting in just 8 completions. Only perennial all-pros Randy Moss (3 receptions, 40 yards) and Tony Gonzalez (2 receptions, 34 yards) would catch more than one ball on him during the year.”

      2009
      “A team captain again in 2009 and the NFL’s least targeted cornerback by an extremely wide margin, Asomugha was challenged by opposing quarterbacks only 27 times and allowed 13 completions the entire season.”

      2010
      “Asomugha allowed just 10 receptions on the 27 passes thrown his way. Most important, Asomugha did not give up a touchdown all year.”

      I don’t think its a question as to how great he was; but moreso as to why his skills deteriorated so quickly.

    • Pridenpoise

      You obviously didn’t see Nnamdi play in Oakland,QBs were so frightened of him they wouldn’t even throw to his side of the field.

  • joerockt

    I figured this guy might be a bust. When you’re the “best player” on a shitty team, you’re still a part of a shitty team that you yourself make shitty. It was the same thing with Asomugha. People rode his jock back in the day saying how great he was. I never saw it. And so you see what a mediocre player he really was when going to a decent Eagles team.

  • joerockt

    I figured this guy might be a bust. When you’re the “best player” on a shitty team, you’re still a part of a shitty team that you yourself make shitty. It was the same thing with Asomugha. People rode his jock back in the day saying how great he was. I never saw it. And so you see what a mediocre player he really was when going to a decent Eagles team.

  • joerockt

    I figured this guy might be a bust. When you’re the “best player” on a shitty team, you’re still a part of a shitty team that you yourself make shitty. It was the same thing with Asomugha. People rode his jock back in the day saying how great he was. I never saw it. And so you see what a mediocre player he really was when going to a decent Eagles team.

  • joerockt

    I figured this guy might be a bust. When you’re the “best player” on a shitty team, you’re still a part of a shitty team that you yourself make shitty. It was the same thing with Asomugha. People rode his jock back in the day saying how great he was. I never saw it. And so you see what a mediocre player he really was when going to a decent Eagles team.

  • joerockt

    I figured this guy might be a bust. When you’re the “best player” on a shitty team, you’re still a part of a shitty team that you yourself make shitty. It was the same thing with Asomugha. People rode his jock back in the day saying how great he was. I never saw it. And so you see what a mediocre player he really was when going to a decent Eagles team.

  • joerockt

    I figured this guy might be a bust. When you’re the “best player” on a shitty team, you’re still a part of a shitty team that you yourself make shitty. It was the same thing with Asomugha. People rode his jock back in the day saying how great he was. I never saw it. And so you see what a mediocre player he really was when going to a decent Eagles team.

  • supersurge619er

    I think Cox will step his game up with this new staff I think they will wake him up this staff looks like there on it compare to the previous staff cox never been a elite corner but he has good speed the staff just needs to teach him awareness vision timing that’s because any lil move can throw a db off so I hope cox can step up I think he will and if he don’t at all I think we will be looking for a replacement ..I like the fact our new staff goes after available good talent ..still believing …one charge …bolt up

  • Michael

    The Chargers haven’t been very good in that position in a while…I also have noticed a lot of inconsistencies in pass interference calls and non calls, seems like that shut down corner back might be a thing of the past……

  • Gunnar Martin

    I’ve been really impressed by Patrick. He sure seems to put more effort into it more than Cox. I just can’t figure out why Derek would be playing so horribly this season when he was actually one of the better corners (when he was healthy) in the league the last few seasons. Maybe it is just the team change. Whatever it is, he’s gotta get it figured out or our defense is going to pay the price down the stretch.

  • Derek

    We need to make cox work, after dropping Gaither and meachum I can’t see us cutting cox too. But I def of see us taking a instinctive potential number 1 corner in the first 3 rounds. I hope we get it right. Wright has struggled but I don’t see him getting worked over by the qb like cox is. I think wright can be a solid number 2. I think after seeing jarret Johnson come into his own after a full season in sd cox deserves that much. We need to make a decision on gilcrist Taylor and addae and still draft a cb, and tell em (Williams,wright,cox,gillcrist,Taylor,addae, Patrick, rookie) there’s only room for 4/5 cbs and 1/2 ss’s someone’s not gonna make it, don’t let it be u.

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