This is the lead story in Sports for the New York Times and nytimes.com at the moment:
NYT on Michael Cox: What we and the coaches didn't know
Crazy story. Glad that it pretty much worked out for their family.
We could just take the advice Cox Sr. gives to new police recruits. Have some basic human dignity.
So, uh, FORCE BORGES TO RESIGN!! j/k
Pretty interesting story and thanks for the link. I'll root for Mike Cox even more now. And his dad.
the UM fanbase had such a problem with this. Thanks for pointing it out. It would also be nice if people would strive to be decent posters and not post such haughty sanctimony. And no, making your donation to the blog does not give you license to post what should be recognized and observed as obvious moral posturing on a SPORTS BLOG. You sound like a football broadcaster after a player suffers a spinal injury telling the audience how this puts things "in perspective". That reflex seems to be very strong, so I guess I can't blame you. I just want to know, are you a Tom Rinaldi fan?
Cox sr.'s incident is documented in a book called "The Fence". I forget the author's name.
The book was written by Dick Lehr, who was a Boston Globe reporter, and it is a fascinating and very sobering read at the same time. I read it a few years ago after it came up in a conversation.
The NYT article is a great read and as MGoShoe pointed out, underscores the idea that we do not know the stories that stand on the sideline, if you will, and what some players had to overcome to get there. It is definitely something people should keep in mind on Saturdays.
while I agree with everything u said, can u magically start booing the player once they start playing on Sundays? The same issues or stories they carry with them are with them on Saturdays will still be there on Sundays.
...that his coaches at Michigan didn't know about this? Maybe they just had the decency to not talk about it.
It seems like the kind of thing that might turn up, maybe somebody googles the name during recruiting and there's the book. It's also the kind of thing you'd never mention unless the player mentioned it first and you'd certainly never, ever comment about it to anyone outside.
So says Tom Coughlin, the notoriously demanding disciplinarian and two-time Super Bowl-winning coach.
Yet we were assured time after time by those with supposed inside knowledge that Cox didn't play at Michigan because he couldn't learn the plays correctly.
That's a major disconnect that can only be explained by one of the following:
1. Coughlin is lying or deluded
2. Cox suddenly started "getting it" at UMass and the NFL.
3. The Michigan coaching staff didn't know what the hell they were doing.
Any Michael didn't bitch about it. I simply moved on to make things better.
Not common in our "LOOK AT ME!" Facebook, Twitter, etc culture.
Just another example of somebody "refusing to embrace 21 century concepts", to toss out an idea floating around on a couple of other threads.
Maybe we need more of that.
"I simply moved on to make things better."
Are you Mike Cox?
I'm your biggest fan.
- Couglin's not lying, but he's being interviewed about a player of his for a newspaper article. I don't doubt that Mike, Jr. is smart, but Coughlin could be exaggerating a little.
- The more a player plays at higher levels and learn the amount of time and effort it takes to learn the plays, the better player he's going to be. It did say in the article that he's always one of the last ones to leave, meaning he's doing a lot of off-field film and other study to be prepared. Maybe he didn't do that as much at Michigan--especially for a kid whose family values academics so highly--because he was studying the more important things to study.
- Especially on offense, the Rodriguez staff certainly knew what they were doing, but maybe they didn't spend a lot of time digging into why Mike wasn't performing b/c they had a 1-back offense and a lot of backs to sort out.
Besides, why must we always look first for someone to blame rather than to find a solution?
Rodriguez did a poor job of choosing Vincent Smith as his horse of a running back. He also did some other things poorly on offense, but I've said it until my face is blue...SOMEBODY other than Smith should have been given a chance to take the reins in the backfield. Considering Cox is the only guy from that crew to latch on in the NFL (not Michael Shaw, not Sam McGuffie, not even Brandon Minor), I think it's fair to say that he should have been given more carries when he was in college.
Rodriguez played McGuffie over Minor - the former couldn't even cut it at RB at Rice and had to move to slot receiver. Then he played Smith over Cox and Toussaint; I believe Smith is out of football while Cox is in the NFL and Toussaint had 1,000 yards the year after Rodriguez left.
Rodriguez knows a ton more about football than I do, and he's turned out some great college backs in Ka'Deem Carey, Steve Slaton, etc. But his personnel choices at Michigan were highly questionable.
It's an oddity about Rodriguez's teams--with all the great offenses he's put on the field over the years, he's sent almost no talent to the NFL. A while back I was doing a search on NFL players by school and there wasn't a single Rodriguez-coached offensive player in the league (there was a converted fullback that had played defense at WVU). There are a few now, of course: Denard, Schilling, Omameh, Hemingway, William Campbell (oops), Cox (oops).
He's looking for something different, apparently. Given his results on that side of the ball I can't say he's wrong.
I didn't know a player whose career high carries in a game was 18 qualified as a "horse." Even during his "horse" season, Smith averaged 10 carries per game.
Furthermore, there's more to playing the position than running the ball. There's pass protection, run blocking, and receiving. The players have to a) know what to do in all of these and b) need to be able to execute most of them.
You can't play the best runner on run calls, the best receiver on screens/swings, the best pass protector on drop backs, etc.
I'm not saying RR and his staff (including Fred Jackson, who primarily decides who sees the field at RB on game day) didn't make any personnel mistakes. Is it possible they didn't pick the right guy at that time? Sure. Is it possible they did choose correctly, based on the circumstances? Absolutely. What I'm saying is that you can't validly conclude that not playing Cox was a horrible decision just b/c the kid is now playing in the NFL (and b/c you had a man-crush on him since his HS days).
Smith had 61 more carries than the next back.
Regardless, let's assume that there's no way to tinker with your play calling/substitutions (and that's a big assumption, because you can). Even if that's the case, you can still put your most talented running back in the game and see how things play out. I never said that Cox should have been the unquestioned starter and given 25 carries a game, but when your guys aren't getting the job done, you give someone else a chance.
Who was the best RB on that team? Denard.
What was that team's best play? QB Outside Zone with RB lead.
Who was the best blocker and reknowned toughest player on the team? Vincent Smith.
Michael Cox was also an option available to the non-RR coaching staff we have in place now (in Cox's senior year). Cox was given fewer carries by Hoke/Borges (zero carries in 6 game appearances). I'm glad he has found a place on the Giants' roster, and I wish him the best, but let's not turn this into a RR criticism. (Cox also averaged 3.6 yards per carry at UMass, with a season long of 32. So it's not like he lit the world on fire in his final year (on a weak team, admittedly).)
Another sign of what we're dealing with in A2. A guy that is smart enough to attend grad school and good enough to crack a power NFL team's roster, somehow wasn't astute enough to learn our playbook, or good enough to displace Fitz (and T.Rawls), a CFL talent at best, at tailback. This doesn't necessarily settle the debate about Hoke, but the Cox situation has always been concerning to me as far as our staff's level of competence goes. :(
Cox was already solidly behind Toussaint and Smith on the depth chart in 2010. Why is this specifically a Hoke issue?
Toussaint was a 1,000-yard rusher in 2011. It's not a shock that Cox (who rushed for under 800 yards at UMass in his only year as a starter) couldn't beat him out.
Cox's big opportunity was in 2010, after Minor and Brown had graduated, and when Fitz was injured.
Nice story but Magnus already knew about this.
What does that have to do with anything? A lot of people knew about it, especially in Boston. There was a book and countless news stories. Now a lot more people know.
Doesnt really matter what happened at Michigan... So many people flourished after college (whether u r an athelete or not...
This is a harrowing story that I had never heard about. Pretty damn inspirational.
what a rough experience for the dad.
I have no idea why the OP assumes the coaches didn't know this -- who knows what they knew? </but-that-ship-has-sailed-so-who-cares>
until he was called to comment in connection with this story. As head coach of the NY Giants who had a lot to do with taking a very late draft pick and not even relegating him to the practice squad, if Coughlin didn't know it doesn't seem surprising that his college coaches didn't know either. His UMass coaches may have known, because the story made a lot of news locally when it was happening.
And now we know.
Quite a family. The world could use more of their sort.
I don't understand your point about the coaches not knowing (if that's even true). Are you suggesting that he would have played if our staff had known what happened to his father?
Wow, what a great story! I'm guessing most people would not have responded how Michael Sr responded, or would not have stayed on the force. I've always thought highly of Mike Cox and wished him the best in the nfl. So sad he had to give up hockey though.