Shedding Some Light on The Derek Cox "Benching"

A question in the O-Zone over at Jaguars.com with John Oesher sparked a few tweets from Florida Times-Union beat writer Tania Ganguli about Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Derek Cox.

Here was the original O-Zone question and answer:

Duncan from Jacksonville:
I'm with Dan. The whole Derek Cox thing bugged me, too, because none of it made sense - at least based on the information coming from the coaches. If I remember correctly, Del Rio was praising him for training through an ankle injury during the preseason, followed by him being benched, the coach citing his "confidence" as the reason. In that Denver game he didn't even look like the same player as the year before. As the season went on, he became our best corner again. Seems to me like an injury that wasn't acknowledged.

John: From what I understand the opinion of the coaches was simply that Cox wasn't playing well early. I don't have an incredible amount of insight into Cox's benching, not having been here at the time, but I do know the Jaguars see Cox as integral going forward. He's a young player who's learning on the fly, and sometimes periods such as the one he went through are necessary for a player's growth.

Here is a stream of tweets from Ganguli in response:

Allow me to chime in uninvited on a question someone asked Oehser about their confusion as to why derek cox was benched last year. Cox is a cerebral guy and the concern was he would overthink what went wrong against Denver, spiral downward and lose confidence. The Jaguars kept him out against Philip Rivers, Michael Vick and Peyton Manning. Upon return, he played really well to finish the year. Worth noting, they moved Cox to the left last year during OTAs when Rashean Mathis wasn't there, which likely didn't help his start

What Ganguli tweeted doesn't deviate from what I was told at the time of Cox's benching. It was a benching until they felt he was right. There was some speculation by former Jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchman that Derek Cox was actually injured.

Trey from Jacksonville
What's up with Derrick Cox, Vic? Sophomore slump?

Vic: In interviewing him after yesterday's game, I got the idea that his foot injury in the summer may be a problem. I don't know that for sure, I just got that feeling. He talked a little about the injury and then, when asked what he has to do to get out of his slump, he said he has to work on his footwork. I kind of got a message out of that.

As I've written in the past, it's highly unlikely Derek Cox was actually injured. He never appeared on the injury report during the time he was inactive. As Ganguli noted, it's possible the foot injury effected him against the Broncos, but he wasn't inactive because of his foot.

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