No announcement yet.

Cox gets nod as CU's quarterback

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Cox gets nod as CU's quarterback

    I'm a little disappointed that Brian White didn't come out and steal the job from Cox... After the Champ Sports Bowl, it was White's job to lose essentially. Hopefully Cox will get it together on the field-- If I were a betting man I'd say that Cox, White and B-Jack will all take some snaps before the year is over.

    By B.G. Brooks, Rocky Mountain News
    August 21, 2006
    BOULDER - James Cox has been playing from behind for most of a confounding football career at the University of Colorado. But Sunday, the player most recently judged to have the most ground to recapture was rewarded for making the most progress.
    Coach Dan Hawkins named Cox, whose patience as a backup endured an often-difficult and stressful two-year test, as the Buffaloes' starting quarterback when they begin the season Sept. 2 against Montana State (1:30 p.m., Folsom Field).

    "It's definitely been up and down for me here," Cox said. "But it's been a great experience for football and for life in general. . . . It's all just kind of built up to this point, and I'm excited for this opportunity."

    Cox, a fifth-year senior from Simi Valley, Calif., eventually elevated his game and established what Hawkins called a "razor-thin" edge on junior Brian White. So close was the competition that if this had been an election, the runner-up might be demanding a recount.

    Cox was "a little more efficient running the club" and "a little ahead in terms of how he operates and understands the offense," Hawkins said. "It's thin, it really is. But you've got to make the call, and he's the guy."

    Added offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mark Helfrich: "You always want a dramatic separation; you really like that because it builds a lot of confidence in the team. I wouldn't say that's necessarily the case here, not necessarily in the confidence part of it, but there hasn't been a drastic, 'Wow, this guy's been a lot better than this guy.' But we've had enough evaluation where we just need to make a decision and roll."

    And so the Buffs roll with Cox, who has persevered through his share of rocky times at CU. In the previous four seasons, he:

    • Missed a sizable portion of his freshman camp (2002), returning to California to attend to family matters.

    • Made his first career start in 2004 (Iowa State), only to be yanked after throwing an interception in a game in which starter Joel Klatt essentially was allowed time to step back and regroup.

    • Started, but failed to finish, the Champs Sports Bowl in December. Ineffective through almost three full quarters, he was replaced by White in the Buffs' 19-10 loss to Clemson.

    • Sat out most of spring drills because of a right hand/thumb injury that prevented him from effectively gripping the football and throwing it, spawning concern from the new coaching staff and thrusting him behind White in the competition.

    • Entered August camp as a consensus depth chart dark horse, a firm No. 3 behind White and junior Bernard Jackson.

    Two weeks later, Cox is No. 1. But his complex journey to the top isn't complete: He has been told he must produce, just as Hawkins and Helfrich must see that he does.

    "I told James, 'I don't want you to feel like the hook's laying there; it's your deal and you go,' " Hawkins said. "But I (also) said, 'Hey, I've got to produce, coach Helfrich has got to produce and you've got to produce.'

    "That's the nature of our jobs and your position. So, is that a game, is it two games, is it a half, is it three games? I think you have to give him enough room where he can go out and operate - and that's always a touchy situation."

    Under Cox or White, offensive efficiency has been minimal in two scrimmages, with neither QB directing a sustained touchdown drive. Cox's passing numbers were better than White's - but barely. Cox completed 14 of 29 for 198 yards (no interceptions, four sacks) and White went 12-for-23 for 102 yards (two interceptions, six sacks).

    Jackson, meanwhile, reaffirmed his mobility (14 carries, 176 yards) as well as the need to polish his passing (5-for-11 for 50 yards, two interceptions, two sacks). Hawkins said there are "some plays" in the offense for Jackson.

    Neither Helfrich nor Hawkins is a proponent of "platooning" quarterbacks. The only way Helfrich might consider consistently playing a pair is if, talentwise, they were "polar opposites."

    But in the office where the buck stops - Hawkins' - there's little enthusiasm for using two QBs.

    "I've done it and I don't like it," Hawkins said.

    "The guy who is the (starter) needs to know you have his back. . . . That's a hard position to play anyway, and if you think the hook is right around the corner on you, that's hard."

    Hawkins expects White to accept his backup role, staying poised and prepared. "I told him, 'Don't go dead. . . . Stay alive and be ready.' "

    "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed," White said. "If the situation presents itself like last season (in the bowl game) I have to be ready to step in - and I will be."

    The entire team has been informed about the importance of individual roles, and when "you reach the point where they can't deal with that role, then you have issues," Hawkins said. "We all have roles, we all have a niche and we all have to live within that and make everything go. And on great teams, you can't treat everybody fairly; that's just the nature of how it goes."

    Hawkins emphasized that Cox and every other starter needs support.

    "If I'm No. 2 and No. 3, I'm No. 1's best friend," he said. "I'm helping him out, I'm coaching him up, I'm watching film with him, I'm giving him tips, I'm talking to him on the sideline, I'm patting him on the butt, I'm picking him up. That's the way good teams are."

    ETC.: Mell Holliday and Byron Ellis have pulled into a three-way tie with Hugh Charles for the No. 1 tailback spot on the latest depth chart . . . Matt DiLallo, Mason Crosby and Isaac Garden are tied at punter . . . Paul Creighton and Tyson DeVree are listed as co-starters at tight end, with Ryan Walters and Ben Burney sharing No. 1 at free safety . . . Senior end Walter Boye-Doe, taken to a local hospital for observation after suffering a neck injury Friday night, said he "caught a big break; it could have been a lot worse." Boye-Doe is scheduled to see a neurosurgeon for further examination . . . The Buffs practice once today (9-11:30 a.m.).

  • #2
    I bet Hawkins will bring in a JUCO QB next year.

    Is this guy a runner or a passer?
    Go Huskers.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Nick7
      I bet Hawkins will bring in a JUCO QB next year.

      Is this guy a runner or a passer?
      Cox is a pass first QB who is slightly more mobile than Joel Klatt was... He really needs to show us something though because he was slightly worse than mediocre in all his outings last year... I would see him at parties quite a bit last year, whereas Brian White, his roommate, is more of a gym rat-hopefully Cox gets more focused this year if he wants to keep this job all year (I don't think he'll make it past week 4.)

      No JUCO players will be coming in at QB though, Cody Hawkins is a freshman this year-- The coach's son is the QB of the future.


      • #4
        Yeah, can't say I'm too thrilled about that decision...Cox has always proven to be a solid practice QB but when it came to gametime (ie Champ Sports Bowl) he was just absolutely horrible... After this decision, we can mark this as a "rebuilding" year and the North is defintely Nebraska's to lose...
        fight u dwn the must win.. fight fight fr knows no defet! so roll up the mighty score, Never Give in!!...shouler to shulder we will FIGHT..FIGHT ... FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!


        • #5
          yeah i am really discouraged that cox is the starter. he is like a deer in headlights whenever he is put in a real game situation