Falcons' Bryan Cox: Yelling, cursing wrong approach with Vic Beasley Jr.

The Falcons hope a move to linebacker will create better opportunities for Vic Beasley Jr. to rush the passer. Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal Constitution via AP

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons defensive line coach Bryan Cox, known for his profanity-laced tirades, discovered such was the wrong approach to take toward pass-rusher Vic Beasley Jr.

"No, it doesn't work, because he tunes you out," Cox said of Beasley. "Vic is as different a player as I've ever been around in terms of he's a man of God. He pulls on that often. And when you get to a place where you are in his ear, he just tunes out the chatter. He doesn't listen to it.

"So, the best way is to have a conversation and get him to get on the same page: 'Tell me what just happened and tell me what you saw. Here's what I saw. How would you do it different?' He's different in that way. And that's not good or bad. That's who he is."

Cox said he learned more about Beasley's demeanor following a defensive line trip to Miami at the end of last season.

"I got to know a lot more of the guys on an intimate and a personal level, knowing their personalities away from the building," Cox said. "We weren't here, and we weren't dealing with the stress of the season. We spent four or five days just chilling. I got a chance to know him in ways I hadn't previously discovered."

Cox has gotten into sideline scuffles with at least two players -- Ra'Shede Hageman and former defensive tackle Corey Peters. Plus cursing out a player, again, is just part of his regular routine. But Cox was cautious to change his tone with Beasley.

"Because if I keep trying to do the same thing and the same approach and it's not working, that makes me a dumb coach," Cox said. "So I've got to try and do something different. And my wife likes to say, 'If you do the same thing over and over and expect a different result, that's insane.' And I believe her."

Beasley agreed with Cox's assessment of him, to a degree.

"The coaches understand the players that they coach, and over the year, me and Cox have really been able to grow and develop a relationship," Beasley said. "He knows me, and that is a way that I do respond to coaches.

"Really, I have had both worlds. I had Coach (Marion) Hobby at Clemson, and he was on me hard. Every coach I've had has been a tough coach. I know they're just trying to get the best out of me."

Beasley admitted he shies away from the cursing aspect because of his religious beliefs.

"I try not to curse, and I try to speak positive things out of my mouth," he said. "That's just me, and that's the way I grew up."

The bottom line is the Falcons have to find a way to motivate Beasley to play at a higher level. He led the team with four sacks as a rookie last season, but the former eighth-overall pick was far from a force while playing through a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

This preseason, Beasley has struggled to make an impact while transitioning to strongside linebacker and dealing with a sprained AC joint in the same shoulder. His frustration was evident following last week's 17-6 preseason loss to Miami.

So what's the solution to getting Beasley going?

"I don't think that he's not going," Cox said. "It's not about one man. It's about our unit. When you look at the tape from last year, he had several opportunities off the edge where the quarterback was able to step up and he didn't get the pressure or the sack, and a lot of people made a lot of it. But I don't buy into it. I believe in Vic as much as I believe in my son."