No news is good news.
Perhaps the Atlanta Falcons should take that approach for a few weeks.
In a seven-day span, three ugly PR disasters surfaced from Falcons camp, two of which occurred at the NFL Combine. Here’s a deeper look at the trio of moments the Falcons’ coaches and front office wish they could forget.
Big Bryan’s Big Shove
Defensive line coach Bryan Cox found himself apologizing after reports came out that he shoved an Arizona Cardinals scout during combine rookie interviews, Pro Football Talk reported. The confrontation occurred when a player was being interviewed by the Falcons, but as their time with the young man ran out, the Cardinals scout was waiting to walk the player to the Arizona interview room.
There was a verbal argument, according to the report, and then Cox shoved the scout, but it did not escalate further. Still, an embarrassing moment for the Falcons.
“I intend to apologize to the young man for the incident that happened last night during the interview process,” Cox told PFT. “It shouldn’t have happened.”
Breaking Up Via Text?
At the moment, there are nine former players in the Falcons’ Ring of Honor. It is very likely that wide receiver Roddy White will soon become the 10th, 11th or 12th. Once he retires, White will almost certainly join exclusive company as one of the greatest Falcons to ever wear the uniform.
After 11 fruitful seasons with the team that drafted him, White was cut on Wednesday by the Falcons. Like an awkward high-school breakup, the news was communicated to White via text, as was reported by several media outlets and eventually confirmed by head coach Dan Quinn.
White was in Saint Martin at the time, so the front office believed it was the quickest and most efficient way to reach him. That may very well be true, but how can you possibly expect this news to sit well with Falcons fans? You just cut one of the dozen best players in the 50-year history of the franchise by texting him.
‘So Do You Like Men?’
During a meeting with Falcons coaches at the combine, Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple was apparently asked if he is gay.
“The Falcons coach, one of the coaches, was like, ‘So do you like men?’ It was like the first thing he asked me. It was weird. I was just like, ‘no.’ He was like, ‘if you’re going to come to Atlanta, sometimes that’s how it is around here, you’re going to have to get used to it.’ I guess he was joking but they just ask most of these questions to see how you’re going to react,” he told Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.
One has to figure the name of the coach who asked this question will surface in the coming days, and there will likely be a fine or maybe even a firing once that happens.
What worries me is when I think about the coaches on the Falcons’ staff who might be brash enough to ask this question. There are only a few, and having watched “Hard Knocks” two seasons ago, I know Cox is one of those guys who isn’t afraid to say whatever. If he ends up being the one who asked Apple about his sexual identity – just a hypothetical, as I haven’t heard anything to suggest he is – I can’t imagine he’ll remain on the staff, following a second big mistake in one week.
Photo: AP/Darron CummingsFollow @Sean_Breslin