Jets ready to play with fire, sign Cox

Published Aug. 2, 1998|Updated Sept. 13, 2005

Having lost his starting middle linebacker to injury, Jets coach Bill Parcells turned to a volatile source for a solution.

New York signed controversial former Pro Bowl player Bryan Cox on Saturday, just one day after losing Marvin Jones to a career-threatening knee injury.

Jones, the Jets' leading tackler last season, tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee Friday when a teammate fell on top of him during drills. He is scheduled for surgery this week and is out for the season.

Cox, who has been fined more than $100,000 in stints at Miami and Chicago, was waived by the Bears June 2. He will be asked to step in almost immediately at middle linebacker.

"I know Bryan and have been coaching against him for a number of years," Parcells said. "I've been lucky with veterans like this _ O.J. Anderson, Everson Walls _ and nobody was more outspoken than Everson was. They just want to know what you want. If you get that squared away, it's okay.

"We need somebody with a little fire around here. It might help."

Cox's career has been a bittersweet mix of often-superb play combined with trouble containing his emotions. The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder has been fined for criticizing officials, making an obscene gesture to the crowd, fighting and throwing his helmet. He also has been selected for the Pro Bowl three times, most recently as a reserve in 1995.

CHAMPIONS FOR CHRIST: The NFL has been asked by at least two teams, the Bears and the Jaguars, to investigate a Texas religious group with a growing membership of NFL players, the New York Times reported. Their concern? That players may be giving an inordinate amount of money to the group, Champions for Christ. The Bears are worried that the group recruited draft pick Curtis Enis as a way of raising money, something Champions for Christ denied. The Jaguars have similar concerns about some of their high-profile players. Champions for Christ, based in Austin, Texas, started in 1985, spokesman Dave Jamerson said. It is made up primarily of athletes; Jamerson said at least 50 pro athletes are in the group.

BEARS: The club thought draft pick Alonzo Mayes had ended his holdout when he agreed to accompany his agent, Jerry Bonney, to Chicago on Friday to complete a deal that would have had him in training camp this weekend. Instead, Mayes never made it from Houston to Chicago, for reasons unknown to the Bears.

COLTS: Peyton Manning, the top pick in the draft, completed 7 of 8 passes for 74 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown to Torrance Small, in a scrimmage against St. Louis. He also ran for a 2-yard score.

DOLPHINS: Karim Abdul-Jabbar rushed for 51 yards on 15 carries, including a 9-yard touchdown, in the team's final intrasquad scrimmage. For the second straight week, one of Abdul-Jabbar's challengers for the starting slot went down with a hamstring pull. First-round draft pick John Avery limped off the field and has not practiced since. Saturday it was highly touted free agent Ray Nealy who ripped off a 35-yard run only to hobble off the field with a pulled left hamstring. WR Yatil Green twisted an ankle, middle linebacker Zach Thomas sat out with a sore hamstring, and safety Shawn Wooden left the field with bruised ribs.

PANTHERS: LB Lamar Lathon said he is recovering more slowly than anticipated from knee surgery. Lathon was placed on the physically unable to perform list July 24. At the time, the team said he was expected to return in 10-14 days, which would have put him back on the active roster by Friday at the latest. But Lathon said he plans to rejoin the team Aug. 10. Jason Peter's standoff has reached its second week, making him the lowest remaining first-round pick who has not agreed to contract terms. Peter, a defensive end from Nebraska taken with the 14th overall selection, has missed nine days of camp.

REDSKINS: Rookie Felman Malveaux dropped to the ground and remained flat on his back for several minutes after getting jabbed in the eye as he snared a pass from backup quarterback Trent Green during practice. Malveaux suffered a cut eyelid and had trouble focusing, trainer Bubba Tyer said, so he was sent to the emergency room.