“You can’t waver,” Cox said. “You have to be resilient, be able to bounce back and keep it moving. And when it’s time to play, you play ball.”
San Diego defensive coordinator John Pagano benched Cox in favor of reserve cornerback Richard Marshall after the first series when Cox failed to push Denver tight end Julius Thomas out of bounds on a 74-yard touchdown pass down the sideline.
“[Chargers secondary coach Ron] Milus just came to me and said Richard [Marshall] is going in the next series,” Cox said. “And that was it.”
The Chargers signed Cox to a four-year, $20 million contract during the offseason, expecting him to develop int the team’s top cornerback. But through nine games, Cox has given up several big plays and is having trouble staying on the field.
Asked if Cox is not meeting the expectations created by his high-dollar contract, San Diego head Mike McCoy said that all of his players have to raise their level of play.
“We expect everybody to play at a higher level,” McCoy said. “We didn’t play very good out there today. We’ve got to play better.”
Cox was given another opportunity in the second half, returning to his right cornerback position. He finished with just a tackle, but played physical coverage against Denver receiver Eric Decker late in the game, forcing an incompletion on third down that allowed the Chargers to get the ball back with a chance to tie the game.
“Plays like that are ones that we’ll need to make more of, and that will put us in position to win ball games,” Cox said. “Third down is a huge down, so I want to be solid on that.”