When the San Diego Chargers signed Derek Cox this offseason, I thought they had just found themselves a solid starting cornerback and received a nice upgrade for themselves in the secondary. I think that’s what most people thought, too, since Cox was a solid player for the Jacksonville Jaguars before signing on with the Chargers on a four-year, $20 million deal in the offseason. That seems a bit rich, but it’s an affordable, long-term deal for a corner who looked like a possible No. 1 corner (at worst, a really good No. 2). So far this season, Cox has been arguably the most disappointing offseason addition, and the worst gut punch is that Denver Broncos free-agent CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has been killing it on a one-year deal also worth $5 million annually.
Cox was benched by the Chargers last week in the third quarter, as rookie head coach Mike McCoy was finally fed up with Cox’s poor, disappointing play. He was supposed to stabilize the Chargers secondary, but he has been the biggest problem. In fact, his poor play has led to the Chargers major struggles in pass defense, which Peyton Manning definitely capitalized on even after Cox was benched.
Yes, Derek Cox was benched for a second straight week by the Chargers, as the U-T San Diego’s Michael Gehlken reports that the Chargers benched their top corner after the third play of the game. That third play was a 74-yard touchdown catch from Julius Thomas, who showed why is probably the fastest tight end in the league (Chargers sleeper No. 2 TE Ladarius Green probably has something to say about that, though) by turning on the jets for the TD. But the Chargers were disappointed enough with Cox’s inability to get off the block and make the tackle that they decided to bench him very early on in favor of backup Richard Marshall.