Bradley’s Buzz: There’s something fishy about Joe Cox

New Georgia QB likes Tiger, Halle and bass

You know Joe Cox — he’s taking over for Matthew Stafford as Georgia’s quarterback; he has red hair and a redhead’s temper. But do you really know Joe Cox? Do you, for instance, know who his “dream date” would be? Hint: She has won Best Actress.

No, not Helen Mirren. Halle Berry.

This nugget and more come to us from esteemed former colleague Jeff D’Alessio of Sporting News Today, who last week made J.C. of UGA the subject of SNT’s “My Profile.” (D’Alessio is famous in the biz for such daily touches — he did the “Gimme Five” feature for the ol’ AJC’s sports section for years.) And here are some revelations offered up by Cox himself:

He likes Young Jeezy and Gucci Mane. He drives a gold 2002 Altima. (Gold? Wrong school, Joe.) He doesn’t always check his voice mail. He likes Tiger Woods. But what he really likes is bass fishing.

He has a 10-pound bass he caught mounted on his bedroom wall. No. 2 on his “bucket list” is to “catch a 15-pound bass.” (No. 4: “Have a family.” No. 1: “Coach a college team to the national championship.”) His greatest love: “Bass fishing.”

His motto: “Don’t count out the underdog.” As slogans go, it’s not as catchy as “Finish the drill,” but it does encapsulate the Bulldogs’ 2009 mindset in five words. Way to go, Joe.

Jim Mora goes to camp …

Here’s a story I found amusing: It was written by Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times, and it’s entitled, “New Seahawks coach Jim Mora felt the pull to return home.” The cynic in me read the headline and said, “Yeah, and he also felt the push — right about the time Arthur M. Blank bum-rushed him out the door.”

But let’s be fair: One of the reasons Young Jimbo got the boot here was because he said on Seattle radio his dream was to coach in Washington. (OK, so he meant the U-Dub Huskies. Close enough.) As O’Neil writes: “He essentially talked himself out of a job.” And Mora says his lower profile in his two seasons as the Seahawks’ secondary coach was a matter of design: “There were lessons I needed to learn.”

… And Jeff George wants to go to camp

Here’s a weird one. Jeff George, who has killed the careers of coaches the world over, tells Marcus Jackson of IlliniHQ.com he wants an NFL job. George, who’s 41, hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2001. Still, he tells Jackson:

“I realize I’m not getting any younger, and a lot of people probably look at it and say, ‘Man, you’re too old to play a young man’s game. I say to them, ‘Put me against a young man and see who looks better.’ Age is only a number. It’s about how you feel and how you feel when you keep throwing.”

Thrashers on the power play! (Or maybe not)

Writing for ESPN The Magazine, Richard Pollock and E.J. Hradek of Puck Prospectus see big things ahead for Kari Lehtonen (link requires registration). Lehtonen, as we know, has already had busy summer: First he re-upped with the Thrashers, and then, as reported by esteemed colleague Chris Vivlamore, he underwent back surgery. (Lehtonen is expected back, no pun intended, for training camp.) From Pollock/Hradek:

“Pegging Kari Lehtonen as a dominant starter at the NHL level would not constitute an overstatement. The big Finnish netminder has the skills and poise to dominate in the NHL; unfortunately, a poor team in front of him and constant injuries have worked against the former first-round pick so far in his career … Sure there is concern about his injury history … but the chance is there that Lehtonen could finally remain healthy and play a full NHL season.”

The Thrasher seen by Puck Prospectus as “trending down” is Rich Peverley, who did well here after being acquired in midseason. “Trending up” is prospect Angelo Esposito, who arrived in the Marian Hossa trade in February 2008 and who tore his ACL in February 2009. The PP thinking: “In Atlanta, where the club has been historically light up the middle, there is opportunity for a young center.”

But, lest we get too giddy about the Thrash, here’s a sobering ranking from esteemed former colleague Craig Custance, now with Sporting News Today. In his midsummer power ratings, Custance credits GM Don Waddell for having a “nice offseason” but still ranks Atlanta 27th among 30 NHL clubs.

A modest proposal: Frenchy should turn amateur

From Adam Krohn of the Dalton Daily Citizen comes this career advice: Jeff Francoeur should quit baseball and go play college football at Clemson. Krohn’s argument:

“Look at Chris Weinke. He played in the Toronto Blue Jays’ minor league organization for six years before accepting Florida State’s offer to play football. Not only did he compete at a high level despite being away from the game for so long, but he also won a Heisman Trophy and a national championship. And guess how old he was when he returned to football? Twenty-five, same as Francoeur.”

I would gently suggest there’s a difference: A key reason Weinke quit baseball is that he hadn’t yet made it to the majors. With the exception of that Fourth of July weekend in Mississippi, Francoeur has been a big-leaguer since July 7, 2005, and he’s making big-league money — $3.337 million this season. Can’t see a guy who’s doing that agreeing to play for free. Nice idea, though.

96 comments Add your comment

MightyQuinn

July 27th, 2009
11:03 am

Jeff George? Seriously? Some jokes have the punch line built in!

Sting 'em Buzz

July 27th, 2009
11:04 am

I don’t see Captain Caveman going back to play football.

jeffrey d

July 27th, 2009
11:06 am

Haha, Jeff George. I couldn’t play that great when he was in his 20’s. I can only imagine what he’ll be like at 41.

His passer rating should be around 41 too.

Another Dawg

July 27th, 2009
11:06 am

If it looks like a rat, and smells like a rat…

MiltonDawg

July 27th, 2009
11:17 am

Cox will be the surprise SEC QB of the year. Those red-heads are vicious. GO DAWGS!!
George: hang it up buddy

Okefenokee Dawg

July 27th, 2009
11:24 am

Oh, let Jeff George play. The idea of him being hit by a linebacker should, quite frankly, appeal to almost everyone.

Ken

July 27th, 2009
11:28 am

Maybe Jeff George could play for the bugs? Nah, He’d get mugged

Hannibal Lechter

July 27th, 2009
11:29 am

There’s a reason young(?) Adam plies the trade in Dalton and you’ve just illustrated it. He’ll probably consider your mention of the lame idea as validation.

RAMBLE ON!!!

July 27th, 2009
11:29 am

After OK State beats the fleabags by 20, the fleabag Nation will be calling for Joe and his family’s head.

Ashton Kutcher

July 27th, 2009
11:30 am

I know what Joe means about Halle. I’m all about cougars.

Diamond Dog's Parole Officer

July 27th, 2009
11:32 am

Yeah Ken… Maybe Jeff George would like to go to Athens to spoon with “The Sherminator”

Mac

July 27th, 2009
11:34 am

Jeff George proves his head hasn’t improved with age. That was always his problem.

CincyJacket

July 27th, 2009
11:39 am

Ken, at least at Tech he would be safe from the professors.

mitch

July 27th, 2009
11:39 am

Dear Mr. MB–I don’t know how you do it, but once again your blog soars. Otherwise, how else would I learn that Joe Cox is such a spiffy guy. Gosh! Your pal, Mitch

Dr. Watson

July 27th, 2009
11:42 am

Why did Leland change his name to Mitch? Or, perhaps Mitch was masquerading as Leland. Strange.

Cincinatti Bowtie

July 27th, 2009
11:45 am

Jeff George’s biggest problem is his ego!!!He still thinks he can play? One problem, he couldn’t play before why the hell does he think he can play now?

The bulldawgs offense will be a helluva lot better than people are expecting, because they will start winning more in 09. Forget Shon and Stafford, they didn’t win enough.

tech fans=morons of the CFB world

July 27th, 2009
11:50 am

my name speaks for itself

Blackberry Cobbler

July 27th, 2009
11:59 am

Just a few years ago, I watched Joe Cox deliver against Colorado when Matthew Stafford couldn’t. Cox doesn’t have the arm but he could quite possibly be a better QB and leader. Perhaps this offense and OL will respond to him a way they didn’t for Staff. We’ll see.

The OL should be better. The defense BETTER be better or WM is a goner. AJ Green is already better than MoMass ever was. The key to this season is the running game. Are King and Samuels up to the task? If we can run, we can win. It’s that simple.

BigMike

July 27th, 2009
11:59 am

Cincinatti Bowtie, I agree with you 100% on his ego, but let me tell you when it comes to arm strength, and accuracy it doesn’t get better than Jeff, and I know, I played against him in college.

Mark Bradley

July 27th, 2009
12:19 pm

Jeff George is the poster child of the great-arm/bad-quarterback example.

Oh, and thanks, Mitch.

Mark Bradley

July 27th, 2009
12:21 pm

Oh, and one thing more: I’ve been a bit distant this morning because I’m in Day 1 of a three-day AJC brainstorming session. We’ve just broken for lunch. So I’m allowed to type now.

Tune in around 3 p.m. for an up-close look at what a Bradley brainstorm actually entails.

mowreck

July 27th, 2009
12:24 pm

I’m a Yellow Jacket fan, but I like JC’s idea for a dream date.

Jay

July 27th, 2009
12:26 pm

Right on cobbler!

Ron Mexico

July 27th, 2009
12:34 pm

Considering that picture of JC in the Sporting News…I would say he likes to fish for SMALL-mouthed bass…

bdawg

July 27th, 2009
12:35 pm

IS Joe Cox wearing underware in the Profile photo?

Mark Bradley

July 27th, 2009
12:35 pm

I’ve seen Halle Berry in person, I should note.

And I once had this conversation with David Justice (whom I like very much and whose best friend was from my hometown): “Are you really going out with Halle Berry?”

Said Brian Hunter, overhearing: “Are you trying to say someone as fine as Halle Berry wouldn’t go out with him?”

Actually, that was kind of my drift. (Sometimes we writers and ballplayers make fun of one another.) Shows what I know. Or knew.

Not Disappointed

July 27th, 2009
12:40 pm

Jeff George is this a joke, becuase I too am waiting on the Punch line?

I recall Cox’s comeback win against Oklahoma State, but if he doesn’t preform in the first 3 games “Halle Berry, Alex Halley, or whoever, want be able to save him from the pups.

Nevertheless, I wish him well until Late November against my Ramblin Wreck!” Go Jackets!!

Mark, the next time you’re blogging at a Braves Game, in the middle of the day, make sure you come over to the house in grant park for a beer.

Jefferson

July 27th, 2009
12:44 pm

I bet Joe Cox will float a lot of picks this fall.

MightyQuinn

July 27th, 2009
12:44 pm

Not Disappointed, as per my post at 11:03, Jeff George is a joke with the punch line built in! I mean, look at the way he wore his hat (see pic); he thought he was cool when he looked like a clown. And Mark, was Halle as fine in person as she is on screen? Inquiring minds want to know!

Mark Bradley

July 27th, 2009
12:46 pm

Halle Berry was, and I imagine still is, rather attractive.

Not Disappointed

July 27th, 2009
12:46 pm

<———– True story

Back in 1992 David & Halle Berry were having dinner at Ruth Chris Steak house in Sandy Spring. My wife and I were as well. We talked for a while and ended the night having a drink together. They were a great couple. Justice was the reason I started going to Thelma’s for breakfast.

Yes Joe Cox she still looks good. Even after the baby.

beau vighn

July 27th, 2009
12:46 pm

Oh, and one thing more: I’ve been a bit distant this morning because I’m in Day 1 of a three-day AJC brainstorming session. We’ve just broken for lunch. So I’m allowed to type now.

AJC Brainstorming session….Now there’s a contradiction in terms…

All I'm Saying Is...

July 27th, 2009
12:48 pm

Bradley: The real question is what kind of running game and offensive line will Cox have supporting him? The offensive line was beat up last year when the season started and had some issues all year and we all know who UGA doesn’t have in the backfield to run with the rock. Seems to me, that just like Michael “The Burner” Turner made life infinitely more comfortable for Matt Ryan, what Joe Cox really needs is someone to tote the mail.

(And Halle still rocks (even after the passage of time and having a kid) and, as my grandpappy use to say, “ain’t no two ways about that.”)

Mark Bradley

July 27th, 2009
12:56 pm

“Tote the mail” — I love the old phrases. “Toe the slab” is another personal favorite.

I think Caleb King is the key man on the 2009 Georgia Bulldogs, even ahead of Joe C.

Flyin' Dawg

July 27th, 2009
12:59 pm

Not Disappointed- Did you know it was Colorado he came back to win against and not OK State?

Dawgdad

July 27th, 2009
1:05 pm

If our season depends on Caleb King, it is going to a long one. he hasn’t shown me anything. No speed, balance, or size.

Mark Bradley

July 27th, 2009
1:09 pm

I might be guilty of judging someone on the basis of scant evidence, but every time I saw Caleb King carry the ball — tote the mail — I thought to myself, “There’s a major difference between him and Knowshon.”

Whopper Dawg

July 27th, 2009
1:09 pm

Nothing wrong with Halle Berry.

Mora wasn’t given the “bum rush”, but showed a well deserved exit. He may do well in Seattle, but quite frankly I will be surprised if he does, unless he has grown up a lot. Compare him and Coach Smith, quite a difference, eh?

Chris

July 27th, 2009
1:14 pm

I think Cox will be a solid QB and Georgia will always find a runningback or runningbacks to carry the load. If Caleb King runs like he does on the new NCAA 10 football game we won’t have a problem. He is a beast on that game. Every year people about Georgia losing this person or that person. Somebody always seems to step up in their place. Look for Georgia’s defense to make a big jump back into the top three in the SEC in all statistical categories. The defense is going to shut down OK State’s offense. It starts with the defensive line and that is what sets SEC teams apart from all the other conferences. Go Dawgs. Plus Martinez is fighting for his job so they have to be good on defense. Cox doesn’t have to play God. Get the game into the 20’s this year and the defense will take care of the rest.

Mark Bradley

July 27th, 2009
1:14 pm

There is a difference between Smitty and Jimbo: Smitty looks like Steve Martin; Jimbo looks like Mark Wahlberg.

Bobby Herbet

July 27th, 2009
1:16 pm

You should allow me to back up Jeff if he comes back!

Chris Miller

July 27th, 2009
1:19 pm

Hey let me play too! Too Legit to Quit! Hey Hey!

SSI gator

July 27th, 2009
1:21 pm

Dawgdad -

Agree with you @ King. I don’t know what this kid is supposed to have, but he is either saving it for this season or he does not have it at all. An average back at best.

Chris

July 27th, 2009
1:25 pm

Mark read my comment above and remember it and me well. Go by it and you look good all year. Florida will slip up this year. No doubt in my mind it will happen. Tebow is bound to get banged up eventually. They will also realize how much better Percy Harvin made Tebow look. I’m tired of everybody worshipping team Tebow. The SEC Media days were a joke. If the coaches didnt think Tebow was the best QB than grow a pair and tell it like it is. I don’t think he is the best QB in the conference. I think he is the most valuable player on Florida’s team. Snead has better QB skills and beat Florida straight up last year so it’s not far fetched and outragious to put Snead as first team Qb. Tebow can win the SEC MVP and still not be the best QB. Spurrier dissappointed me cause back in the day he would have told it like it really is.

Mark Bradley

July 27th, 2009
1:27 pm

Don’t tell anybody, but I’ve just figured out how to leave a comment from my iPhone. That’s Brainstorm No. 1 for me for the day, and I expect for the calendar year.

yikes

July 27th, 2009
1:28 pm

Someone needs to get Joe Cox a cup in that Sporting News profile picture…the link is definitely NSFW

knoxdawg

July 27th, 2009
1:30 pm

Mark – until Caleb shows all of us his ability to be the runner he needs to be I will agree with you. Georgia needs him or another back to step up and produce. I believe the line will open holes for the backs but will they hit the hole and go. We will see. This offense I believe has the ability to be strong and take pressure off the defense. If it doesn’t, then it could be a long season. As for the defense, if they don’t step it up and become a dominant force then Coach Richt will find himself in an uncomfortable position. He will have to address the Defensive Coordinator position because if he refuses to he could find himself looking for a new position. This university/atheletic dept is paying big bucks to him produce a product that represents the institution well. Melt downs against top foes such as Bama, UF, Tech are not acceptable. 2009 will be interesting to say the least.

Chris

July 27th, 2009
1:33 pm

Another thing I get tired of is the debate between AJ Green and Julio Jones. A.J. Green had the better year but yet Julio seems to be better by most experts. Julio doesnt have the speed of A.J. he was just stronger and this year with the almost 20 pounds of muscle added on by A.J., Julio might not have the strength advantage either. Experts can pick who they want but if you watch video from last year then you tell me who you would want without looking at what they did in high school

Chris

July 27th, 2009
1:37 pm

A poor schedule will be Florida’s downfall this year. If they lose one game this year they may not be as lucky as in years past. It’s really pathetic who they play. Maybe that is why they are favored to repeat as national champ. I guess they confused their basketball schedule with their football schedule

Mark Bradley

July 27th, 2009
1:39 pm

That’s a good point, Chris. As we know, Florida has never had an undefeated season.