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D. Orlando Ledbetter

New coaches Tice, Cox to preach toughness

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MOBILE, Ala. – Falcons offensive line coach Mike Tice and defensive line coach Bryan Cox were hired to oversee the revamping of the team’s two weakest units.

Both are working at the Senior Bowl as the Falcons try to get the North squad ready the game which is set for 4 p.m. Saturday at Ladd Peebles Stadium.

We asked them both about how they plan to instill some toughness in the Falcons.

“A lot of it is habits,” Tice said. “How you finish. How you are finishing your blocks. How are finishing down the field? You can create that toughness.

“There are a lot of ways to describe toughness. There’s mental toughness. There is toughness playing through injury. There is toughness with the guys being a jerk.

“I know that my toughness comes from kind of being a jerk, but I think the guys in the room are not going to be that kind of guy. You have to fill that toughness with an attitude. That attitude is done by developing great practice habits.”

Cox played for defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and coached with him. He was considered one of the toughest players in the league during the 1990s.

“There is a thing that I would say, the room will kind of lend itself to a coaches personality,” Cox said. “What you know about me as a player, that’s what I try to bring as a coach.

“I’m not afraid of confrontation. I’m not afraid to tell a guy when he’s not doing it right or that he’s not meeting expectations. He’s going to do it the way we want it done or we are going to find somebody that will. That’s the way we are going to approach it. We are going to work hard every day.

“We’re going to play with some toughness and we’re not going to afraid to play and show up at practice every day. That’s the only thing you can expect from us.”

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