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New Year, Same Approach For Cox


The accolades haven't changed Fletcher Cox.

After earning second-team All-Pro honors in 2014, the defensive end maintained the same approach this offseason as he prepares for his fourth year in the NFL.

"I approached it the same way and that's by being myself," Cox said in a one-on-one interview following the first week of Organized Team Activities. "Being coachable. Soaking in all of the little things to make myself a better player."

The former first-round pick was brilliant from the onset of the 2014 season as he registered five tackles and returned a fumble 17 yards for a touchdown in the victory over Jacksonville. In the second half of the season, though, Cox was virtually unstoppable. He had six tackles and a sack against Carolina. He had all four of his sacks in the latter half of the year. He posted a career-high 13 tackles against Seattle.

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According to Pro Football Focus, Houston's J.J. Watt was the only 3-4 defensive end in the NFL better in Cox in the second half of the season.

Cox ended the year on a high note, but it didn't result in his first Pro Bowl bid. That is one of his individual goals for 2015. To get there, he knows there's still room for improvement. Two things he's focused on improving are his footwork and hand placement - especially in early downs. Unable to tackle during the OTAs, Cox can hone in on technique work before the start of Training Camp.

The coaches are also looking for Cox to set an example for the rest of the defensive line.

"Show those guys what got me to where I am today," Cox said. "I tell those guys I've been in the same position that you were in. I'm still kind of new to this two-gap thing, the 3-4. I've been a one-gap player all of my life."

And Cox points to two simple things that have aided in his success.

"Be coachable," Cox said. "Don't be stubborn."

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