Interesting read based on all of the resident JN scouts calling Coples a bust after two seasons......
Linebacker Quinton Coples lost the weight, now he wants to lose a split-second. A split-second on his way to the quarterback, that is, and in the NFL, that can be huge.
A first-round draft pick in 2012, Coples hasn’t met expectations — he has 10 career sacks in two seasons — but he may be getting close.
He led the Jets in quarterback hits last season with 15, the second most of any 3-4 outside linebacker, according to ProFootballFocus.com.
In the offseason Coples dropped about 20 pounds and said he’s been focusing on his technique to get off the line of scrimmage quicker in the race to the QB. Already, Coples said, he can see a change in his play.
“I think it’s the difference between getting a hurry and getting a sack,” he said.
Coples believes he’ll be better in 2014, and he isn’t the only one.
“He’s playing at a much higher level,” linebacker Demario Davis said. “He’s faster. He’s more reactive. It’s because he worked so hard to drop his body weight. He’s already a freak of nature. ... He’s going to be unstoppable.”
If Davis is right, the timing couldn’t be better for Gang Green.
The Jets secondary looks to be in shambles with injuries and inexperience, putting the onus on the pass rush. A lot of that responsibility falls on Coples.
It looked at times this preseason that Coples’ starting spot was in jeopardy. Jason Babin played on 31 snaps compared to just 15 for Coples in the Jets’ 25-17 preseason win over the Bengals on Saturday night and on Monday the two were rotating with the first team in practice.
But Rex Ryan shot down the notion that it could signal a change.
“I wouldn’t read into it as if he’s going to replace Coples as a starter,” Ryan said. “That’s not it.”
Babin, expected to be used as a situational pass rusher on the defensive line, also does not think he’s competing for Coples’ job. Babin feels he’s getting a few reps at linebacker as an insurance policy in case of injuries.
Coples sees a breakout season is coming not just for himself, but the rest of the 2012 defensive class. Davis and Antonio Allen are the other main defensive pieces from that year, and they’ve set their sights on a higher level of performance in their third year in the league.
“Definitely. I think it’s a big year for us,” Coples said. “To be quite frank, we talk to each other, we hold each other accountable. Me and Demario, especially. We just pass it on: ‘It’s our time, it’s our class.’ ... It’s time for us to take it to the next level.”