Jul 26, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets defensive end Quinton Coples (98) walks off the practice field following training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Quinton Coples: Will He Finally Break Out?

We always talk about how it takes three years to evaluate a draft class. Similarly, it comes to the third year that we can thoroughly evaluate an individual player as well. One guy who falls directly in this category is OLB/DE Quinton Coples.

Coples came to the New York Jets with a lot of expectations. From the moment Rex Ryan laid eyes on Coples at his pro day, it was love at first sight. When word came out that Rex worked him out at both defensive end and linebacker, I was convinced that he would be the Jets’ choice, and in fact he was.

Through the early part of his first camp, Coples was having some trouble with the playbook, which coach Ryan called him out on. Things worked out very nicely, as he posted 5.5 sacks, only being used as a situational pass rusher. All signs were in the upward direction.

Then came 2013. Coples is injured during the preseason, and he returned for the week 3 matchup against the Buffalo Bills. At that point, he took a step back in his development, only posting four tackles over the first four game he played. Things picked up from that point, as Quinton topped his tackle total from 2012 (30), with a 38 tackle season. His sack total went down, from 5.5 to 4.5. However, the signs were there, as Coples posted 3.5 of his total sacks over four straight games.

This is a big year for Quinton Coples. As we said earlier, the third year is a big year for anyone, it is a cross-road year. However, there were questions about Coples when they drafted him. Would Chandler Jones have been the better choice? What about Melvin Ingram? Coples doesn’t have a motor, why choose him? A lot of questions surrounded the Jets when they drafted him in the first round.

This is the year. Will Quinton Coples step up and dominate, adding to an already good pass rush? Or will he fall into mediocrity? Only time will tell.

Watch in person to see if Coples finally takes that next step we all hope he can by grabbing your Jets tickets today.

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  • Frank Antonelli

    Typical Jet fans wanting a whipping boy. The fact of the matter is that the Richardson pick forced Rex to move Coples from his natural position to an OLB. That is not an easy transition. He progressed nicely as the season went on and he got healthy. He’s reduced his weight to more accommodate his new role. His lack of progress is due in large part to his change in position. If the line in front of him dominants, as expected, he should have a monster year.

    • Alan Schechter

      If that is true, Frank, I can’t wait.

  • Paul Newbold

    His career got off to a slow start with a couple of injuries, and as Frank pointed out, Rex moved him to outside linebacker. I hardly see this as a “pivotal” year for Coples, the Jets can afford to be patient and allow him time to settle in. Pace didn’t accumulate those 10 sacks by himself, Coples drew his share of attention. He reportedly showed to Canp a bit lighter to accommodate his new spot. With a season of experience under his belt, a healthy, leaner Coples will be given more responsibility this season and perhaps a bit more freedom to get after the passer. I wouldn’t worry too much about Coples, I think the best is yet to come.