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Jets Coach Ryan Sees Coples and Hill as Starters

By Alan Schechter

Feb 23, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets coach Rex Ryan speaks at a press conference during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Following the draft today, Rex Ryan was gushing about his first two draft picks, Quinton Coples and Stephen Hill. He basically announced, then sort of backtracked on, saying that both players will be started in 2012. See for yourself.

“Any time you draft a guy that high… they proved it in college,” Ryan said of the Jets’ first two draft picks. “That’s why you have them there. You had a vision for those players. That’s why you took them. … There’s so many different roles… There’s so many things they can start on – there’s sub team, there’s this team… They’re going to play significantly. Is it 100 percent all 16 games? It really depends… So maybe that’s not true, but they are definitely going to play. That’s why they’re here. We think they’re excellent players. We know they’re going to contribute (for) us.”

Coples brings into doubt the role of Mike Devito, who has been a solid performer. Rex admitted as much, saying he is not sure how he fits at this point.

“I really can’t tell you the exact role right now,” Ryan said about DeVito. “I shouldn’t have said that about Quinton either. It really depends on what packages (are) out there. I can tell you this about Mike DeVito: He is an outstanding football player. There is no question about it. And he’s been a great player.… To explain his exact right now, I really don’t feel that I can do that right now.”

He also likened Demario Davis to a “young Bart Scott”.

Finally, he ended with some classic Rex praise of his own defense.

“I don’t want to put any undue expectations on our team,” Ryan said. “So I would expect that we’d lead the league.”

I hope he’s right, because I don’t want to bring the article to you guys where we talk about the second coming of Vernon Gholston, or Johnny Lam Jones in Hill’s case. That will not be fun to write, or read.