Jets to Work Quinton Coples in to the Defense Slowly


June 14, 2012; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Quinton Coples (98) during minicamp at the Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

A lot is expected of Quinton Coples, the Jets first round draft pick. He is expected to revitalize the Jets pass rush, which is a dire need of this team as we all know. If you recall, Quinton felt that he learned the entire playbook during minicamp and OTAs.

But, rookies hit a wall when they are learning the pro game. Coach Pettine and his staff began to see this when they put the pads on this past Sunday. Other players had started to notice that Coples was looking a little “robotic”. By all accounts, he is getting a little bogged down, which is understandable.

So what is the solution? A coach, like any teacher, has to put the player in the best position to be successful. How they do that for Quinton is back his workload off a little, and then work him back up. Here is what coach Pettine had to say about it this week:

“We’ll work it from back to front,” Pettine said of Coples’ role. “He’ll be a third-down guy, similar to Maybin. Get him out there in passing situations and then work him into the base defense. Let him be a back-up for the guys in base, but keep his plate small.”

For now, Quinton is not working with the 3-4 base defense, that still consists of Pouha, Devito, and Wilkerson. He also joins the first team in a 4-3 setup called a “taco” call. He also is in a 4 man sub package with Wilkerson, Calvin Pace, and Aaron Maybin.

If all things go as planned, they expect Coples to play anywhere from 50%-80% of the snaps, second to only Wilkerson.

Quinton, as well as the other linemen, have been encouraged to have free communication. He specifically has been highly suggested to find a veteran that is near him at any given situation to use as a “thinking buddy”.

Coples is doing well at camp, but has come back from the boast that he has the entire playbook.

“I’m comfortable but still learning,” Coples said this week. He added that he isn’t concerned whether he plays with the first or second-team defense, so long as he gets reps at all the spots he needs to learn.

This is an excellent move by the Jets. They don’t want to overwhelm Quinton too fast. If you ever want to turn a guy into Vernon Gholston, fast, you would do it by giving him to much to learn. If he tries to learn to much at once, he won’t be able to do anything well.

The job of the coaches is to set him up for success, and letting him start out in an Aaron Maybin role is a perfect way to do so.