New York Jets pass rusher Quinton Coples is heading into his third season in the league, and it’s time for the former first-round pick to put it all together and become a dynamic pass rusher on the Jets defense. Coples showed some promise as a rookie, but he seemingly regressed last season and didn’t put consistent pressure on the quarterback. In fact, he was pretty much outplayed by veteran Calvin Pace, even if Pace’s sack totals bloated his actual impact. Last season, Coples had just 4.5 sacks despite playing behind an elite defensive line, and his work ethic has been put into question on a number of occasions, which is one side effect of playing for the team in the biggest media market.
It’s clear that Coples is aware of how big a player’s third season is, whether it’s real or caused by perception is almost irrelevant at this point. It’s also clear that he’s doing what he can to put himself in a position to succeed, as the Jets official site’s Kevin Kline writes that the 23-year-old UNC product shed 17 pounds in an effort to get to the quarterback faster as a 3-4 outside linebacker. We’ll see if the change helps, but it’s great to hear that Coples took a huge step in changing things up.
The piece is worth reading, because it outlines the steps Coples took to shed those 17 pounds, as all of those were body fat. He ate more greens, decreased his portion sizes, cut out red meats, focused on lean meats like chicken and fish, and he cut down on carbohydrates that became unnecessary.
Coples is just 23, and that explains why he hasn’t been as consistent in his first two seasons; young players take a bit longer to put things together. He’s definitely a player to watch closely next season, though I’m sure everyone has already scrutinized Coples enough during his career so far. If he can break out, then the Jets front seven should be monstrous, and he would help out a secondary that still has plenty of question marks after no marquee CB was added.