New York Jets Players to Watch: Quinton Coples


When evaluating relatively young players like New York Jets edge rusher Quinton Coples, who is entering his 4th season, you never want to push the proverbial panic button.

But make no mistake, the upcoming preseason tilt for the Jets against the cross town rival Giants is a HUGE game for Coples!

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It’s not as if he’s on the verge of getting cut.  It’s not as if he is the quarterback and the Jets future rides on how well he specifically plays.  It’s not that kind of pressure.  Nevertheless, Coples should be EMBARRASSED by the 60-yard catch and run that he gave up last week to fullback Collin Mooney of the Atlanta Falcons.

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Not only did he give up the big play, but he looked completely out-of-place in coverage.  It was a simple out route by the fullback, but Coples looked like a fish out of water.

Before that play, Mooney had 6 catches for 32 yards in his entire career, so it’s not like Coples was being asked to cover Marshall Faulk.

But even if you take away last week, Coples just hasn’t made enough big plays for a player who was drafted in the 16th overall in the first round of the 2012 draft.  When you look at Coples career statistics, it’s very interesting because he actually compares pretty decently to the other stalwart defensive players in his draft class.

  • Luke Kuechly (drafted 9th overall) – 6 sacks, 473 tackles, 1 FF, 29 TFLs, 7 INTs, 26 passes defended
  • Bruce Irvin (15th) –  16.5 sacks, 93 tackles, 3 FF, 5 TFLs, 3 INTs, 5 passes defended
  • Quinton Coples (16th) – 16.5 sacks, 105 tackles, 2 FFs, 19 TFLs, 0 INTs, 4 passes defended
  • Chandler Jones (21st) – 23.5 sacks, 167 tackles, 6FFs, 12 TFLs, 0 INTs, 7 passes defended

However, while the stats tell one story, the player’s overall impact tells another.

Even though statistically all of these players are comparable, those other three players have all made a bigger impact in the NFL than Coples.  The fact that their coaches put them in a position to play to their strengths is, without question, a mitigating factor.

Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Now with Todd Bowles as his head coach, it’s Coples turn to make plays and be as impactful as the other afore-mentioned players.

But regardless of who his coach is, the onus is still on Coples to play well in the system.

Does he know his assignment?  Is he playing the proper technique.  Is he hesitating, or is he making plays out of aggression.

Wilkerson will be back this week, the starters will play into the second half, and this is the yearly preseason Battle of New York.  This is also the 3rd preseason game/dress rehearsal for the regular season and the Jets defense as a whole has not played well.

Rookie Lorenzo Mauldin out and veteran Calvin Pace who both play outside linebacker are both out with injuries. All of these factors add up to a great opportunity for Coples to step up and make a few big plays.

Coples doesn’t necessarily have to have a multiple sack game, but he needs to show that he has a grasp of the defensive scheme.

Let’s see if he takes advantage of the opportunity.

Next: Which young player is looking to unseat Coples as a starting linebacker for the Jets?

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