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Jets’ Coples Hopes To Get A Piece Of Tom Brady

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:29 AM

Jets’ Coples hopes to get a piece of Tom Brady

Jets’ Coples hopes to get a piece of Tom Brady
By NICK PERUFFO
For The Trentonian Posted: 04/27/12 01:29 am

NEW YORK — The reasons behind the Jets selecting North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples were obvious, even to a young fan — no more than 10 years old — who was lucky enough to get off a question at Coples’ post-selection press conference.

“Are you going to sack Tom Brady?” he asked.

“Oh yeah,” Coples said with a laugh. “I’m definitely going to sack Tom Brady.”

By most accounts, Coples is the most talented pass rusher in this year’s draft. After watching the crosstown Giants pound Brady in the Super Bowl for the second time this past February, the formula for conquering the AFC East isn’t exactly quantum mechanics.

“That’s what they drafted me for, and I’m ready to get the job done,” Coples said.

Some scouts believed that Coples was athletic enough to switch from defensive lineman to linebacker in the NFL, but the Jets quickly put the kibosh on that notion.

“He’s probably athletic enough to stand up and play linebacker, but that’s not what we brought him here to do,” said coach Rex Ryan from the team’s facility in Florham Park. “He’s going to have his hand in the dirt. He reminds me of a Shaun Ellis, Trevor Price type. He’s very athletic for an inside pass rusher.”

Coples upside, however, may come with a risk. The North Carolina native was once viewed as a potential top-10 pick, but saw his stock drop this season due to inconsistency and questions about his attitude. Still, the 6’6”, 285-pound Coples managed 17.5 sacks the past two seasons at UNC and had a strong showing at the Senior Bowl.

He was also a teammate of current Jets defensive end Muhammed Wilkerson at Hargrave Military Academy. Wilkerson gave Coples a ringing endorsement, which appears to have alleviated any concerns the Jets brass may have had.

“This is a guy who was in the same locker room with him, and any time we have those types of situations I always ask ‘do you want to play with this guy?’,” general manager Mike Tannenbaum said. “Mo said ‘he’s a great teammate and he’s better than me.’ Those two things were very encouraging.”

At the time Coples was drafted, a number of other highly touted ends — including Syracuse’s Chandler Jones and South Carolina’s Melvin Ingram — were still on the board, which would have made it easy for the Jets to go in another direction if they were uncomfortable with Coples.

“Quinton is a great pass rusher,” vice president of college scouting Joey Clinkscales. “He’s long, he’s tall, and he’s very athletic. From a grades standpoint, he was the highest rated player left on the board.” Coples figures to step in at left end for the Jets immediately. For his part, Coples seemed genuinely excited to play for a coach that puts such a big emphasis on defensive pressure.

“I think it’s something that every defensive lineman is looking for, a coach that has the passion for defense that Rex Ryan does,” Coples said.

He even admitted to being a fan of HBO’s behind-the-scenes NFL show Hard Knocks, which followed the Jets two seasons ago. While some thought that the show didn’t paint Ryan in the best light, Coples showed early signs that he’ll be able to fit in in the sometimes-turbulent Jets locker room.

“I’ll bring all the snacks he wants,” he said, smiling.
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