Quinton Coples Q&A: Slimmer, faster, ready to go

Quinton Coples
Quinton Coples had 4 1/2 sacks in 2013, including 3 1/2 in the final five games.
Credit: Getty Images

Quinton Coples knows he has to shed the label of potential and become a bonafide star on this defense.

Much was expected of Coples, a former first-round pick who head coach Rex Ryan touted as a keystone addition following the 2012 NFL Draft.

But after a quiet rookie season adjusting to the 3-4 defense – Coples played end in a 4-3 at North Carolina – he went through another position change in 2013. He went from playing with his hand in the dirt to having more responsibilities in coverage.

Coples found out he might be moved to outside linebacker “right before minicamp” last season after he put on size to play end. He said the move to outside linebacker was made official before training camp, meaning he was trying to make the transition to playing standing up with the added weight to play defensive end.

After a 2013 campaign that saw its fair share of ups and downs, Coples is ready for what he hopes will finally be a season of stability and growth.

A slimmer Coples sat down for an interview with Metro New York following the start of organized team activities.

Will you play at outside linebacker this year exclusively or some combination with defensive end?

It can be anything. Basically a hybrid. I will be anywhere from zero [lined up over center] to linebacker. I can be placed anywhere. Safety, anything (laughing). I’ll just let you see it.

You spent last offseason thinking you would be returning to the defensive line, then come workouts and minicamp and suddenly, you’re playing standing up. How has an offseason knowing your role helped, especially as you continue to transition to outside linebacker?

Tremendously. That’s what I’ve been working on, being an outside linebacker. [I am] working on my drops, working on my coverage. I dropped 15 pounds. I’m faster too. Anytime you lose weight, you get faster. I think I’m in better shape for that role, for all the versatility it asks for.

What was the biggest part of that position change? You did play some outside linebacker at North Carolina, but that was in a 4-3 so the responsibilities are different.

Yeah, it was different than here — reading offensive personnel, seeing who I have. Then when the motion goes, my zone responsibilities — if there’s an exchange. It was a lot. It was different than what I did in my rookie year. Nothing physical about it was tough, just responsibility, learning who to cover, following motion, those sorts of things. But there was nothing they asked me to do that I couldn’t do. It is just learning what I need to do. I feel I understand it better this year.

Last season, head coach Rex Ryan called you out a bit, in particular about your weight room ethic. Is that something you took to heart?

Yeah, definitely. Anytime a coach says that about you, you have to step up and make it happen. That’s what I’m doing this year. I want to be known as one of those guys who takes care of his business in the weight room, on the practice field and then on gameday. That’s who I want to be, and that is something I focused on this offseason — being that type of a player and leader.

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer. And read Kristian’s offseason Q&A with rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: Lesbians, men most likely…

Lesbians, men most likely to achieve orgasm Location: U.S. Study subjects: 2,850 people Results: Whether you find it shocking or not, a new study reports that…

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.