This season has been marred by poor performances, distractions and anonymous sources however, there is one reason to be hopeful for the future and it rests with rookie Quinton Coples. Over the last few weeks, Coples has begun to take on a more prominent role on defense and the pairing of Beast Mo and Q looks on its way to becoming a formidable duo for the foreseeable future.
"I just wanted to make sure I was productive. The stats and stuff are going to come. I know that's a part of the game and I trust in my coaches. They'll put me in those positions to make sure I get to the quarterback," Coples said. "At the end of the day, I just want to make sure I was on the field and being productive. Regardless of how much time, I just wanted to be out there."While the Jets never truly figured out their run defense issues this year, the development of Coples has been a pleasure to watch and the amount of progress he's made has been noticeable. He's currently ranked fourth among rookies in sacks and continues to learn from Wilkerson who himself has been a force (and a Pro Bowl snub football fans!). There is room for improvement, particularly his run defense, but it seems the Jets hit the mark when they drafted the former Tar Heel in April and hopefully he'll make a considerable leap in the offseason so he can join Mo in terrorizing quarterbacks to no end in 2013.
As the Jets enter the final game of the regular season against Buffalo, Coples believes he has improved as a player over the course of the year and helped the Jets. The rookie leads the team with 5 1/2 sacks and is third on the team with 24 quarterback hits. He's added 26 total tackles.
"I definitely think I have progressed and have been productive since the beginning," Coples said. "I'm going to continue working on that and take care of it."
Jets coach Rex Ryan said on Dec. 20 he believed Coples was hitting his stride, and that the team's usage of Coples in different roles is finally starting to pay off. Ryan credited Coples for the way he practiced before adding that he would like to see Coples improve in the run game.