This season is a big one for Quinton Coples, the Jets’ rush outside linebacker, Darryl Slater of NJ.com reports.
Yes, the Jets have picked up the fifth-year option in his rookie contract, which means they can retain him for 2016 — if they want to.
The Jets don’t have to make a decision about Coples’ 2016 contract status until next March.
At least one person in the Jets’ organization likes what he’s seen from Coples so far. That would be the Jets’ new outside linebackers coach, Mark Collins.
“He plays with very good violence,” Collins said. “He can set the edge in the run. He can finish plays in the run game. He can push the pocket. He can affect the quarterback. It doesn’t mean he’s always going to sack the quarterback, but he can affect the quarterback. I definitely think his arrow is pointing up.”
It sounds like head coach Todd Bowles and Collins envision Coples doing a bunch more pass rushing, and less coverage — especially compared to what he did last year.
“If you’re just looking at it from a common sense [standpoint], you’ve got a 280-pound guy, so naturally, you want him to rush the passer versus drop into coverage,” Collins said. “Obviously, for him, you want him rushing the passer more than you want him dropping into coverage. But in the same sense, we’re demanding, and we want him to be able to do both.”
Through three seasons, Coples has accumulated modest sack numbers — 5½ as a rookie, 4½ in 2013, and 6½ last season. Still, when Collins examined Coples’ film, the coach wasn’t discouraged by the lack of sacks.
“I think in a lot of ways, numbers sometimes can be overrated,” Collins said. “He does a lot of things. He may not have great sack production, but he does a lot of other things very well. I know he has aspirations to change that production, and I have full confidence that he will. But I think there are a lot of things that he does well.”
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