Ryan enjoying DL Quinton Coples growth as pro player

Quinton Coples has been turning heads at training camp through being a more vocal part of the team’s defense, but also because he’s lost 12 pounds to play his new spot as a DE / rush linebacker.  While there’s a lot of new things for Coples to get a hold of, his coach Rex Ryan appreciates the gains that Coples is making as a part of his defense, per the New York Post.

Ryan has said Coples is thinking too much in practice and that has slowed him some, but overall he has been happy with what he has seen from the player the Jets took with the 16th pick in the 2012 Draft.

“I think just knowing the pro game and working at a higher tempo. I see him doing it,” Ryan said. “We’ll give him a lot. He’s playing in, he’s playing outside, he’s doing a lot of different things. And you can’t do that if you don’t know what you’re doing, so I see that from him.

“Obviously he’s jumping out to everybody because you see the athleticism. I think that’s what jumps out at you. But I see the other things, too. I see he’s not making the mental mistakes. We’re challenging him mentally. We’ll say, ‘Oh, by the way, you play D-end right now,’ [and we] haven’t even gone over it with him. But he has to pay attention in the meetings and things like that. Again, I’ve been kind of impressed with him.”

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Herm Edwards used to often talk about how when college players would transition to the pros, that their athleticism could only get them so far and that so much of becoming an NFL player is the mental aspect of their game.  Last year Coples benefited from playing with Mo and Sione, but his athleticism allowed him to compete.  At the end of the season the mental aspect started to click, and as a result Coples had 3.5 sacks in his last four games.

While his responsibilities will be different in 2013, don’t expect to see Coples in man coverage with Gronk 40 yards downfield, he’ll more than likely have some short zone assignments with tight ends and backs at times, but for the most part he’ll work containment and attacking the ballcarrier.

With the additions the team made at the line, this is going to be a special group and Coples could be a big part of that.