The Jets have drafted players for their defensive front seven in the first round of the last three drafts and they hit big on defensive linemen Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson.
Quinton Coples hasn’t been quite as successful through his first two seasons. Coples, who the Jets drafted 16th overall in 2012, started 13 games for the team last year and did a good job against the run. He hasn’t developed into the edge rusher that the Jets hoped he’d be, however, and former Jet Joe Klecko thinks that the reason for that is Coples’ effort level rather than his athletic ability.
“A little bit of the time he looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane,” Klecko said on WFAN, via the New York Daily News. “I don’t know him at all, but understanding attitude and body language, he sometimes comes out there I think and thinks ‘Don’t you know who I am? I’m here.’ He has to start proving that he is something to be reckoned with.”
Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com follows up on Klecko’s comments, writing that Coples has “tested the patience” of the team’s coaching staff and it’s not the first public airing of grievances about his effort level. Coach Rex Ryan said last year that Coples needed to work harder in the weight room and Coples was dogged by questions about his work ethic coming out of college.
Coples closed last season with 3.5 sacks in the final five games, illustrating what he can do when he’s going full speed. If he can do that over an entire season, Wilkerson and Richardson will have some company as the foundation of the Jets defense.