Friday night at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati saw the coming out party of New York Jets first round draft pick, Quinton Coples. No matter what arm was under center, the defensive back found a way to make life very difficult for Bengals quarterbacks.
In what would become a theme of the game, Coples shed a blocker early in the game and drew a holding penalty. Despite the penalty, he nearly reached Bruce Gradkowski to record the sack. In the third quarter, Coples broke free from the line again and sacked Zac Robinson, causing him to lose the football and bring the offense back onto the field.
All things considered, it was a great day for the budding star. He finished the day with five tackles, including two for a loss, a pass deflection, and a forced fumble.
"I just want to make sure I'm a productive defensive lineman and make sure I get to the passer," said Coples modestly.
Despite having an average training camp where he was failing to standout from the rest of the defense, Coples showed up in a big way on Friday, channeling his inner Tim Tebow and stepping up in a big way when it mattered most. Jets coach Rex Ryan moved Coples to different positions and roles throughout the game. Sometimes rushing Coples and other times dropping him into coverage.
No matter what was asked of him, Coples responded to the call.
"I take pride in moving around, and I also stay on top of my playbook to make sure I'm in the right place at the right time to make the play."
The North Carolina alum had an excellent college career and is transitioning to the NFL very well. Coples was happy to get on the field against another team, admitting that he was getting a little restless at having to play against his own teammates all the time. Still, Coples believed that training camp has given him a great start to what he hopes to be a productive season.
"For the past couple weeks, our team has been battling against each other, making each other better, and the expectations of being great for each other," stated Coples. "It was great to go out there and go against somebody else."