So a year after taking on more of a hybrid role--with an emphasis on the switch to outside linebacker--the third-year North Carolina product is working on expanding his repertoire this offseason.
"That's what I've been working on, being an outside linebacker," Coples told Metro NY's Kristian Dyer this week. "[I am] working on my drops, working on my coverage. I dropped 15 pounds. I'm faster too. Anytime you lose weight, you get faster.
"I think I'm in better shape for that role, for all the versatility it asks for."
Coples said adjusting to the mental aspect of working on the second level of the defense as opposed to the first was "a lot," though he never doubted his physical ability.
". . . just responsibility, learning who to cover, following motion, those sorts of things," he told Dyer. "But there was nothing they asked me to do that I couldn't do. It is just learning what I need to do. I feel I understand it better this year."
Coples upped his tackle total by eight last year despite dressing in two fewer games, though he was a sack short of his rookie total. Expect a more comfortable Coples to trend upward in 2014 behind a stellar defensive front comprised of Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Damon Harrison and company.