FLORHAM PARK, NJ - Less than a week after being waived by the Jets Quinton Coples will return to what was his home stadium to suit up against his former team. The Dolphins signed him on Tuesday, so you might be wondering if he will have a role this week and the Dolphins interim coach has that answer for you.
"Sure, I don't see why not," Dan Campbell said. "That's one of the reasons we got him, to use him for the last six (games). So, if we can get him up to speed we plan on using him."
Coples, the Jets first-round draft pick in 2012, was released by the Jets because he simply never should have been moved to outside linebacker and while many thought Todd Bowles would move Coples back on the line there just wasn't enough spots on the Jets line to do that. Coples is built like a defensive end and plays like a defensive end, Rex Ryan's hubris was on full display when he decided to try to turn a prototypical 4-3 defensive end into a 3-4 outside linebacker and expect him to drop back in coverage, or play press-man coverage on receivers, to boot.
With Coples here, and not getting playing time, the Jets felt like now was the time to move on and turn all their focus on developing the young guys that they know will be on the roster next year, namely Lorenzo Mauldin. The decision to release Coples shouldn't have been much of a surprise, the timing of it, on the other hand, was a bit perplexing.
The Jets had to realize this was the situation before the trading deadline, maybe they wanted to keep him for depth purposes incase of an injury, and one would think they could have gotten at least a fifth-round draft pick in return. On top of that, no one expects that the Jets knew the Dolphins would be awarded Coples but with the loss of Cameron Wake to injury the Dolphins had an obvious need and just so happen to play a 4-3 scheme. The exact scheme Coples was meant to play.
"Yeah, he's playing on the D-line for us, primarily," Campbell said. "We could use him in some other roles, but that's primarily what we're going to do".
There's also the Mike Tannenbaum connection, with Tannebaum calling the shots with the Dolphins and him having been with the Jets when they drafted Coples, he knows all about Coples. His character, his work ethic and how he's best suited for a 4-3 defensive and can be very disruptive, especially by the way he can create leverage on inside moves off the line.
"Well, his talent, his length. The fact that, we feel like for us, it's a scheme fit, and we were a little light at defensive end as it was, and it was a bit of a no-brainer," Campbell said when asked what was so appealing to them about Coples. "And Mike Tannenbaum had a history with him, he knows who he is, character-wise we know he has really good character. We just feel like we're about to get the best of Quinton Coples yet. The best is ahead of him, so we're excited to have him."
Coples never got to flourish, or show if he could flourish, here with the Jets because of the position change. Now we will get to see what Coples could have been if Ryan never tried to make him into something he's clearly not. And no one will be rooting harder for him than his former teammates as Coples was easily one of the most popular players in the Jets locker room.
Chris Nimbley is the Editor-in-Chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)