New York Jets: How Quinton Coples Will Impact Gang Green's Defense

Ted Lee@@RealLedTeeCorrespondent IJuly 4, 2012

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - MAY 04:  Quinton Coples #98 of the New York Jets works out during the Jets Rookie Minicamp on May 4, 2012 in Florham Park, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The Jets are going into the 2012 season in need of making an impact, and with the addition of Quinton Coples, it just got a bit easier.

First-round pick Quinton Coples played defensive end and defensive tackle at the University of North Carolina. The Jets, however, have also used him at the linebacker position during the current offseason, which should come as no surprise. After all, coach Rex Ryan did work him out at defensive end and linebacker during his pro-day.

A year-and-a-half after Ryan and Mike Pettine devised one of the most creative defensive game plans in NFL history, the duo has quietly made a schematic shift that could jolt a lagging pass rush.

For the better part of three seasons, Pettine and Ryan have relied on innovative and unconventional tactics to create havoc within the framework of their 3-4 scheme.

Although the Jets will retain some of those 3-4 roots, Pettine admitted that “we’re going to be more 4-3” to generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks in 2012. The Jets have finished 18th, seventh and 17th in the league in sacks under Ryan.

Ideally, Coples will be the edge-rusher and will play most of the downs, if not all of them.

The Jets switching and trying out a different defense reminds me of the Houston Texans last year, when defensive coordinator Wade Phillips switched the defense to play a 3-4.

Mario Williams was used everywhere, something he never tried but practiced. The 3-4 system was said to help Williams and the athletic defense, and the same comes with the Jets. Their defense will succeed because of the athleticism of the young guys like Coples.

The Jets defense has big plans for the 2012 season, and Coples looks to be right in the middle of it.