New York Jets: Red Flags Being Raised at Jets Camp Around Quinton Coples

Rocco ConstantinoContributor IAugust 3, 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

Aside from some nagging "soft tissue injuries," the first week of New York Jets training camp is in the books and the reviews, for the most part, have been positive.

There have been uneven days for Mark Sanchez and the offense at times, but nothing to be alarmed about.

Players like Aaron Maybin, Bilal Powell and Josh Baker have been nice surprises and, aside from one shirtless run through the rain, there has been little fanfare around Tim Tebow.  Rookies Demario Davis, Stephen Hill and Antonio Allen have shown a knack for big plays, and that's something the Jets desperately need.

Rex Ryan has toned down his act the way he promised, handling a few minor controversies swiftly and effectively, and Tony Sparano has brought a new energy to the team.

One area of concern, though, has been the play of first-round draft pick Quinton Coples.

Things have been relatively quiet around Coples, but two small pieces of news have raised some early red flags about the defensive lineman.

Earlier in the week, reports surfaced from camp that Coples was struggling to gain any pressure against Vladimir Ducasse, who isn't exactly Orlando Pace.

If Coples is indeed struggling against Ducasse, what will he do against actual legitimate NFL offensive linemen?

Also, on Wednesday, it was widely reported that Coples' responsibilities were going to be scaled back considerably.

This seems like a big departure from a late-April declaration by Rex Ryan that Coples would be a starter.

Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine had this to say about Coples in an article by Jenny Vrentas on

“We’ll work it from back to front,” Pettine said of Coples’ role. “He’ll be a third-down guy, similar to Maybin. Get him out there in passing situations and then work him into the base defense. Let him be a back-up for the guys in base, but keep his plate small.”

That's all fine and good for a rookie, but when the tune changes that much for a player from April to August, assumptions have to be made that he isn't progressing the way the Jets planned, as much as they say otherwise.

By no means is this the end of the world for Coples or Jets fans though.

He has just one week of full training camp under his belt and he hasn't even had a chance to do anything in a preseason game yet.

It seems Coples is about where last year's first-round draft pick Muhammad Wilkerson was at this point, and he turned in a decent rookie year.

Right now there's no need to lose sleep over this, but there's no question this is a situation worth monitoring.

If there has been one positive from Coples, there have been no reports of any lack of effort or taking plays off, something that was the biggest concern around him on draft day.  It just seems that he has been overwhelmed with information and isn't letting his natural ability take over.

Coples will be one of the more interesting players to watch when the Jets take on the Bengals one week from tonight in their preseason opener.