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Coples held out of team drills

QUINTON COPLES DE, North Carolina 6-6, 284 1st

QUINTON COPLES
DE, North Carolina
6-6, 284
1st round, No. 16 overall

-- Versatility will serve him well; he has played several positions on the defensive line.
-- Combination of speed, size and athleticism.
-- Can defend the run and rush the passer, although his work ethic has been questioned.
-- Had more sacks as a junior (10) than as a senior (7.5).
(Credit: AP)

**Updated @ 3:50p.m.**

Rex Ryan said it was decision to hold out Quinton Coples from team drills Saturday afternoon -- and no, it wasn't for disciplinary reasons.

“Obviously he had a first good day. We know what he can do," the Jets coach said of Coples, who was spotted on the sidelines while his teammates partook in 11-on-11 drills on the second day of rookie mini-camp. "But I wanted to see some of the other guys compete. Give them an opportunity to get in there and compete a little bit. And that’s kind of why we did it.”

Naturally, the decision to sit out Coples -- who was taken 16th overall in last month's draft -- was a bit of a surprise. But Ryan insisted it was not a punishment.

“No, no, no," he said, before delivering a sarcastic joke. "Yeah, he held himself out -- I’m just kidding. No, that was why. Really, he’s fine. There’s no injury, there’s no nothing. It was really just my decision.”

Asked if he explained his decision to Coples, Ryan said: “Yeah, right when I said, ‘Hey, why don’t you go stand over there by Mike T. and Mr. Johnson. so I think that was when we explained it to him.”

The coach said he's done the same thing in the past with other first-round picks. It's a rare practice, though, and one used more often with linemen, the coach said.

Ryan later added that his confidence in Coples shouldn't be in question. He also reiterated the versatile defensive end will in fact start for the Jets.

“There’s 32 teams. Anybody that selects a guy in the first round has praised the guy enough," he said. "And if the coach hadn’t done it by drafting him or the GM drafting him, the owner’s getting ready to with all the money they were going to give him.

Obviously we think this young man -- he’s going to start. I don’t know what level, whatever, he’s going to play a ton. Is he going to play every snap? No, I doubt it. But he’s going to play a bunch.”

The coach then was asked to clarify whether he meant Coples will “play” or “start.”

“Start, if you like. Start in sub teams. Start in this, start in that," he said. "Sometimes you come out and the personnel kind of dictates. This guy has the athleticism where he’s going to play, start on multiple schemes. Is he going to start on this defense or that defense? Maybe not. But I know one thing, he’s going to play a ton.”

***

The sight of Quinton Coples on the sideline during team drills Saturday was surprising to say the least.

The Jets first-round pick wasn't injured but yet, there he stood, holding his helmet while his teammates participated in 11-on-11 drills.

“They told me to sit out and that’s what I did,” said Coples, who earlier took part in individual drills. “There’s no time for questions. This is the NFL. If the boss says sit down, sit down. So that’s what I did.”

Though curious about the coaching staff's decision, Coples didn't question it.

“I trust the staff," he said. 

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