New York Jets news, commentary and insider info from beat writer Kimberley A. Martin.
Coples: "Jets got a great value"
The newest Jet was introduced to the the New York media Friday morning.
Holding up a dark green Jets jersey, Quinton Couples smiled for the cameras at the team’s Florham Park, N.J. facility.
The 6-6 defensive end from North Carolina was selected 16th overall in Thursday night’s NFL draft, becoming the Jets first first-round pass rusher since they acquired Vernon Gholston in 2008.
“It’s a great facility, great coaches, great people to be around,” said Coples, who arrived around noon and toured the training complex for a second time.
“And just looking forward to experiencing the dream here with the New York Jets.”
He received his playbook, but said he hasn’t had time to thumb through it yet. Coples also said the Jets haven’t discussed what role he’ll play because teams aren’t allowed to talk football with players under the new collective bargaining agreement.
But he plans to make an impact as soon as possible.
Coples issued a playful, but serious warning to opposing offenses by saying the Jets defense will be ranked No. 1 this season with him and former high school teammate Muhammad Wilkerson as bookends on the D line.
“I think they should be worried about me and Muhammad and Big Bo (nose tackle Sione Pouha) in the middle, and everybody else that’s behind us,” Coples said with a smile.
The first-round pick -- who was accompanied by his mother Gail, older sister Aurriell, agents Thomas Sims and Chad Speck and his business manager -- said he was a “nervous wreck” the night of the draft. But he was confident the Jets would select him at 16.
The knock on Coples is his competitive fire. His disappointing senior season (7.5 sacks vs. 10 his junior year as a defensive tackle) has been well-documented and many believe head coach Rex Ryan will need to push Couples in order to get the most out of him.
But his mother said people who think her son isn’t passionate about football “don’t know Quinton.”
Coples is well aware of the detractors. But in his mind, the Jets got everything they needed in a first-round pick.
“They got a great value,” he said.
The chip on his shoulder is evident in his words and Coples admitted it’s been there every day of his life.
“I always play with a chip on my shoulder,” he said. “There’s always room to get better, there’s always room to improve and that’s how I take it. That’s how I live life.”
“...Jets fans are definitely passionate about their team and I’m willing to exceed their projections, or whatever, that they have for me. I’m willing to exceed that.”