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Joe Klecko calls out Coples

Quinton Coples speaks to the media at the

Quinton Coples speaks to the media at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (May 16, 2013) (Credit: Mike Stobe)

Joe Klecko knows a thing or two about standout defensive play. And as he sees it, Quinton Coples isn’t getting the job done. 

Klecko – a member of the Jets’ ‘New York Sack Exchange’ – gave a brutally honest assessment of Coples’ inconsistent play during a WFAN radio interview.

"He’s another one. A little bit at times he looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane," Klecko said Friday on "Joe and Evan."

“Sometimes he gets out there and he does things that are unbelievable. Well, you need to go out there and stick your nose in there every time and make sure everybody knows you’re there. I think he has a lot to learn.”

Despite questions about Coples’ work ethic and motor, the Jets drafted him 16th overall in 2012. And so far, the North Carolina product hasn’t lived up to their lofty expectations. After a rookie season, in which Coples recorded 5.5 sacks, the Jets moved him from defensive end to outside linebacker. But Coples' progress was slowed when he missed two preseason games and two regular-season contests because of a hairline fracture in his right ankle.

He did show flashes down the stretch, though, recording 3.5 of his 4.5 sacks during the team’s final four games.

But while Klecko believes Coples has potential, he wants to see the young Jet show more consistency and physicality on the field.

“I don’t know him at all,” the two-time All-Pro said of Coples. “But understanding attitude and body language, he sometimes comes out there I think and thinks ‘Don’t you know who I am? I’m here.’ He has to start proving that he is something to be reckoned with.

“...You have to have defensive players on the team that do that kind of play – go for the jugular vein, all out, all the time. And then everybody starts to listen you. And if you have just a group of lukewarm guys, you’re going to get lukewarm players that need to have themselves picked up by their leaders.”

Klecko, of course, speaks from experience. The four-time Pro Bowler is the only NFL player to make the Pro Bowl at defensive end, defensive tackle and nose tackle.

Klecko was particularly complimentary of Muhammad Wilkerson during the interview – but he did offer one criticism of the Jets' young defensive star.

“He's an unbelievable talent, but he has to put it out there every single play,” he said of Wilkerson, who had a career-high 10 sacks last season. “…He needs to put it out there every single play. Now, (Sheldon) Richardson (the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year) does that.”

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