CORTLAND – As Quinton Coples sees it, the only thing that can stop the Jets defensive line this season is…well…the Jets defensive line.
The former first-round pick not only believes he and his linemates can be pretty good, but that they can be elite.
“Each and every day we emphasize being great – individually and collectively,” said Coples, the 16th overall pick in 2012. “Like I said before, the sky’s the limit. We just have to continue to work hard and continue to make sure we work on the things that it takes to be great.”
And the unit’s not trying to model itself after anyone else, either. Asked which NFL defensive line the Jets want to emulate, Coples smiled: “Us.”
“We’re not trying to be nobody but us besides us. No disrespect or discredit to any defensive front out there, ut we want to be the best and make our own name.”
The Jets bolstered their D-line over the past few years by selecting young, athletic guys like Muhammad Wilkerson (2011), Coples (2012) and Sheldon Richardson (2013) in the first round. But what they collectively lack in experience, they more than make up for in potential, said Coples.
“Why am I so confident? Why wouldn’t I be?” said Coples, who, after leading the Jets with 5.5 sacks last season, is getting learning the outside linebacker position as well. “I see what we have, I see the talent that we have and at the end of the day, with the coaches that we have, the sky’s the limit.”
His head coach, however, was careful not to unleash any guarantees.
“How about we play a couple games,” he said, adding that the unit still has a long road ahead. “But the certainly are a talented group. No question. You want your guys to have that kind of confidence. But to be the best, you have to show up every day.
“…Could it be one of the best? If they keep working, I certainly hope so.”