This is What is Wrong with the Coples to OLBer Experiment - GIF

It could be that if you don't watch Coples every down on review - like have done for 5 games now - this play won't bother you so much. But if you have I can't believe it won't irk you. It expresses something about him as an outside rusher than is just plain weak. He's unblocked on the line, but when he sees the RB he just puts his shoulder down and runs himself out of the play. It is just one example of how he is almost never a force on the edge, and that about 95% of his positive moves come to the inside.

There has been talk lately about some kind of resurgence at OLBer for Coples. The story they are telling, I don't know where they are getting this, is that the broken bone that supposedly was keeping him down in the first part of the year is healed, and now, in the last 5 games he suddenly is showing promise. Guys, I just don't see it. I watched this whole game and I saw the same player I've seen all year. The same "broken bone" guy...I think the bone is just fine and has been for a long while.

The evidence is supposed to be in his PRP numbers which have increased, but 2 of the 5 games were very poor, and when looking at the Oakland game I saw very cheap pressure numbers:

Raiders 9.7
Dolphins 11.5
Ravens 5.35
Bills 5.35
Saints: 9.7

9.7 against OAK is a very good number for Coples. He is near the bottom of the league for OLBer this year with a 6.5, but nearly all of these pressures in the game were either weakly gained or not (1) from the OLBer position.

Taking a look at them (PFF records 2 sacks, 1 QB Hit, 1 QB Hurry):

A QB Hurry


He got a QB hurry on the Reed INT, but he actually was unblocked on the play due to a protection blown by Oakland. Snacks (who is passed off to nobody) and Coples both end up being blocked by the RB...and Snacks is the one who ends up being blocked. Even then he lacked the athleticism to get to the QB cleanly. He is chipped, and runs wide.

A QB Hit

He had a hit on the QB on a very long developing play that involved him starting on the outside and circling around underneath. He's had some success with this circle under this year but this isn't really a great play on his part. He completely untouched. And it is not the case of blazing speed.



These are not instances of Coples suddenly having grown into his position at OLBer and using techniques or strengths to beat his man.

QB Sacks


One "sack" occurred when the QB simply flubbed a pass, and the ball went flying out of his hand. This was a gift sack. I will give credit to Coples here who was lined up wide and (as usual) made an inside move (he only gets pressure on these types of moves) and got in the QB's face a bit. If the pass had just been thrown it may have counted as a hurry, but likely not.

The other sack wasn't a sack (according to ESPN). PFF wants to gives him one. Okay. But here is a screenshot of the sack with the QB already wrapped up by Pace:


It's not a sack.

The interesting thing about this play though is that the Jets in the 4th Quarter experimented with a 4-2-5 or a 3-3-5 if you count Pace as a LBer, a set up that some have been calling for. You can see this is one of the few times that Coples lines up inside the tackle:


the coverage is good downfield with 4 DBs (+Landry is sent on a blitz), and it is a productive play. You can see how far Coples is lined up inside here:


In the same 4th quarter drive (if I recall) they even had Coples line up in the middle. I've seen the Jets do this before, use one 4th quarter drive to experiment with new looks. Perhaps the use of Coples in the middle suggests that the Jets are trying to find other places for him (eventually):


So we have 36 rushes of the QB. 1 sack wasn't a sack, and 1 sack was a QB flub. Both hit/hurry pressures were largely untouched events. If we subtract Coples' phantom sack (which wasn't made as an OLBer anyways) and credit the fumble as a hurry (being generous), we come up with a PRP of 6.25, which is worse than his bottom of the league 6.5 (26th out of 27 OLBers, or 36th out of 38). In fact 3 of this last 5 games have been worse than his terrible yearly production. He is not suddenly showing a new dimension in his game, imo.

Now people might cry foul, dissecting his improved numbers in this game. Everyone get's "cheap" numbers. Okay, maybe. But your your numbers have to reflect talents and skills. Honestly Calvin Pace beats his man with actual moves more frequently than Coples does, and Pace is nearly done with the league (he is 12th out of 27 OLBers with a 10.7 PRP). The point really is to look at him in the game. Please watch him play in and play out. Please look at each and every one of his outside pass rush moves. He simply lacks the athleticism to be rushing that wide of the tackle.

What I can't post here are the 30 or so deadend rushes to the outside in this game or most of the other games. He simply is an empty rusher on the outside having almost no impact. He did get his hands up and bat a pass down in the game, it was a nice play, but honestly he's an inside rusher.

A Few Other Thoughts

Some were critical of Geno's TD throw. I thought it was perfect. People don't look at what the QB sees upon release. On release he lofts the ball where Kerley can catch it. This is not an "arm punt".


There also had to be confusion on the play because Holmes on the outside also goes for the catch, and the pass may even have been for him. It is unclear. But BOTH Jets players were in position to catch this ball. If Kerley wasn't there Holmes has a fine shot at it.


On the Reed and Cromartie collision as bad as it looked it really wasn't horribly Reed's fault. There must have been miscommunication for Oakland or the routes were run inaccurately because the pass wasn't for Streater. It was for the TE who Wilson is covering, at least the TE thought it was. Here is a shot of the TE trying to catch the ball. Part of the reason for the collision is that Cromartie also sees who the pass is intended for and starts coming off his man (or perhaps he is making an ill-advised dive for the pass to his man). You can see both players converging on the expected reception below. Ideally Reed should not have committed so strongly to the intended receiver (or at least the receiver who thought he was the intended receiver), but this is what you get with a cagey vet. He is going to read the play and try jump it.


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