The lack of playing time Quinton Coples got frustrated many this year. Nobody really knows the reasoning behind it. Maybe Rex Ryan wanted to keep him rested to prevent him from hitting the rookie wall. Maybe the Jets viewed him as a situational player in need of further development to see the field full time. Maybe the coaches honestly thought Calvin Pace needed to see the field more. In any event, Coples only got 516 snaps.
That is a shame because in limited playing time he still led the team in sacks with 5.5. He really came on at the end of the year with 4.5 of those sacks in the last quarter. Beyond the sacks, he gave the other team a ton of trouble trying to block him. He was regularly in the backfield of the other team. His biggest impact play was probably inducing Chad Henne's game ending interception in Jacksonville with a pressure.
Coples is a guy the Jets liked to move around this year. You saw him at end in the 3-4. You saw him inside and at end in the 4-3. You even saw him a few times as a rush linebacker. His unusual size and athleticism allows Rex Ryan to move him around to try and create mismatches.
Every year there are hundreds of players who could potentially break out and become very good players. Few actually do so it is usually best to keep expectations low. Coples is an exception for me. I think he is going to have a breakout year in 2013 and finish with double digit sacks. I think it would be a major disappointment if he did not. He is one of the most athletic players at his position in the league. He showed flashes of dominance and seemed to put it all together at the end of the year. Now he will have an offseason to work with Karl Dunbar working on his play against the run and refining his technique to dominate consistently as a pass rusher.
For a team to give up on a first round pick after a year, the guy would have to be beyond a trainwreck. The Jets stuck with even Vernon Gholston for three years. Coples is anything but a trainwreck. I am counting on Coples to take a bigger role. Unlike many of the other unprovens on this roster, I feel comfortable with him expanding what he does.