Quinton Coples is slimming down due to his switch to outside linebacker.
Coples said he's down to 278 pounds— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) July 27, 2013
Coples is looking to make himself more nimble since he will have longer to go to get to the quarterback standing up at linebacker. He also will have spot duty in coverage and playing the run in space.
The idea of Coples at linebacker both excites me and scares me. I hope by dropping the weight he adds to his burst but does not lose much of his power. It could end up looking like a mistake. It could, however, turn Coples into a game-changing presence on the defensive line. There aren't many players athletic enough to rush standing up off the edge and yet strong enough to wreak havoc sliding up inside on the line. It it works out, Coples can be that kind of guy. The other team will always have to account for Coples. The Jets can move him around and create all kinds of confusion on blocking schemes.
I think this is one of the motivating factors behind the move. Yes, the Jets are changing his position, but they are also looking to add to his versatility and turn him into the kind of force I described above. Coples will certainly see a lot of time at outside linebacker, but they change their looks a lot. Football Outsiders said the Jets had a three man line with a rush linebacker between 40% and 50% of snaps last year. That means Coples will have to rush standing up plenty, but it also indicates they are going to line him up in different spots just as frequently if not more.