- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Rex Ryan just raised the bar for rookie DE Quinton Coples.
The Jets' coach, still glowing (and crowing) over Coples' impressive debut last Friday night in Cincinnati, said Monday that his No. 1 draft pick has "measurables" similar to those of Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul.
A pretty lofty comparison.
"It's funny, when you look at the numbers when Pierre-Paul came out and when Quinton Coples came out, the measurables are almost identical, except that Quinton is an inch taller and 20 pounds heavier," Ryan said. "Pierre-Paul has those long arms that reach for days like (Muhammad Wilkerson). I'm sure he has the longest arms I've ever seen on a guy, but they're two unusual talents.
"These guys are unusual guys and, hopefully, Quinton can be the same kind of player Pierre-Paul ended up being. This guy can really hit it."
Pierre-Paul, the 15th overall pick in 2010, recorded 16.5 sacks last season. Coples was the 16th pick after a lackluster senior year that caused his stock to drop. The Jets received some criticism for picking Coples, something that Ryan likes to remind the media.
"I'm sure it was a bust of a pick," he said, adding, "Come on, go back and read all the things the experts said. The difference is the experts watch tape; we knew what we were getting."
Coples didn't disappoint in the opener, recording five tackles, five QB hits, one sack, one forced fumble and one tackle-for-loss.
HEAR THIS: Everything Ryan says about the quarterback situation is analyzed and over-analyzed. Such is life in the big city (not Cortland, but you get the picture). On Sunday, he didn't dismiss the possibility of expanding Tim Tebow's role, using him to replace Mark Sanchez if Sanchez is having trouble setting up against a fierce pass rush. The New York Daily News turned a relatively innocuous quote into a back page.
Ryan reponded, sounding a bit annoyed about the constant scrutiny of the QB situation.
"Clearly, we have a starting quarterback. It's Mark Sanchez. Period," he said. "There's no question about it. We're going to do whatever it takes to win, but if Tebow can help in protection, we'll put him in there. Mark is our quarterback. As much as people are trying to make it a quarterback controversy, it's not."
TONY AND THE TEMPO: Ryan raved about the tempo in the 7-on-7 passing drill, saying he's "never seen that before." The offense, under Tony Sparano, caught fire in that drill.
INJURY UPDATE: S Eric Smith (sprained knee) is "real doubtful" for Saturday night's game against the Giants, Ryan said. In other words, he's not playing ... WR/PR Jeremy Kerley (torn hamstring) could return to practice by the end of the week, according to Ryan ... WR Santonio Holmes (rib) and NT Sione Pouha (back) won't play against the Giants.
TEBOW TIME: Ryan really likes the way Tebow has improved his throwing in recent days, especially "in his set up and delivery. I think we're seeing the ball come out of his hands a lot quicker than we were at the beginning. That's not unusual. Anytime you put in a new system, sometimes there are a lot of things going through you, but right now he's on top of things."