Coples on Rex's criticism: 'I agree with him'

May, 16, 2013
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Rex Ryan publicly chided Quinton Coples last week for his performance in the weight room.

Naturally, reporters were eager to get Coples' response Thursday, when the Jets opened their locker room for the first time this week. Would Coples be defiant in the face of criticism?

[+] EnlargeQuinton Coples
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty ImagesOne hand on the turf? Nope, Quinton Coples will line up at outside linebacker this season.
No. "I agree with him," Coples said.

Ryan, who did not address the media Thursday, made the comments about Coples last Friday. "I'm a little disappointed with Q in the weight room," the coach said.

Coples, the team's first-round draft pick in 2012, was also criticized for his work ethic while at the University of North Carolina. But he had a solid rookie season for the Jets, finishing with a team-high 5.5 sacks.

Still, he admitted not going 100 percent in one particular drill last week, captured on video. "I could have gave better effort," Coples said. "So the next day, when we came back here, I gave better effort and made sure that won't happen again."

Coples said he and Ryan have not spoken about the criticism. He said he has never been called out like that before, but wasn't shocked by it. "He's a coach, and he spoke how he felt," Coples said. "I took it, moved on, and got better this week."

The Jets are planning to move Coples from defensive end to linebacker this season. Coples said the transition is going well thus far.

"I think moving to outside linebacker will free me up a lot more, open up a lot more opportunities," Coples said. "I'll be in disguise, whether I'm dropping [back] or whether I'm going [at the quarterback]. So I think it'll be a big year for me."
Kieran Darcy is an staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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