FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- He's learning a new position (rush linebacker) and he's coming off a fractured ankle, so it would've been unrealistic to expect Quinton Coples to have his A-game from the outset.
That said, the New York Jets need more production from the former first-round pick, considering how much he's been on the field. In three games, Coples has played in 165 defensive snaps (73 percent of the team's total), but his stats are modest: one solo tackle and five assists, seven quarterback hits, and no sacks.
That Coples came back so quickly after ankle surgery reflects his toughness, but it is time to transform that into production, especially with pass rushing specialist Antwan Barnes out for the season with a knee injury. Coples, Garrett McIntyre and maybe Calvin Pace will have to absorb Barnes' playing time, about 30 snaps per game.
Imagine the Jets' front seven when Coples gets comfortable.
ICYMI: More on Barnes' injury, which occurred Monday night in Atlanta. ... Guard Willie Colon had some interesting things to say about the Tim Tebow circus and the make-up of the Jets' locker room when he arrived last March. ... Rookie quarterback Geno Smith is a "flatliner," according to Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. He meant that as a positive. ... What does the future hold for Mark Sanchez? Rex Ryan won't say. ... The NFL standings say the Steelers stink. The Jets refuse to believe it.