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Friday, December 14, 2012
Coples fined $15K for facemask

By Rich Cimini

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Rookie DE Quinton Coples was fined $15,000 by the league for grabbing the facemask of Jaguars QB Chad Henne in last week's 17-10 victory.

It was a costly penalty at the time, because it allowed the Jaguars to sustain a drive after a failed third-down attempt -- a drive that ended with their only touchdown.

THE MO AND Q SHOW: It took longer than expected, but Coples and DE Muhammad Wilkerson showed last week how they can work in tandem. At times, they lined up over the guards, causing problems for the Jaguars with their inside pass-rushing ability.

When Wilkerson and Coples are rushing well from the inside, it allowed the Jets to use more four-man rushes against standard protections.

"I think that's what we envisioned a long time ago when we drafted them, that we wanted to get to that point," defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said. "It's taken some doing to get to that point, but I think we're there."

Pettine noted that Coples has to break his habit of jumping in front of the quarterback.

"We're like, 'Quinton, you're 6-foot-5, you don't have to jump,'" Pettine said.

FUTURE OF THE WILDCAT: Offensive coordinator Tony Sparano echoed Rex Ryan's comment on QB Tim Tebow (sore ribs), saying he was a "little bit more encouraged" by his progress Friday in practice. But Sparano stopped short of saying Tebow will be used Monday night in the Wildcat.

"It's always a possibility," he said.

TONY ON BRAYLON: Sparano is hoping that Braylon Edwards' familiarity with QB Mark Sanchez can help Edwards get comfortable with the offense -- a tough assignment, considering his late arrival.

"Obviously, these two guys have played together and they've been in contact with each other and they're friends, so there's a lot of history there with them," Sparano said. "I think that's a positive thing here and makes it a little bit easier going forward."

The question is Edwards' health. He was limited for the second straight day with a hamstring injury. He probably will be listed as questionable. The expectation when he arrived Wednesday was that he'd be ready to face the Titans.

ODDS AND ENDS: OLB Bryan Thomas expects to play Monday night, but he feared the worst last Sunday, thinking he had torn his pectoral muscle. "All kind of things were running through my mind," he said, alluding to the plane ride home. He said the doctors eased his nerves, telling him the MRI would tell the real story. Turned out to be just a strain. ... When a player commits a penalty in practice, the entire unit is required to do penalty push-ups. Coaches, too. Special teams coach Mike Westhoff, 64, dropped for 10 Friday after an offsides call. He wasn't happy.