Jets first-round DE Quinton Coples was expected to be a starter as a rookie, and Rex Ryan said in the spring that Coples would start, presumably ahead of veteran Mike DeVito. Week One showed why the idea of “starter” can be tricky with the Jets’ defense, when neither Coples nor DeVito started in the win over the Bills. The Jets opened with two D-linemen, four linebackers and five DBs.
The player whose playing time was likely to be impacted most by the arrival of Coples was DeVito, a steady veteran and key run stopper. In the opener, DeVito, who agreed to a pay cut in May, played in 27 defensive snaps (43 percent) and Coples played 32 snaps (51 percent) against a Bills team that employs a spread offense. DeVito was limited in the first week of practice with a calf injury, but his snap percentage was a decrease from his average last season, which was 57.1 percent, according to Pro Football Focus.
We hear that the Jets like DeVito’s consistency — they know what they will get from him, which will keep him in the lineup, especially on run downs. Coples was considered a boom-or-bust type pick, who had shown plenty of talent earlier in his college career, only to see his numbers tail off as a senior. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine told reporters Thursday that Coples “was a little inconsistent, but it was typical” in the opener. The Jets, who added Coples to bolster their pass rush, will continue rotating the rookie and DeVito based on their opponents, but it's expected that Coples will continue to see more snaps as he gets more experience and improves his consistency.
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