Monday, July 21, 2014

Coples sheds weight in hopes of shedding blocks


This offseason, Quinton Coples has focused on improving the outside linebacker part of his game, as the hybrid defensive frontman has naturally been more comfortable at defensive end with his history at the position.

Now that his role as a DE-slash-OLB is more clearly defined, Coples is making the proper adjustments. Those adjustments? Size.

He's still 6-foot-6. That hasn't changed. But the former Tarheel has dropped 15 pounds since the end of last season, now hovering around the 270 mark.

“I thought it’d be beneficial for me moving forward in this position of the defense that I’ve been in,” Coples said earlier this summer, via “And it helps longevity down the road. I think it’s perfect for a hybrid position so I can put myself in the best situations on the field.”

Coples had eight more tackes last year than he did in his rookie season despite dressing in two fewer games. His run defending hasn't been a question, though he still has yet to prove himself a consistent force from a pass-rushing standpoint.

The lighter weight should certainly help, as should the continued emergence of arguably the best defensive front in the game comprised of Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Damon Harrison and company.

They're all big boys at 315, 294 and 350 pounds, respectively, and they apparently got a kick out of Coples showing up to camp with a slimmer frame.

“I just showed up and they saw me and they were like, ‘Oh, wow,’” Coples said. “They were surprised, but it was no big deal. They just said to make sure you don’t lose too much.”

If the lost weight helps Coples ascend in his versatile role and free up room for the rest of the defensive front, his teammates will like him just fine.

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