New York Jets Top Pick Quinton Coples Shines in NFL Preseason Debut Against Cincinnati Bengals

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Friday, in their 2012 preseason opener, the New York Jets lost to the Cincinnati Bengals by a score of 17-6.

Of course, in a game in which the first-team players played very little, you have to take the final score with a grain of salt, as you do with every week 1 preseason game.

It’s a small sample size, but there were a few performances of note that are worth mentioning.

Starting quarterback Mark Sanchez was a little uneven in his brief action on the field, completing 4 of his 6 passes for 21 yards, with a dropped pass as well.

Sanchez was also sacked twice, as left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson struggled with a couple of speed rushes, but Sanchez also scrambled for a first down, something Jets quarterbacks may do a lot this season.

That second-string quarterback, of course, may be a large part of that.

Tim Tebow showed off his legs and his arm (or lack there of) in his Jets debut, completing 4 of 8 passes for 27 yards and an interception. Tebow threw low and made a bad read on his pick.

However, Tebow was able to give the Bengals’ second-team defense fits, rushing for 34 yards on 4 scrambles as he took snaps exclusively at quarterback with the second-team offense.

New offensive coordinator Tony Sparano kept his schemes vanilla in the first preseason game, as Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis respectfully asked Rex Ryan not to run any plays from their Wildcat packages.

Arguably the biggest takeaway for the Jets was the play of rookie defensive end Quinton Coples.

The Jets’ first-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Coples played 39 snaps in Cincinnati, registering 5 total tackles, a sack, 2 tackles for loss, a pass deflection, and a forced fumble.

It was a mighty impressive first showing for the player the Jets believe can take their defense to new heights this season, even if it was just a few dozen snaps against second- and third-stringers.

Eventually, Coples will see more time against legitimate NFL starters, and he and the Jets hope he can wreak havoc all over the field.

Quinton Coples can be a big, every-down threat on the defensive line that the Jets have sorely lacked the past few seasons, but he’s still got a long way to go. Friday’s performance was an encouraging first step.


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