I have to give some props to Joe Person for a nice piece on DE Quinton Coples regarding Coples recent visit to Charlotte. Person did a nice job capturing some quotes from Coples that I think hit right at the arguments presented against him for being selected in the first round. I find Coples words very encouraging for his prospects as an NFL Pro. As I mentioned Coples is not a fan favorite for some around here to be drafted at #9 overall and that mainly has to do with the perception he does not hustle on the field every down. Yet rather than making excuses and not acknowledging what is apparent on tape like Vontaze Burfict did during the combine, Coples instead acknowledged it and vowed to improve:
"There’s definitely those times that even if I did hustle, it’s hard and I had no chance of making the play," Coples said last week in a phone interview. "It’s all about the opportunity. They wanted to see that. And I didn’t do that (last) year. That’s one of the main focuses that I’m going to continue to do going forward."
If not for this this lack of hustle teams see in the tape this guy would be perfect for Carolina with his size and speed off the edge. He is the proto-typical 4-3 three down DE and a guy I expect the Panthers to look at long and hard.
Though he did not work out for the Panthers this time he is scheduled to come back later and perform a work out. This one was more of a meet and greet, facility tour and what I would guess is another opportunity to size this kid up. He certainly isn't shying away from the criticism of not playing hard every down:
"It doesn’t get to me at all," Coples said of concerns about his effort level. "It’s pretty much the only question they have. Anything outside of that, they really don’t have anything to ask. I don’t have any regrets with what happened. I just take it for what it is and move forward."
Coples is dead on with that. There is only one question remaining teams have with him and its all mental. Yet as history has shown the mental part of this game requires more determination and effort than the physical part. Can he shake the 'lazy' image? More importantly can he learn the mental 'non-stop motor' habit at this point in his development or is not huslting so ingrained in who he is that his development will always be less than what it could be? That is the million dollar question. If he can shake that the Panthers will be lucky if he is still there at #9.