The New York Jets drafted Quinton Coples with the hope that he could help immediately solidify their defensive line. Unfortunately, through two games Coples has made little impact and doesn’t appear to be a significant part of their defensive game plan.
Coples played 32 of the Jets 63 defensive snaps in the season opener, recording just one quarterback hurry according to Pro Football Focus. On Sunday against the Steelers, Coples playing time was cut back to 16 snaps.
The Jets seem to be content to stick with their starters Mike DeVito and Muhammad Wilkerson, rather than use a deeper rotation. This leaves only a handful of snaps for backup defensive ends Coples and Marcus Dixon.
This strategy is somewhat surprising considering Coples status as a 1st-round pick and the fact that the rookie is just one injury away from being forced into significant action. The more playing time he gets early this season would seem to benefit the Jets in the long run.
Cleveland Browns 1st-round picks Trent Richardson and Brandon Weedenpulled off a rare feat for a pair of rookies on Sunday afternoon against the Bengals.
Hopefully Weeden isn’t the next Tony Banks
They became the first pair of rookie teammates to throw for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in the same game since 1996.
The down side to this accomplishment? The previous duo doesn’t exactly bring back memories of NFL greats.
On December 15, 1996, St. Louis Rams rookies Tony Banks and Lawrence Phillips lit up the scoreboard against the Atlanta Falcons. Unfortunately, Philips would go on to have just two more 100 yards games while Banks would throw for 300 just three more times.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie safety Mark Barron has the potential to be an elite player in this league, but one weakness he must improve upon is his coverage ability.
Barron will be tested by Eli Manning this week
Knowing Barron’s weakness, the Panthers targeted him in coverage seven times on Sunday, more than all but one safety in the league (D.J. Gomes, Redskins). Of the seven targets, five were completed for 91 yards.
Among all safeties, Barron earned the third lowest grade for his cumulative play (versus the run and pass) according to Pro Football Focus.
The Buccaneers didn’t draft Barron for his coverage ability, but they also can’t afford for him to become a liability if they hope to compete in 2012. Hopefully Barron quickly improves, because more performances like this will earn him a seat on the bench until he develops that aspect of his game.
Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s NFL career didn’t get off to a great start against the Texans on Sunday, but if you’re looking for something positive to take away from the game it’s his performance under pressure.
According to Pro Football Focus, Tannehill completed 7 of 11 passes under pressure. Of the four incompletions, two were thrown away and one was dropped. So of his nine aimed passes, eight were on target. Unfortunately the other was intercepted.
Obviously struggles are expected of rookie quarterbacks. All you can do is learn from the mistakes and find one or two positives to build upon. While much of the game was frustrating for Tannehill, this is definitely one area where he showed his true potential.
The Pittsburgh Steelers gambled on Mike Adams in the 2nd round of the draft, taking a chance on a guy who never lived up to lofty expectations at Ohio State and who failed a drug test at the combine.
So far, it’s a gamble that hasn’t paid off. Adams was forced into action when Marcus Gilbert went down with an injury early in the Steelers Sunday night loss in Denvar. One the third play of his career, he was called for a penalty. He then went on to allow one sack and two hurries, according to Pro Football Focus.
Adams clearly has the size and athleticism to play at this level, but he’s never demonstrated the consistency necessary to handle the demands of the NFL. Gibert is expected to play this week against the Jets, so Adams will be back on the bench. But his performance certainly doesn’t instill confidence should Gilbert or left tackle Max Starks go down at any point this year.