DAVIE (CBSMiami/AP) — Sometimes it takes a change of scenery (and scheme) for a player to break out of a funk or reach their full potential.
Quinton Coples is eager to show his former team what he can do when he’s back in a three-point stance.
The former first-round draft pick will play defensive end for the Miami Dolphins and hopes to make an impact Sunday against the New York Jets, who released him Monday after he struggled as a linebacker.
“It brings chills to me to be able to go back and face them this Sunday,” Coples said Wednesday, shortly before his first practice with Miami.
Coples provides a welcome reinforcement for the Dolphins, who lost Pro Bowl end Cameron Wake to a season-ending torn Achilles tendon last month
“He’s a cool cat,” end Olivier Vernon said. ” We’re just trying to add guys to help win.”
Even Jets guys?
“Even Jets guys,” Vernon said.
Coples had 16 1/2 sacks in three seasons under coach Rex Ryan, including 6 1/2 in 2014, but none this season while starting only two games in coach Todd Bowles’ 3-4 scheme. The Dolphins have a 4-3 defense.
Coples said he’s not out to prove anything to the Jets, but said he’s unsure why he fell out of favor.
“I never got a great explanation for it,” he said. “They benched me for whatever reason. I still don’t know. But I’m moving forward.”
The 6-foot-6, 290-pound Coples played end at North Carolina, and that’s the position he prefers.
“I’m fit for whichever defense,” he said, “but I definitely enjoy playing with my hand in the dirt.”
Bowles predicted Coples will fit in well with the Dolphins at end.
“We didn’t let him go because he couldn’t play,” Bowles said. “We were just deep at that certain position, and we’re doing some things with our outside backers and he wasn’t playing, so we gave him a chance to play elsewhere.”
Be sure to check out our FinsOn4 Live Dolphins Blog where we will be posting season-long coverage, updates, photos, video, commentary and more throughout the entire 2015 season.
Watch Miami take on the New York Jets this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. on CBS4, your official Dolphins station!
(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)