The 2012 first-round draft pick can help fill a pass-rushing void on the Dolphins' defensive line. The team lost Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake for the season due to an Achilles tendon tear in Week 8.
In addition, Coples has added motivation playing against his former team Sunday, when the Dolphins travel to play the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Coples was cut by the Jets earlier this week.
“It’s going to be crazy,” Coples said Friday with a big smile. “Being there for the last three years and then going to the other side of the stadium on the visiting side should be quite interesting. But my job is to get in there and help this team get a win. That’s what I’m here for.”
Coples has just three practices under his belt. But Miami has every intention of playing him right away in a defensive end rotation that also includes Olivier Vernon, Derrick Shelby and Terrence Fede. Interim Dolphins coach Dan Campbell said Coples is comfortable enough playing in the base defense, but it will take more time to get accustomed to sub and specialty packages.
The best asset Coples brings is his ability to get to the quarterback. He has 16.5 career sacks despite being moved to outside linebacker in the Jets’ 3-4 defense early in his career, which wasn’t a natural fit. Coples will play exclusively at defensive end in the Dolphins' 4-3 scheme.
“I see a guy who has looked better every day, looked a little more comfortable with what we’re trying to do,” Campbell said. “As crazy as it sounds, it’s a little bit of an adjustment from what he’s been doing. He’s primarily spent his career in a two-point [stance]. Now, we’re putting him back in a three-point [stance], hand in the ground.”
Coples likes the fit in Miami and hopes to make an immediate impact.
“When I first got here, it was a lot of teaching and things going on,” Coples said. “But the scheme works pretty much in my favor as far as just rushing [the quarterback]. It’s not too complex. It’s been good and I’m looking forward to going out and play.”