Florham Park, NJ – It’s after the third and final day of minicamp and the New York Jets’ locker room feels like a high school hallway on the last day of class. Most players shower and hit the road, no doubt ready to start their pre-training camp break. Most, that is, except for defensive end Quinton Coples and rookie defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson who keep the energy high, bouncing around and joking with teammates.
“You guys were great,” Coples quips to a group of reporters. “Great questions.” With a year under his belt, Coples has officially come out of his shell. His confidence, or what some might call cockiness, on the practice field is evident, even drawing a playful kick in the behind from All-Pro center Nick Mangold.
Richardson, who the Jets drafted with the 13th overall pick this year, has been loud from the get-go. He is one of the last to leave, his voice bellowing across the locker room and interrupting a media session with potential signee Kellen Winslow.
Coples and Richardson, along with the much more reserved Muhammad Wilkerson, represent the foundation of a young, talented, and confident Jets defensive line. And it shows.
“We’re just going to be a wrecking ball, man,” says Richardson. “I feel confident about our defense right now. We’re going to sack some people.”