Our defense is now best suited to handle the Patriots and other spread offenses with our Big Nickle and 4 DL line personnel. However, I agree we are a stud rush OLB away from being elite. We also don't match as well with teams that run a smashmouth offense. (i.e. 49ers, Seattle, Pitt)
If you look at the 49ers, Ravens, and Steelers (3 teams I think we try to emulate), they each have 2 stud edge rushers. I think it's interesting how the 49ers use Justin Smith at 5DT and Aldon Smith at OLB as their edge rushers. I think we are more in the 49ers mold with Coples being an edge rusher regardless of whether we are in 3 or 4 man fronts, and the missing piece is the opposite edge rusher. IMO Coples is someone we cant take off the field right now because he is our best pass rusher.