Quinton Coples faces scrutiny
Quinton Coples
NFL reporter
Posted Feb 26, 2012
Aaron Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples is the enigma of this draft. He looks like the next coming of Julius Peppers, but he also takes plays or even games off. His inconsistent effort and fairly obvious attempt to avoid injuries in his last season for the Tar Heels has drawn criticism. However, he's also a gifted, huge athlete.

And that means that the 6-foot-5, 284-pounder will be drafted within the top 10 selections.

"I just keep it honest," Coples said. "It was a situation that my coach asked me to do, make a change. I made that change and I think I think I ran into some things a little more than I should have instead of just playing the game that I love. It kind of affected my game. But overall, I went to the Senior Bowl, I did some things and I showed them that I can compete at the highest level.

"I heard the rumors and all the things that were going on about me not playing as hard, so I took it personally. And I made a statement for myself that I can compete outside of the ACC and all across the country."

Coples denied lacking effort.

"No, I definitely don't," he said. " I can see where it can look like that on film but overall, I definitely felt like I did a good job and did the right thing and just did the little sacrifices for my team, to help my team out. And that's what was important to me at the time."

Coples said he's not bothered by all the scrutiny.

"Not at all," he said. "I mean, it's a gift and a curse. Overall, I'll take it for what it is. They know I can compete and I'm gonna compete. So we'll just go from there."

For more coverage of the NFL, go to profootball.scout.com.

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