Todd Bowles said the waiving of linebacker Quinton Coples, the 16th overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, was based on the numbers game that football sometimes is.
Coples, the Jets head coach told reporters on a conference call this afternoon, "just wasn't playing. I was trying to get a spot [for him] earlier and we didn't have a spot. We weren't playing him, he hasn't been getting any time. It's just a business move. It was nothing personal."
Specifically, Bowles said there were no issues between Coples and him or any other coaches that led to the release: "Absolutely not."
He also said there was no message to the team wrapped up in a transaction involving a former No. 1 pick after the Jets lost for the fourth time in five games to the Texans in Houston on Sunday.
"We're not trying to send a message," he said. "We're just trying to play good football players and we're trying to play guys that want to play and are ready to play. And obviously along the way, whether we're winning or losing, we still have to make business decisions, and that was just one of them."
Bowles said it was not a case of Coples not being ready to play as much as him being involved in the business decision. The coach wouldn't discuss an imminent course of action but he did confirm that he and general manager Mike Maccagnan "have something in mind" regarding the roster spot that's now opened.
"I'm not going to divulge that at this time," he said, "but we do have something that we're looking at."
One former teammate wished the big-hearted man known as "Q" well going forward.
"The guy came in and worked every day and brought a lot of energy when it came to practice and games," DE Leger Douzable said. "He played some good football for us down the stretch last year. I can't tell you what happened with him this year at the outside linebacker position. I just wish the best to him and hope he gets another shot out there."
Coples had some memorable plays and games in his wearing of the Green & White. In 2013, his fourth-quarter crushing of rookie TE Josh Hill on a fourth-and-1 end-around for an 8-yard loss was a key play in the Jets' 26-20 win over the Saints.
His hard hit on Maurice Jones-Drew, producing a fumble and an 11-yard loss on the first play of the second half, was a highlight play of the Jets' 2014 season-opening win over the Raiders. His two fourth-quarter sacks in last season's finale at Miami capped a seven-sack game against Ryan Tannehill and gave him a career-high 6.5 sacks for the season.
For his Jets career Coples finishes with 56 games played (32 starts), 16.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one recovery.
Bowles Quick Hitters
The coach said Ryan Fitzpatrick is his starting QB. Against the Texans, he said, "I think Ryan made some good throws, he made some bad ones as well, but you don't give up on a quarterback just like that because overall, what he's done this year, he still proved he can do that going forward." ... Of his two injured starters, Bowles said CB Darrelle Revis (concussion protocol) "wasn't feeling any better today" and C Nick Mangold (hand lacerations) need "six or seven stitches." No word yet on their availabiltiy for Sunday's home game vs. Miami.