Quinton Coples knows the reputation he's earned. He's heard the "questionable motor" label attached to nearly every scouting report, how he took plays off during his less-than-stellar senior season at the University of North Carolina.
And when teams ask him to explain the dip in production during his final collegiate season, Coples doesn't hide from the unflattering numbers, a product of a turbulent year in Chapel Hill, N.C., he says.
"I just tell them that there was a lot going on at the University of North Carolina," Coples said Friday during an interview with NFL.com. "We had a lot of different changes. I was asked to do another position. ... I think it got to me a little bit; just got away from me and I could recover."
Coples, of course, is talking about the impermissible benefit scandal that rocked the program, costing North Carolina head coach Butch Davis his job and prompting the early retirement of the school's athletic director. All the turmoil had an effect, said Coples, widely considered a top-10 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and he finished the year with just 7.5 sacks down from 10 in 2010.
"It took a toll because Coach Davis was definitely a lovable guy," Coples said. "He was a great coach. He helped us in all aspects. ... To see him leave and to see the coaching staff start to deteriorate, and have other coaches come in for interviews ... it took a toll on the team. The team didn't really know what direction that we were going."
Pretty good job in the interview; looks like he prepared himself pretty well. Still on the fence here.