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Coles: We have everything in our hands


Justin McCareins had a 42-yard reception in Miami

When was the last time the Jets clinched a playoff spot at the Meadowlands?  It was four years ago - December 29, 2002 to be exact.  On that momentous occasion, the Jets (who received help earlier in the day from the Patriots) won an AFC East title with a 42-17 thumping of the Green Bay Packers.  During that contest, a young Laveranues Coles caught six balls for 93 yards.

"That was one of those games where guys end up having a great game. I remember the fans cheering, letting us know that someone had won that could help us get in," Coles said Thursday.  "We ended up taking control of the game and having a pretty good game. This time we have everything in our hands; we can pretty much go out and play. We only can control what we've been doing."

Read below for complete locker room transcripts from inside the Jets' locker room

New York Jets' WR Laveranues Coles, 12.28

On the final game of the season…

It will be fun. You have a home game in front of home fans. We have a better road record but it feels good to play here at home with our fans supporting us. We're not running out of the tunnel to boos for a change.

On sensing that they have surprised people this season with their success…

Yeah, but so many different people have their own opinion. There are a lot of people that didn't pick us to be here, so what does that say about them. They don't know jack, what does their opinion matter. It is all left up to us, to put ourselves in this situation. Basically, we did what we had to do, it's not like we had to prove anything to anybody, and we knew that we were a pretty good team anyway. It's fun, we've had a good year; it's been a long, tough year dealing with a new system, new coaching and things of that matter, but it is what it is.

On playing Oakland at the end of the season and trying to get into the playoffs…

We don't make the schedules, we just play the games.

On the game against Green Bay in 2002 that clinched a playoff birth…

That was one of those games where guys end up having a great game. I remember the fans cheering, letting us know that someone had won that could help us get in. We ended up taking control of the game and having a pretty good game. (This time) we have everything in our hands; we can pretty much go out and play. We only can control what we've been doing.

On Leon Washington's evolution as a player…

From the time he walked through the door, everybody notice there was something special about him. The way he goes out and works hard, he brought that in here with him, that's something you can't teach somebody, it's something that they already have to have instilled in him. His work ethic and everything has pretty much shown itself on the field. Anytime you have somebody that comes in and basically works their way in the situation he is in, you're very happy for them. I put him and Jerricho (Cotchery) in the same mold. They both have worked hard this past offseason and worked hard during the season, putting themselves in a position to go and win ball games. Anytime you have somebody who is doing that, you can't help but sit back and be a fan and cheer for him.

New York Jets' G Brandon Moore, 12.28

On the difference between last season and this season…

Several things went into it. Subconsciously, you don't think you're a 4-12 team. One of the things that's working out now is we're healthy, so we have that going. Of course last season was a disappointment and people wanted to improve upon it.

New York Jets' WR Justin McCareins, 12.28

On how Chad Pennington's toughness compares to Steve McNair's…

It's very similar. When I think of Chad I just think of some of the obstacles that he's had to overcome, not just with his injury, but with the media and anyone else who has a microphone and an opinion on what we do. It comes with the territory, it comes with the job, but for him to stay focused and to lead this team, through the ups and downs of this seasons and past seasons, he's just impressive the way he goes about his business.

New York Jets' K Mike Nugent, 12.28

On preparation for Oakland…

Everyone is really focusing on the fact that records just don't matter, in the NFL. All that really matters is who comes to play on a given day and what team comes to play. Teams that can play to their potential can be very dangerous, so the biggest mistake you can make is to overlook somebody.

New York Jets' TE Chris Baker, 12.28

On this week's game…

It should be a really good game. It will be the last game of the season there at the Meadowlands, so it should be an electrifying thing. It will be New Year's Eve, so that will probably have something to do with it.

On not getting caught up in the playoff hype…

There was a similar situation in 2002, my rookie season, against the Packers, when the Patriots beat the Dolphins, we had to the same thing, just win. It puts a lot on you for the game when you know what's at stake, so you want to go out and have your best game.

On recollections of the game in 2002 against Green Bay...

Once the showed (the New England score) up on the board, we knew what we were playing for. We went into the week, knowing what we wanted to do and when it came to the point where we knew it was possible, we went out and got a big emotional lift from the crowd and we had a great game that game.

New York Jets' LB Matt Chatham, 12.28

On being familiar with Coach Mangini before this season…

(I was) familiar with him, familiar with the expectation level, that was what was important, not so much his personality, but what he expects guys to do on the field and around the building.

On other players coming to him for information about Coach Mangini…

Yeah, early on, guys want to know how this is going to go down. The day-to-day is very important for guys to want to see. But we grew through it, and I think it has come to a point where everyone is comfortable with how things go.

New York Jets' DE Shaun Ellis, 12.28

On Oakland's struggles on offense…

They're talented. Even though their record and everything is not how they would want it to be, they have a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball. This may be the game that they decide to put it all together. It's the last game and I'm pretty sure a lot of guys are playing for the Raiders and also playing for themselves too. This could be a really tricky game.

On Aaron Brooks…

He can move around and cause problems with his feet. The thing about him is we can't let him get started early. We have to keep him from making plays and stop him from getting in a rhythm. If we do that we should be okay going through the course of the game.

On it being harder to prepare for a team with so much uncertainty…

It's not about what they do; it's about what we do. This is a really important game for us and we have to come out and play our best football.

Injury ReportJets*Questionable: FB B.J. Askew (foot), RB Kevan Barlow (thigh), CB David Barrett (hip), WR Laveranues Coles (head/jaw), CB Andre Dyson (knee), FB James Hodgins (knee), RB Cedric Houston (calf), S Kerry Rhodes (knee), & DB Eric Smith (foot)
: LB Matt Chatham (foot), *OL Brandon Moore (back),DL Rashad Moore (hand), *QB Chad Pennington (calf), *QB Patrick Ramsey (calf) & *DE Bryan Thomas (shoulder)

Raiders Out: RB LaMont Jordan (knee) & WR Jerry Porter (hip)
Questionable: QB Aaron Brooks (neck), RB Zack Crockett (heel) & WR Randy Moss (ankle)
G Kevin Boothe (elbow),*T Robert Gallery (neck), *G Corey Hulsey (knee) & *CB Fabian Washington (shoulder)

*Denotes players who participated in practice

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