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Healing Coles: Jets Striving to Play 'Total Game'


After Jets head coach Eric Mangini confirmed that Laveranues Coles had suffered a concussion against the Oakland Raiders, LC elected to speak about football rather than any kind of medical situation.

"Talk to Eric, talk to the doctors," he told a small group of reporters around his locker today. "That's all I can tell you."

Coles leads the Jets in all major receiving categories this season with 30 receptions, 369 yards and four touchdowns. His 51 yards through the air paced the Jets in their disappointing 16-13 overtime loss in Oakland as the Raiders held Brett Favre under 200 yards passing.

"Brett is still in a brand-new system and we still are adding new plays week in and week out," Coles said. "He's still trying to get a grasp and we're trying to turn some of the terminology into some of the stuff that he understands. Once he gets that, then it's cool."

The Jets' run game warmed up against the Raiders. They amassed 242 yards on the ground and Thomas Jones' 159 yards accounted for 66 percent of that total.

"Anytime you have a team that can actually run the football — especially in the winter months when it starts getting cold and we can run the football and there are eight-man boxes — it helps our team totally," Coles said. "If we can get the running game going and it continues to keep building week in and week out, I think we'll be somebody to deal with later on in the season."

After not taking part in team activities at Wednesday's practice, Coles was on the field today and his updated status will be revealed later this afternoon. The 5'11", 193-pounder, in his ninth season out of Florida State, knows many people expect big things from the 3-3 Jets.

"A lot of expectations have been placed on this team from the outside. I know, in this locker room, guys expect to win," he said. "With the guys in here, once it all comes together, I think it's going to be a beautiful thing.

"But it just hasn't come together yet and I think it's from top to bottom. Everybody has to be on the same page — the coaching staff, players. We have to put a total game together."

Coles didn't claim to have all the answers, but he stressed the importance of individual accountability.

"At this point, the only thing we can do as players and me individually is do what they ask us to do," he said. "I think I do the best I can at trying to do everything they ask me to do — all my assignments, where they want me to be, trying to get on the same page with Brett, trying to get an understanding of how he wants routes run.

"I think if each individual does that and takes a personal interest in doing that with the coaches and whoever you happen to work with, I think it will all come together."

Recognized for his fearlessness and tenacity, Coles likes the character the Jets displayed late at the Coliseum. The defense forced a three-and-out and the offense responded, driving from the Jets 5 with just 1:24 remaining before Jay Feely calmly connected from 52 yards out.

"We were willing to fight late in the game against Oakland and I think that's the most important thing. Anytime we have guys who continue to fight — even when we're behind the eightball late in ballgames — that will win you a lot of ballgames," he said.

In the short run, the Jets are in need of a win Sunday. And the quicker Coles recovers, the better for his team.

"I'm really comfortable with what we've come up with in our procedure. It's very systematic," Mangini said. "When it's all said and done, we're going to emphasize the player's safety, and he's not going to play until he's medically cleared to play."

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