Read complete transcript of Coles' comments
December 7, 2008
From what I hear, the Laveranues Coles comments about Brett Favre have created a buzz back in New York. Here is a complete transcript of the conference call. You will notice that most of the so-called inflammatory comments were taken out of context by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Heres the back story: Moments before Coles did the conference call, he and Favre were joking with each other in the Jets locker room. At one point, Favre, jokingly, told Coles to tell the San Francisco media how they dont get along with each other.
Heres the complete transcript. You be the judge:
RE: What do you think about Brett Favre professionally?
Well, I just finished talking to him about it and the first thing he said is Can you all go through an interview without everybody asking you about me. And I just told him, no, youre the first thing off the bat and you opened up and now that is what you asked me. But, I mean its just like with anybody else. Hes your quarterback just like every other teammate coming to work every day. You work hard at trying to build your craft.
RE: Can you compare where you are with him in the offense right now versus at the beginning of the season. Is the chemistry dramatically better than what it was in September?
I think were still learning each other. We didnt spend a lot of the off-season together. We didnt get to spend none of the preseason time together working together, because I was injured during the first part of the year. I think each day that we do get the opportunity to work together were still trying to figure out what each others likes and dislikes are. Were still trying to learn each other.
RE: What are the differences in how youre being used? Is there any difference from how?
Well of course, I mean its different. Now, were in a quarterback-driven offense where he pretty much has control of everything, where before the offense was pretty much driven through me in the past where most of the offense ran through me. Now that we have a lot of guys that can make plays, and now all of our skill positions are making plays, now I just kind of become just a role player instead of a guy that teams had to prepare for. So my role is drastically changed based on the order of importance of the football coming to me.
RE: And has that been difficult for you to handle?
No, Im not a fussy guy. I mean whenever you have guys that can make plays and give us an opportunity to win, just like I feel like I do, then there really isnt much that you can say. You just sit back and take a role. The coaching staff has been pleased with the way Ive handled things, and thats all you can look forward to with that - being looked upon as a great teammate and a great team player.
RE: What is that role? You said you were a role player but what role do you serve now?
Basically, you just follow the plays around [Brett Favre]. This is his offense. Our running game has taken off and then when we do throw the ball, theres really no level of importance, where at one point in time it used to be where I was the guy that was put in the position to get the ball most of the time. Now I just play my role and if the team decides to take me away, weve got other guys that make plays. Basically, I just do what Im supposed to do and thats my role.
RE: How challenging is it for a receiver to adjust to a quarterback with his arm strength? Is the ball on you more quickly than youre used to? Is it harder to catch? That sort of thing.
No, its the same thing. I mean its football. Anytime youre playing ball, a lot of the guys have good arm strength. Kellen Clemens has a strong arm and other guys have strong arms. Day in and day out I catch balls from the Jugs Machine. The ball probably comes out harder from there than it does from anywhere else, so theres nothing different about it.
RE: You guys had been on such a roll for about a month or so. What happened last Sunday?
We lost, we ended up losing.
RE: Was there a letdown after the Tennessee game?
We lost. We lost.
RE: Well, is there an explanation for the result?
What type of explanation are you looking for other than we lost? You lose a game, you lose.
RE: Coach Mangini said that he didnt think that you guys prepared well enough. Did you see it that way?
Well, I mean all I can do is focus on my preparation and the way I prepare for a ballgame, and thats all each individual can do and say that he can look at himself and say Did I go out and do the same things that I did the week before and the weeks before when we were winning. Did I approach the game the same way? Did I practice the same way? Did I work hard the same way. Thats basically all you can do as an individual. You cant account for what the next person is doing and basically thats what our captains are for. They wear the Cs on their jerseys to oversee things and if they see guys not going in the right direction, and I think its pretty much left up to them to go and say something to them and try to get them going. But, I do know that I prepared the same way and I came out and I did everything that was asked of me.
RE: Looking at the 49ers secondary last week against Buffalo, what stands out for you there as you look at that?
Well, of course I played against Nate [Clements] quite a bit when he was in Buffalo, and of course a guy of his talent warranted the contract that he got when he came to San Francisco. So anytime youre dealing with a guy like Nate you know youre in for a long day, and I played with Walt (Harris) when I was at Washington. So you have two veteran guys, two All-Pro (Note: actually Pro-Bowl) guys that can just truly outright just play. I think anytime that you have a secondary like that, you know youre in for a long day. [I] cant say enough great things about them because I mean when people do make plays on them, theyre right there. Theyre just an inch or two away from making those plays so you have two great corners.
RE: Is Nate [Clements] about as physical of a corner as you will face?
I would have to say so. Hes a pretty good [one]. Theres a lot of physical corners. I mean he doesnt have to be physical with you. He can play off, he can come up and bump. He can pretty much do it all so when youre talking about just being physical I hate to put Nate in that category, because Nate can pretty much do anything you ask him to do.
RE: How do you feel like you have fared against Nate [Clements] in the past?
Its based on how you approached Nate. Is Nate somebody you want to line up and feel like testing at that point in time. Whenever we lined up and we designed things to go his direction, I think we did okay with [it]. For th e most part, I dont think Nate is somebody that you kind of want to pick on because eventually hes going to make a play. I mean it just depends on what your game plan says and your approach is to dealing with Nate.
RE: When you look at that 49ers defense as a whole do you just study the secondary, or do you look at what they try to do overall as a scheme?
At this point in the week basically right now Im just studying the secondary. I pretty much look at the guys that Im going to have to deal with at this point, and thats probably what I continue to do throughout the week. There isnt any sense in me trying to understand whats going on up front, because I really dont have to deal with that. I just basically focus on the guys that are in the back. I will probably take a look at the linebackers and watch their drops, but for the most part I look at the secondary: Mark Roman, [Michael] Lewis, Walt [Harris] and Nate [Clements].
RE: What do you think has been the major factor in you guys turning it around and doing as well as you have this year as opposed to last year when very little went right?
I think what we did in the last couple of years before this year came to passI think Coach [Eric Mangini] found out which guys were his guys. He kind of found a nucleus of guys that he knew were going to be kind of his guys and that were going to be here and be around to help this ballclub win games, and then he bought in and filled some of the roles that we needed on this team. I think that the nucleus of the ballclub is in place. We just needed a few great players to come in and fill those roles that we had open that were missing on this team, and when they came in and they all started playing so well it just gave us a chance to be in the position that were in now.
RE: Obviously, the perception around the league for the casual fan is Wow, Brett Favre made that big of a difference. But, theres a lot of new faces on that offense isnt there?
Of course, but thats why people are people and theyre not playing football. They mostly just write about it and talk about it. But if you understand the game, you understand that its more than just Brett Favre when dealing with this ball club. You have Kris Jenkins, Alan Faneca (and) Calvin Pace. I mean you keep naming guys. Ahmad Carroll came in and helped us on special teams. You have Wallace Wright who was here last year on special teams and Leon Washington. I could continue to go on and on, but we have a cast of guys here that have stepped up and made plays for this ballclub week in and week out. Of course hes the big name, hes the Hall of Famer, hes going to get the majority of the credit but most of the guys who deserve the credit dont really get it.
RE: Are you happy with this arraignment? You dont sound entirely thrilled to have a future Hall of Famer as your quarterback.
Why would you say Im not happy with it? It doesnt bother me at all. I get up and come to work every day. Im cool. [Coles talking to his teammates] The first question off the bat, what do you think the first question was? It was Brett [Favre] right? You hit it right on the money.
RE: Were predictable that way.
Yeah, I guess you all aint got nothing else to really add.