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Coles is developing a pattern

Mar 8, 2005, 6:46 PM EDT

A Sports Illustrated article by Jeffri Chadiha dealing with the Coles issue warrants some scrutiny here:

It all will be over soon for Laveranues Coles.

Once he passes a routine physical Wednesday, his trade from the Washington Redskins will be consummated and he’ll officially be a New York Jets wide receiver again. Given how much we’ve heard about Coles’ frustration this past season, there shouldn’t be a more delighted player in the NFL. There’s no question he lucked into the best opportunity he could find after his time in D.C.

“His time in DC” makes it sound as though he had been in prison, not collecting some $18 million for playing two seasons for an NFL team. It really gets good when Coles goes on to say that his complaint in Washington was Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs (emphasis added):

Coles’ main complaint about Gibbs was the coach’s inflexible nature. “I didn’t feel respected as a player,” Coles said. “I know everything changed [when Gibbs succeeded Spurrier] but when you feel like you’re one of the best players at your position, you’d think you could talk to a coach about the play-calling. We didn’t have that situation. He called the plays. We ran them. That’s where things fell off with me. I realize it’s a dictatorship but there’s only so much you can take.”

Coles sounds like Leon in the Bud commercials here, an egotistical, whiny jerk.

Let’s see, how many Super Bowls have been won with Laveranues Coles calling the plays? Right, that would be none. And how many have been won with Joe Gibbs calling the plays? Let’s see here, XVII + XXII + XXVI = three.

For that matter, what business would Coles have telling any head coach or any offensive coordinator, regardless of his record, what plays to run? Has new Jets offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger promised him partial control of the offense?

He often commiserated with Rod Gardner, another Redskins receiver in search of a trade. “We’d shake our heads and wonder where we fit in every time we saw a new game plan,” said Coles, who became a Pro Bowl receiver while playing in Steve Spurrier’s pass-happy system a year earlier. “People say we’re leaving now because we’re selfish, but how are you supposed to be happy as a receiver when you go from a passing offense to a running offense? This wasn’t what I signed up for

Obviously, these guys weren’t chatting on the way to Mensa meetings. One receiver Gibbs coached, Art Monk, has strong Hall of Fame credentials. Another, Gary Clark, had an outstanding career just short of Hall consideration. Ricky Sanders, Charlie Brown, Alvin Garrett and others also prospered under Gibbs’ “conservative” offensive system. Gibbs’ teams set a scoring record in 1983 and set a record for scoring margin in 1991. Monk was the first NFL player to catch over 100 passes in a season and retired as the career receptions leader.

Sorry, but if you’re a receiver and you don’t think that you can prosper under Joe Gibbs, you’re just ignorant of history.

According to Coles, his main issue with Gibbs was a matter of trust.

When the season ended, Coles met twice with Gibbs in order to air grievances. Neither session led to any positive results. “We concluded that it was best to go our separate ways,” Coles said. “I don’t want to get into the details but he basically said he didn’t trust me, and I said I didn’t trust him.”

Not everyone who played for Gibbs liked him; that can be said of every other player and every other coach who ever coached in any sport. A few have accused him of not being straight with them. Notably, Stan Humphries didn’t feel as though he’s been treated fairly by Gibbs when he was traded in 1992. But most players who have played for him, the overwhelming majority, have praised Gibbs as a trustworthy and honorable man to deal with.

Now, not having been a fly on the wall in all of the various interactions that took place between Gibbs and Coles over the past year, it’s impossible judge if Gibbs said or did anything to warrant distrust. All you can do is look at Gibbs’ record over the years and look at that of Coles. From the SI article:

Coles was bitter when New York didn’t try harder to retain him as a free agent two years ago.

He blasted coach Herman Edwards on the way out the door then. When he was kicked off of the Florida State football team for shoplifting he expressed anger at Bobby Bowden. Fast forward two years and he’s received another substantial bonus check, he’s bitter, and he’s taking pot shots at the coach on the way out the door.

You decide.

  1. oneampoet - Mar 8, 2005 at 4:24 PM

    Rich…

    I still have my stan humphries rookie card if you want it…love that reference man, you really know your Redskin’s business.

    -Poet

  2. oneampoet - Mar 8, 2005 at 4:24 PM

    Rich…

    I still have my stan humphries rookie card if you want it…love that reference man, you really know your Redskin’s business.

    -Poet

  3. oneampoet - Mar 8, 2005 at 8:24 PM

    Rich…

    I still have my stan humphries rookie card if you want it…love that reference man, you really know your Redskin’s business.

    -Poet

  4. Anonymous - Mar 8, 2005 at 4:41 PM

    The best part is we are no doubt going to give Moss — an unproven player with one year left on his deal — the money we should give Smoot, who will get this, most likely sign with another team for LESS MONEY THAN WE ORIGINALLY OFFERED! That makes no sense at all!

    It’s no secret that Gibbs is a terrible GM. Snyder and Vinny just compound the problem. My biggest fear is that for all Gibbs’ coaching genius, we could still be in the NFC East cellar next year because of our horrendous front office mistakes.

  5. Anonymous - Mar 8, 2005 at 4:41 PM

    The best part is we are no doubt going to give Moss — an unproven player with one year left on his deal — the money we should give Smoot, who will get this, most likely sign with another team for LESS MONEY THAN WE ORIGINALLY OFFERED! That makes no sense at all!

    It’s no secret that Gibbs is a terrible GM. Snyder and Vinny just compound the problem. My biggest fear is that for all Gibbs’ coaching genius, we could still be in the NFC East cellar next year because of our horrendous front office mistakes.

  6. Anonymous - Mar 8, 2005 at 8:41 PM

    The best part is we are no doubt going to give Moss — an unproven player with one year left on his deal — the money we should give Smoot, who will get this, most likely sign with another team for LESS MONEY THAN WE ORIGINALLY OFFERED! That makes no sense at all!

    It’s no secret that Gibbs is a terrible GM. Snyder and Vinny just compound the problem. My biggest fear is that for all Gibbs’ coaching genius, we could still be in the NFC East cellar next year because of our horrendous front office mistakes.

  7. Brian "Poundcake" Browning - Mar 8, 2005 at 5:40 PM

    Utterly unbelievable. I am so steamed, I can’t see straight. Wow. I will post something later when I calm down.

    What a jerk. Good riddance.

  8. Brian "Poundcake" Browning - Mar 8, 2005 at 5:40 PM

    Utterly unbelievable. I am so steamed, I can’t see straight. Wow. I will post something later when I calm down.

    What a jerk. Good riddance.

  9. Brian "Poundcake" Browning - Mar 8, 2005 at 9:40 PM

    Utterly unbelievable. I am so steamed, I can’t see straight. Wow. I will post something later when I calm down.

    What a jerk. Good riddance.

  10. Anonymous - Mar 8, 2005 at 6:31 PM

    Great observations on Coles. I’m not sorry to see him go.

    I’ll reserve judgement on Moss. Every year the Redskins seem to lose a mediocre player that becomes a stud somewhere else. Maybe Moss is our turn.

    But on paper, it’s not a great trade. We also stand to lose Smoot, and we lost Pierce (who’s also going to give the Giants a primer on Gregg Williams). So far, we’re losing the offseason.

    Do you think Snyder has learned enough about football yet to know that, in football, GM does not stand for General Motors?

  11. Anonymous - Mar 8, 2005 at 6:31 PM

    Great observations on Coles. I’m not sorry to see him go.

    I’ll reserve judgement on Moss. Every year the Redskins seem to lose a mediocre player that becomes a stud somewhere else. Maybe Moss is our turn.

    But on paper, it’s not a great trade. We also stand to lose Smoot, and we lost Pierce (who’s also going to give the Giants a primer on Gregg Williams). So far, we’re losing the offseason.

    Do you think Snyder has learned enough about football yet to know that, in football, GM does not stand for General Motors?

  12. Anonymous - Mar 8, 2005 at 10:31 PM

    Great observations on Coles. I’m not sorry to see him go.

    I’ll reserve judgement on Moss. Every year the Redskins seem to lose a mediocre player that becomes a stud somewhere else. Maybe Moss is our turn.

    But on paper, it’s not a great trade. We also stand to lose Smoot, and we lost Pierce (who’s also going to give the Giants a primer on Gregg Williams). So far, we’re losing the offseason.

    Do you think Snyder has learned enough about football yet to know that, in football, GM does not stand for General Motors?

  13. Anonymous - Mar 8, 2005 at 6:38 PM

    Smoot to Vikings. It’s done.

    Our front office is a complete joke.

  14. Anonymous - Mar 8, 2005 at 6:38 PM

    Smoot to Vikings. It’s done.

    Our front office is a complete joke.

  15. Anonymous - Mar 8, 2005 at 10:38 PM

    Smoot to Vikings. It’s done.

    Our front office is a complete joke.

  16. Anonymous - Mar 8, 2005 at 8:28 PM

    Got a 10.8 million dollar bonus from the Vikes. Either we really didn’t want him and pulled our initial offer off the table, or he left over a couple hundred grand, which I doubt.

  17. Anonymous - Mar 8, 2005 at 8:28 PM

    Got a 10.8 million dollar bonus from the Vikes. Either we really didn’t want him and pulled our initial offer off the table, or he left over a couple hundred grand, which I doubt.

  18. Anonymous - Mar 9, 2005 at 12:28 AM

    Got a 10.8 million dollar bonus from the Vikes. Either we really didn’t want him and pulled our initial offer off the table, or he left over a couple hundred grand, which I doubt.

  19. Anonymous - Mar 9, 2005 at 12:22 PM

    The Post interview with Coles tells a much different, more depressing story. It seems that he was even willing to come back and work things out — until the Danny started threatening him. Given the circumstances, LC actually comes off… well, not too bad. It’s our front office that comes like a joke.

    Wow.

  20. Anonymous - Mar 9, 2005 at 12:22 PM

    The Post interview with Coles tells a much different, more depressing story. It seems that he was even willing to come back and work things out — until the Danny started threatening him. Given the circumstances, LC actually comes off… well, not too bad. It’s our front office that comes like a joke.

    Wow.

  21. Anonymous - Mar 9, 2005 at 4:22 PM

    The Post interview with Coles tells a much different, more depressing story. It seems that he was even willing to come back and work things out — until the Danny started threatening him. Given the circumstances, LC actually comes off… well, not too bad. It’s our front office that comes like a joke.

    Wow.

  22. udelax - Mar 9, 2005 at 3:55 PM

    Coles is a bitch, we don’t need him or want him. Like the comparison to leon. Hey i have a blog on the redskins too, it kinda sucks b/c it’s for a class assignment but if your looking for blogs to link to mines at hogbloggin.blogspot.com. I put your site as a link on my page.

  23. udelax - Mar 9, 2005 at 3:55 PM

    Coles is a bitch, we don’t need him or want him. Like the comparison to leon. Hey i have a blog on the redskins too, it kinda sucks b/c it’s for a class assignment but if your looking for blogs to link to mines at hogbloggin.blogspot.com. I put your site as a link on my page.

  24. udelax - Mar 9, 2005 at 7:55 PM

    Coles is a bitch, we don’t need him or want him. Like the comparison to leon. Hey i have a blog on the redskins too, it kinda sucks b/c it’s for a class assignment but if your looking for blogs to link to mines at hogbloggin.blogspot.com. I put your site as a link on my page.

  25. Ed Parker - Mar 14, 2005 at 12:27 PM

    Seems like every year… Enough of that above. I am an optimist, and I see positive change. Coles slammed Herm Edwards, now Joe Gibbs. He soured Gardner. He is a petulant brat that will continue to be a disrupting influence, only now not for us.

    Loss of Smoot means less cover, but more tackling. Since cover is a dying art given the new rules, and the ‘Skins rely on pressure to force poor decisions, the loss will be less felt than expected. Look at what a bigger CB (Springs) did last year. Is there anyone who looked at the games that doesn’t think he was our number one corner?

    Loss of Pierce is a blow, but there are blows that are inevitable. His strengths, understanding the defense at a coach’s level and pass drops/coverage, will be hard to replace. Marshall will give the coverage, but is light for run defense. Maybe a two headed monster is in order (Rob Morris of the Colts, anyone? He will be cheap).

    So much for the losses – how about the gains. Gibbs-ball relies on line play, and the center of the o-line was pathetic. Seeing Raymer or Friedman overmatched by DTs and marched backwards is a real memory, just like the second Giants game when the line moved like one man for the first time all year. Rabach is EXACTLY the type of player Gibbs needs to get the offense moving.

    Does Santana Moss look like a Smurf or what? Coles is a talent, but before the toe stretched defenses. Note he has done little of that lately. Moss’ speed is an essential ingredient whether he catches the same number of passes or not. He must be accounted for on every play, and not by a zone defense unless the opposition wants to see rushing records set against them while the zone sags backward to prevent the long strike. Of course this relies on Ramsey having time, hence Rabach.

    We lost talent, just as we lost talent in Trotter. But simply put Trotter does not fit our scheme, Pierce (a lesser physical talent) did. In the same way Rabach and Moss are Gibbs types, Gardner and Coles were not. Pierce’s lost will really hurt, given his intelligence and durability. Smoot may not be as missed as some people think.

    Above all Gibbs is now getting his type of players (Monte Coleman or Don Warren or Clint Didier, anyone?), not the talented but non-fitting parts that he inherited. This years has shown not only fiscal sanity – it has shown an ability to judge available talent by the fit to a defined scheme. And as New England has shown, team beats talent most of the time.

    Congratulations to Gibbs for moving according to plan, and to Snyder and Cerrato for supporting rather than sabotaging this plan for marketing splash.

  26. Ed Parker - Mar 14, 2005 at 12:27 PM

    Seems like every year… Enough of that above. I am an optimist, and I see positive change. Coles slammed Herm Edwards, now Joe Gibbs. He soured Gardner. He is a petulant brat that will continue to be a disrupting influence, only now not for us.

    Loss of Smoot means less cover, but more tackling. Since cover is a dying art given the new rules, and the ‘Skins rely on pressure to force poor decisions, the loss will be less felt than expected. Look at what a bigger CB (Springs) did last year. Is there anyone who looked at the games that doesn’t think he was our number one corner?

    Loss of Pierce is a blow, but there are blows that are inevitable. His strengths, understanding the defense at a coach’s level and pass drops/coverage, will be hard to replace. Marshall will give the coverage, but is light for run defense. Maybe a two headed monster is in order (Rob Morris of the Colts, anyone? He will be cheap).

    So much for the losses – how about the gains. Gibbs-ball relies on line play, and the center of the o-line was pathetic. Seeing Raymer or Friedman overmatched by DTs and marched backwards is a real memory, just like the second Giants game when the line moved like one man for the first time all year. Rabach is EXACTLY the type of player Gibbs needs to get the offense moving.

    Does Santana Moss look like a Smurf or what? Coles is a talent, but before the toe stretched defenses. Note he has done little of that lately. Moss’ speed is an essential ingredient whether he catches the same number of passes or not. He must be accounted for on every play, and not by a zone defense unless the opposition wants to see rushing records set against them while the zone sags backward to prevent the long strike. Of course this relies on Ramsey having time, hence Rabach.

    We lost talent, just as we lost talent in Trotter. But simply put Trotter does not fit our scheme, Pierce (a lesser physical talent) did. In the same way Rabach and Moss are Gibbs types, Gardner and Coles were not. Pierce’s lost will really hurt, given his intelligence and durability. Smoot may not be as missed as some people think.

    Above all Gibbs is now getting his type of players (Monte Coleman or Don Warren or Clint Didier, anyone?), not the talented but non-fitting parts that he inherited. This years has shown not only fiscal sanity – it has shown an ability to judge available talent by the fit to a defined scheme. And as New England has shown, team beats talent most of the time.

    Congratulations to Gibbs for moving according to plan, and to Snyder and Cerrato for supporting rather than sabotaging this plan for marketing splash.

  27. Ed Parker - Mar 14, 2005 at 4:27 PM

    Seems like every year… Enough of that above. I am an optimist, and I see positive change. Coles slammed Herm Edwards, now Joe Gibbs. He soured Gardner. He is a petulant brat that will continue to be a disrupting influence, only now not for us.

    Loss of Smoot means less cover, but more tackling. Since cover is a dying art given the new rules, and the ‘Skins rely on pressure to force poor decisions, the loss will be less felt than expected. Look at what a bigger CB (Springs) did last year. Is there anyone who looked at the games that doesn’t think he was our number one corner?

    Loss of Pierce is a blow, but there are blows that are inevitable. His strengths, understanding the defense at a coach’s level and pass drops/coverage, will be hard to replace. Marshall will give the coverage, but is light for run defense. Maybe a two headed monster is in order (Rob Morris of the Colts, anyone? He will be cheap).

    So much for the losses – how about the gains. Gibbs-ball relies on line play, and the center of the o-line was pathetic. Seeing Raymer or Friedman overmatched by DTs and marched backwards is a real memory, just like the second Giants game when the line moved like one man for the first time all year. Rabach is EXACTLY the type of player Gibbs needs to get the offense moving.

    Does Santana Moss look like a Smurf or what? Coles is a talent, but before the toe stretched defenses. Note he has done little of that lately. Moss’ speed is an essential ingredient whether he catches the same number of passes or not. He must be accounted for on every play, and not by a zone defense unless the opposition wants to see rushing records set against them while the zone sags backward to prevent the long strike. Of course this relies on Ramsey having time, hence Rabach.

    We lost talent, just as we lost talent in Trotter. But simply put Trotter does not fit our scheme, Pierce (a lesser physical talent) did. In the same way Rabach and Moss are Gibbs types, Gardner and Coles were not. Pierce’s lost will really hurt, given his intelligence and durability. Smoot may not be as missed as some people think.

    Above all Gibbs is now getting his type of players (Monte Coleman or Don Warren or Clint Didier, anyone?), not the talented but non-fitting parts that he inherited. This years has shown not only fiscal sanity – it has shown an ability to judge available talent by the fit to a defined scheme. And as New England has shown, team beats talent most of the time.

    Congratulations to Gibbs for moving according to plan, and to Snyder and Cerrato for supporting rather than sabotaging this plan for marketing splash.

  28. Muccman - Mar 14, 2005 at 6:11 PM

    I like your response Ed, and another point I want to add on an optimistic note is just the fact that this whole offseason is actually somewhat refreshing. I mean, sure, it hurts to lose a smart player like Pierce and a team player like Smoot, but the skins have done a solid enough job in their signings (Rabach, Moss, Patten, Samuels) and have played it smart financially. Who knows, maybe a new tone to the off-season will be the key to the skins finally climbing back up to respectability?

  29. Muccman - Mar 14, 2005 at 6:11 PM

    I like your response Ed, and another point I want to add on an optimistic note is just the fact that this whole offseason is actually somewhat refreshing. I mean, sure, it hurts to lose a smart player like Pierce and a team player like Smoot, but the skins have done a solid enough job in their signings (Rabach, Moss, Patten, Samuels) and have played it smart financially. Who knows, maybe a new tone to the off-season will be the key to the skins finally climbing back up to respectability?

  30. Muccman - Mar 14, 2005 at 10:11 PM

    I like your response Ed, and another point I want to add on an optimistic note is just the fact that this whole offseason is actually somewhat refreshing. I mean, sure, it hurts to lose a smart player like Pierce and a team player like Smoot, but the skins have done a solid enough job in their signings (Rabach, Moss, Patten, Samuels) and have played it smart financially. Who knows, maybe a new tone to the off-season will be the key to the skins finally climbing back up to respectability?

  31. Doug - Mar 15, 2005 at 2:11 PM

    It’s nice to finally see some positive comments. I agree with both of you. Joe Gibbs has this organization running quite smoothly, despite the protestations of some media folks.

    The proof, of course, will be in how we do next season. Barring a spate of injuries to key people, I see us having a very good year.

  32. Doug - Mar 15, 2005 at 2:11 PM

    It’s nice to finally see some positive comments. I agree with both of you. Joe Gibbs has this organization running quite smoothly, despite the protestations of some media folks.

    The proof, of course, will be in how we do next season. Barring a spate of injuries to key people, I see us having a very good year.

  33. Doug - Mar 15, 2005 at 6:11 PM

    It’s nice to finally see some positive comments. I agree with both of you. Joe Gibbs has this organization running quite smoothly, despite the protestations of some media folks.

    The proof, of course, will be in how we do next season. Barring a spate of injuries to key people, I see us having a very good year.

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