A native of Florida, Laveranues Coles was drafted by the New York Jets in the third round of the 2000 NFL Draft. Coles became a Pro Bowler in 2003 and also played for the Washington Redskins and the Cincinnati Bengals before retiring in Jets green and white.
Coles spoke to FanRag Sports at the 2015 New York Fine and Wine Festival’s “Jets + Chefs” event billed as the ultimate tailgating event. The event featured celebrity chef Mario Batali, Joe Namath and a number of former New York Jets players.
Q: You had four stints with the New York Jets. How do feel about their chances this year?
A: They are doing as well as you could ask. I am very excited about the Jets season this year. It’s been a long time since New York had anything to be excited about and now the Jets are doing well it means a lot to this city. The Jets are doing the right things they need to hold on to their position (a top the AFC East) and they can do that if they can keep doing what they are doing.
Q: The NFL moved all point after attempts this year to the 15-yard line. Do you think this was a good rule change?
A: No, I don’t think they should punish the kickers for being so good. The NFL should have left the game alone on this issue. I mean the NFL rule system we have had has worked well for so many years. Think about all those guys who had it easier in the past and scored all those points.
Q: Are there other areas for rule changes…?
A: No, I think the rules should be left the way they are.
Q: The NFL seems eager to put a franchise or two in Los Angeles in the next few years. Do you think that will be good for the league?
A: That is an issue the owners are looking at closely. It’s something that means a lot to them. It is not something that impacts the players. If you look at it from an NFL perspective it really doesn’t matter. Look, the NFL is already the number one sport in the country by far. Moving to L.A is more about seeing business opportunity for owners. That is the reason more than anything else about trying to be in that market and it is also about the league trying to be there right next to Hollywood, basically.
Q: There is a lot of talk about how concussions from playing football are affecting players. What would you say to young players considering the sport or pursuing a football career?
A: Well you didn’t sign up for cheerleading.
Q: Do you think the NFL has a responsibility to look into the concussion issue more closely?
A: Yes, I think the league should really watch out for concussions. Especially in those situations where the nature of a play means concussions can happen. The NFL should do more and give NFL players better benefits than what they get right now from the league (both during their NFL careers and after).