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LC, Nuge Are Green & White History

Posted by Randy Lange on March 4, 2009 – 6:36 pm

Two more ex-Jets are outta here. Both arrived in 2005, one for the first time, one for the second. Each took a different route to unrestricted free agency. Neither was expected to return in ’09.

Warrior WR Laveranues Coles signed a four-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals this afternoon. Earlier in the day, diligent K Mike Nugent agreed on a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Coles, who reached a compromise with the Jets to restructure his contract that unguaranteed guaranteed money and enabled him to seek out a team with which he could play out the rest of his career and retire. He obviously found it in the Bengals.

LC is a tough one to say "see ya" to. The 2008 season was certainly not his best — I had him unofficially for a career-high eight dropped passes — and there were games where he seemed to be a non-factor — one catch in the opener at Miami, one vs. St. Louis, two for 2 yards vs. Denver, one for 5 the next week at San Fran.

But Coles’ 70 catches for 850 yards were not chump change. He continued to inspire with his toughness and with some long early yards-after-catch plays. His seven touchdown grabs equaled his career high from 2001, in his first Green & White go-round. He had the game-winning 15-yard grab from Brett Favre with one minute to play to beat the Chiefs in Game 7, and his three touchdown grabs against Super Bowl team-to-be Arizona tied a franchise record for most TDs scored in a quarter (home team in CAPS):

 Year Player Final Score TDs    Qtr   
 1968 RB Billy Joe JETS 48, Boston 14 3 rush 4th
 1985 TE Mickey Shuler JETS 62, Tampa Bay 28 3 rec. 2nd
 2008 WR Laveranues Coles JETS 56, Arizona 35 3 rec. 2nd

No question Coles could be prickly, but when he returned from his two-year stay in Washington, he was also less defensive and more of a big-picture guy for reporters than he ever used to be. And he opened up to me in May 2007 about his perhaps future career as a movie reviewer, revealing that he had over 2,000 movie DVDs at home. His favorite flick of all time?

"I’d have to choose ‘Gladiator’," he said. "That movie’s something I always compare my life to and everything I’m going through. There’s a guy who went from a general leading the Roman army to becoming a slave, and still from that position he pretty much became just as powerful as a king. That basically says you don’t have to have the title of ‘the man’ for you to be ‘the man.’ "

Coles a fan of Gladiator? It figures.

Nugent’s Biggest Hits

Nugent was in a different boat. Hurting his knee when he slipped on a kickoff on the skin infield at Dolphin Stadium in the opener, he spent the next 15 games on the inactive list as Jay Feely took over the kicking chores. Feely is also a UFA as of this moment.

"Nuge" had been the Jets’ placekicker from the time he was drafted in the second round of the 2005 draft until that injury. He was a decent fellow and a diligent worker and I’ll miss him as well.

I know many fans were not krazy about his kicks. I think he kicked better than he was given credit for, especially because he worked hard at his craft and got better each season, but if you’ve got a different opinion, that’s cool, too. He was good but he wasn’t perfect.

For instance, one thing that drove Jets faithful crazy were his season openers. His first FG try as a pro was a low kick off of a slip of his plant leg at Arrowhead Stadium that Eric Hicks rejected for the Chiefs. The next year he missed two field goals and a PAT at the Titans’ LP Field. He had no tries in ’07 vs. the Patriots, then came this past season when he missed from 32 yards at Miami.

His field goal mark on opening day: 1-for-5. And his FG numbers from 50-plus: 3-for-9.

But Nugent did hit some big kicks. His 54-yarder against the Texans in 2006 was 1 yard shy of the Jets’ record long kicks of 55 yards, first by Pat Leahy, also at the Meadowlands in 1985, and John Hall, on his first kick as a pro at Seattle’s Kingdome in the 1997 opener.

Nuge also hit three game-winning field goals and was 6-for-7 on tries to tie the score or put the Jets ahead in the final two minutes of regulation and in overtime. And he’s tied for the unofficial franchise record for most consecutive field goals made in regular- and postseason games combined. In fact, he and Pat Leahy dominate the top of the list::

 Kicker Span    RS      PO   Streak
 Pat Leahy 1985-86 22 0 22
 Mike Nugent 2006-07 19 3 22
 Pat Leahy 1990 17 0 17
 Mike Nugent 2007 15 0 15

One off-season interlude with Nugent sticks out for me, and that’s his session with a film crew that, coincidentally also in May 2007, taped his every trick shot for one of the striking series of commercials for "NFL.com Fantasy File."  You can see the YouTube clip here.

“I don’t do too many trick shots at all,” Nuge deadpanned in between takes. “The basic thing is just practicing what you are going to do on the field, doing the same things in practice as you would do in a game.”

From the comments that appear after Nugent’s video plus others by Neil Rackers, Mason Crosby, Jason Campbell, Laurence Maroney, et al., there are a lot of people who think the impossible was being done routinely for these fantasy commercials. But for those people I have three words and a crooked punctuation mark:

Aren’t. Computers. Great?

I wish Coles and Nugent the best in the next phase of their careers. Green & White followers could get to see how both are doing, since the Jets will play both the Bengals and the Bucs in 2009.

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Randy Lange | 48 Comments »

48 Responses to “LC, Nuge Are Green & White History”

  1. By Jets Fan Tom since '64 on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    Nugent never quite played like a second-round draft pick, if you look at the careers of other kickers taken that high, and Feely grabbed the job when he got the chance. Coles was brilliant early on with the Jets and showed flashes upon his return but he’s not the future, especially with all those WRs in the draft this year. Plus his deep-threat days are long gone and that’s what we badly need now.

  2. By mark on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    youtube Randy? You are the man. What’s your feeling on Coles, has his toughness gotten the better of him?

  3. By Anonymous on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    even though brett favre just played one sesson i was happy to have him play for the jets a hall a famer coming over and to watch him play made it a good pass year his 3 touch down game was a priceless but as great it was i wood like to thank him for playing for us but now its time to win a superbowl so lets open the checkbook and get a Big QB and WR that can go up the middle of thr fiied

  4. By Warren on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    Good Luck LC thanks for the ride…..

  5. By fred from philly on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    I will miss LC as well but I do think it is time to move on. He probably would Have been a distraction this year due to another bout of contract dissatisfaction.I think Mr. T has done a great job in filling needs that would be difficult to do in the draft , lets see what Clemens, Clowney, can do . Oh yeah , maybe Bryon Leftwitch just in case… Lets Go Jets!!!!

  6. By Alan on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    I heard we resigned Jay Feely, Ive been looking at some draft prospects, and Hakeem Nicks is really something Hes my new favorite WR in the draft, besides Crabtree

  7. By Greg From Albany on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    Very well put, Randy. LC was a warrior in his time here. Watching him make a reception for a big first down and stand up and signal that was electric and he will be missed. Thanks for the memories, LC.

  8. By Jakeberk on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    Nuge was a waste of a 2nd round pick. Now we need to address receiver. Bad

  9. By Randy Lange on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    I feel strongly both ways, mark. Laveranues Coles is no longer the 14-yards-per-catch receiver of his first three years as a Jet because he’s been tough as nails and because he’s a 10th-year pro wideout. But he’s still a pro. Perhaps he’ll have the proverbial rebirth in the Rose City.

  10. By Zach on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    Randy, What are the Jets going to do now that LC is gone and why didnt they make a big push for TJ Houzmandeh? Who are the Jets turning to to fill the void of the number 1 receiver?
    I dont think its good that they dont have a number one at the moment

  11. By Ira on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    Randy, Whay can you say about LC. One of the great WR’s the Jets have ever had. Also the toughest and like i wrote last week 631 catches and only 1 lost fumble must be a record. Nuge well i didn’t hear anybody complain when they drafted him after Brien missed those 2 kicks vs Pitt. It didn’t work out the way i expected but i agree with you he was better the most fans would give him credit for.

  12. By Jordan on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    I may be wrong…but i think nuge hit a 60 yarder at the Titans a year or two ago. Someone correct me if i’m wrong.

  13. By Joe on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    I realize having two kickers that are both good was a luxury, but I think they went with the wrong one. How many more years with Feely be at the top of his game?

  14. By BD on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    LC was a warrior for us, played injured many many times. Hung on to many grabs after taking big hits. He was the toughest 5″11 190 ive ever seen. It will be tough to replace a character, leader, and player like LC.

  15. By Vincent on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    Good write up Randy. Yeah, Coles was OK in ’08, but he’d lost much of his explosive pace. I also wasn’t impressed with his “I’m annoyed Chad’s gone” sulking, and being upset that the QB was the voice of the Offence. A guy like that can inspire but can also be a distraction when they’re negative. Who is Nugent, again? Oh yeah, the kicker. Maybe Feely could join him…(cont)

  16. By Vincent on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    (cont)…so that we could draft a consistent kicker (like Vinatieri, Gostkowski, Bironas, Akers, etc) that can pin an offence deep inside their own 10 yard line and kick a mile long FG. Kickers are important, but I just read an article where the Bengals used their Franchise tag on their KICKER(!) Shayne Graham = &^%$#$@ NUTS!! Should have used it on Houhabcdefzadeh. Unbelievable.

  17. By jet80 on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    Coles and Johnson on the same team,lets see.Agein vets, huge egos,undercheiving,record breakin drops,and 2 of the most cry baby players in the nfl.poor cincy.Nugent gone as well,awesome.what a waste of 2nd round pick

  18. By Johnny Cool on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    Good for Coles. He got his money. Just too bad its with a losing team. But I can’t believe we let Nuge go.

  19. By maceo brown on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    this is just hard to believe about lavernues and mike,they should have never been traded both are leaders especially coles.who are going to catch the ball like coles notjericho,not stuckey?what we needed is a quarterback defense doesnt win games you need an offense to put touchdown on the scoreboard also eric mangini was a defense coach now you got rex ryan a defensive coach sad mistake noplayoffs

  20. By Ray on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    Thanks for a nice article about these guys Randy. After the beating the character of these two took this year, especially Coles, it was good to hear he wasn’t the cancer he was implied to be. He definitely had better years than 2008, but when healthy he was one of the toughest guys on the field. Other than when we play Cinci, I hope he has a great year.

  21. By uncle joe on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    The Bengals let Housewhatever walk and keep C.Johnson & Coles.Early prediction,their current coach will be someones line coach next season!

  22. By uncle joe on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    For everything good Coles did,he would do 2 things stupid.Sorry to use that word,Randy,but doing a penguin dance to mock your coach after scoring a TD is just stupid.The coach flying to Florida to ring his bell & beg him to come back is even more stupid.Getting rid of both of them,Priceless!

  23. By uncle joe on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    Finally,we resign Feely,would love to see Mosley and Spencer resign.Surprised Nugent didn’t go to Cleveland,I’m sure Mangini has extra room for 2 or 3 kickers on his ACTIVE ROSTER!

  24. By uncle joe on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    Mangini is shopping Braylon Edwards,I heard Him to the Giants for Kiwanuka. How about Gholston and a #3?

  25. By Ira on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    Drew, Well you got your wish. Royal has signed with the Brownsand the Jets will sign Bajema today.Since Bajema is no threat at all catching the ball it tells me one thing. The Jets will still have to get a TE either through FA,the draft or from June through camp. If Keller were to get hurt and miss some time the Jets would be left with no TE’s who can be threat in the passing game.

  26. By uncle joe on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    Hey,at least with the Jets,Mangini just didn’t blitz,With the Browns it seems he’s not gonna PASS! He traded Winslow,and is trying to trade Brady Quinn and Braylon Edwards.Thank God he’s gone! I’d take Braylon Edwards in a New York Minute,that guy made Revis look like a Highschool player last year in Pre-Season.

  27. By Ira on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    One of LC’s best games [not just stats] was his preformance in Miami in 07. He had only 5 catches for 69 yds. All 5 catches produced 1st downs. Especially on the opening drive were he came down with a 3rd down catch for 32 yds. Why was this one of his best? Because the guy played on 1 leg. He could barely walk but still played despite the fact they were 2-9. Jets beat the Fish 40-13.

  28. By uncle joe on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    Tyson Jackson will not be there at 17,I don’t like either RB,you can get a WR in the second round and the DBs are not great & now not needed.O-line is a thought but,TE Brandon Petteguw is a very good blocker with great hands,6’6″ 263lbs.We need a blocking TE.Anybody else SEE THIS?

  29. By Daveys on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    LC Good luck on a really bad team,,Enjoy yourself,,,,Thanks for the memories but you should have retired as a jet,,,he’s one concussion away from retirement

  30. By Rob on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    Did we really waste a second round pick on Nugent? That worked out awesome!

  31. By JetInDallas on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    Not his fault……. but I’m grading him as a 2nd rounder who was not worth it. However, as a measure of how Mr T has grown, there won’t be a kicker taken that high again, regardless of what Herm thinks as part of his blame game. There is a FA rookie kicker out there.

  32. By uncle joe on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    TE Pettigrew #1,WR Robiskie #2,6’6′ & 6’3″,both polished,well rounded,great hands,really good blocking players.With our Defense,the Jets would win the time of possesion battle 40-20 and our Red Zone would be incredible!

  33. By Randy Lange on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    Sorry, Jordan, no 60-yarders for Nuge, not even in the preseason. He missed a 51-yarder at Tennessee in ’07. His career long was that 54-yarder vs. Houston.

  34. By Randy Lange on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    Creative spelling on T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Vincent.

  35. By Xavion on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    I always liek Nuge and thought fans were being unfair on him because he was a second round pick but he was the best kicker in college and probably would not have been there much longer. I think he was pretty decent and he worked hard to build leg strength I have a feeling had he not gotten injured last year he’d have had a great season…

  36. By DeezJetz on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    I’m go out on a limb and say I personally thought that besides a cool name, LC never really became what the JETS wanted, who’s fault,I dunno. And all this business about being a hard worker…Umm Cincy seems to like WRs that never fully participate in practice so he’ll be a nice fit. If Cincy wouldn’t give TJ the big guaranteed$$,I wonder how much of the 28 mil is sure to land in LC’s bank.

  37. By scjoe on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    Can’t honestly say I miss either one of them. Coles may be a good #2 but was a #1 here. Nugent was average at best and was not worth a #2. The best thing the Jets can do is go out and get that #1 WR in the first round, he don’t even have to be that burner, we already have that in Clowney. A trade up for Crabtree would be great. Crabtree and Clowney outside and Cotchery or Stucky in the slot.

  38. By HDR on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    Mike N wore out his welcome I mean How hard can it be to kick field goals? Especially if that’s all you been doing for the past 8 years???? Not worth a 2nd rounder ( that was Bradaway and Herm Edwards at their best)…LOL. Coles I will miss, but it was time we made room for Wallace Wright, Brad Smith,Stuckey and Clowney. I’m suprised Bryan Thomas is still around. I thought he was a goner for sure.

  39. By Howard on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    as a big lc fan hate to see him leave but it is the end of his career and he is slowing down quite a bit good time to move on and with the wrs in this draft class should be able to add a great pass catcher,with better speed now

  40. By Randy on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    i think the best thing the jets can do is to get a wr like Hakeem Nicks from nc

  41. By tyreek on Mar 5, 2009 | Reply

    Some times i wonder about some of my fellow jets fans , you cry yes get rid of coles hes slow , he does not do this he does not do that . and the fact that some people are trying to say , clowney , stucki, wright and smith , are going to come in and just fill his shoes is retarded . he led the team in tds and cought 87 passess . I bet alot of you where saying the same when chad left .

  42. By Dublin Jet Niall on Mar 6, 2009 | Reply

    Ray, nice post. You echoed my sentiments exactly. As for Nuge, well it didn’t work out did it and history won’t look favourably on this 2nd round pick. But hey, hindsight is 20/20 isn’t it? Here’s to the ongoing(excellent) squad-building!!

  43. By Row on Mar 6, 2009 | Reply

    Nugent didn’t give us a reason to release him or re-sign him. I just think in the future we could need the guy, Feely isn’t a long-term answer. As for Coles, if he wouldn’t have bailed on 3 balls last year, we would have been in the playoffs. Take away the Arizona game and Coles didn’t show up last season. (missed 6 games) He also sat out several games the previous year. I’m happy with him gone!

  44. By Drew on Mar 6, 2009 | Reply

    I did get my wish….Let Royal stink for the Browns. Glad Feely is back in the mix. I liked him as much or more than Nugent when we signed him last year….and I think people killed me for thinking that.. Coles…eh It was time for him to leave. Suprised he got paid but good for him. He was a tough player for us.

  45. By Ray on Mar 7, 2009 | Reply

    Row come on, if LC doesn’t bail on 3 balls we’re in the playoffs? And if CB doesn’t slip in OT against Oak., and if BF doesn’t throw like crap in the last 5 weeks, and if Mangini did a better job, and if the D showed up and if, and if, and if…………

  46. By Ray on Mar 7, 2009 | Reply

    Yeah Niall it doesn’t look like our best draft. I hope we kept the right kicker. We also wasted a pick in the 2nd round on Justin Miller that year. Kerry Rhodes was the best thing to come out of that draft. Hey Randy why didn’t we have a first rounder that year?

  47. By Randy Lange on Mar 7, 2009 | Reply

    That, Ray, would be because the Jets traded with the Raiders for TE Doug Jolley before the 2005 draft.

  48. By Ray on Mar 8, 2009 | Reply

    Can we have a do over?

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