Jets quietly sign intriguing OT prospect

So what is going on with Paul Hackett? Remember there were some questions about his status after the season.

"(Herman) Edwards plans to be more involved, a sign that his confidence in offensive coordinator Paul Hackett is flagging," wrote Rich Cimini in The Sporting News.

So where do things stand between Edwards and Hackett?

"We are good to go," said Edwards on his relationship with Hackett.

The feeling here is that while Edwards will get a little more involved in the offense, he is going to have his hands full with a new defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson (who has never held the position before), so he won't really have a lot of time to work with Hackett . . .

We hear the Jets might scrimmage with the Giants in Albany this summer. These plans are not set, but they are in the works . . .

In a move under the radar last week, the Jets signed free agent offensive tackle Reggie Coleman, a former Redskin, Packer and Bengal. Coleman has a big fan in Hempstead in Jets offensive line coach Doug Morrone. Coleman, a Tennessee product, had Morrone as his offensive line coach with the Volunteers. In 2002, ESPN's Mel Kiper had Coleman ranked as the 12th best offensive tackle in the draft, so guy is an intriguing prospect. He is 6-5, 335 pound, and ran a 5.21 forty at the Combine, which is not bad for a man his size. He's a very good athlete for a big man, and is also very strong. He can squat lift around 650 pounds.

So he's clearly not a bad guy to take a flyer on. He could turn into a decent backup tackle, and more insurance if Kareem McKenzie departs as a free agent after this season. But according to one scout, Coleman needs to show he's willing to pay the price. He's been considered an underachiever by a lot of personnel people, and doesn't always work to finish his blocks. If his old college coach can get through to him, the Jets might have something here . . .

While there are some community groups and liberal politicians trying to stop the Jets' Manhattan stadium project, these individuals face an uphill battle because the team has some strong allies.

"We have the governor and the mayor and the union leaders in our corner," said a Jets source. "We knew there would be opposition, and we would take some hits, but we are moving forward with everything we need to do." . . .

Last Friday, Jets cornerback Jamie Henderson was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in Atlanta.

Aside from knowing that he suffered a head injury, and has been in out and out consciousness, not much more information has been made available. Aside from the fact that he's in stable condition, information has been scant coming out of the hospital.

Why haven't reporters been able to gather more information on this story? It's simple. There is a new federal law, that were recently passed, that disallows hospitals from releasing details about the condition of a patient to anybody outside the immediate family. So the Jets organization cannot make any announcements regarding Henderson's health.

"We are doing all we can within the guidelines of the new law," said a Jets source. "We can't give out medical reports or updates on this story. The league sent out a memo to every team about this."

Jets director of player programs Kevin Winston is in Atlanta representing the Jets, and lending support to the Henderson family. Jets team doctor Elliott Pellman is in constant contact with Henderson's doctors . . .

Not that football matters are important when talking about Henderson, but with the draft a couple of weeks away, this situation clearly impacts the teams' mindset entering the selection meetings. The Jets have little depth or youth at cornerback. 26-year-old David Barrett is the only "young" proven cornerback they have. Both Ray Mickens and Donnie Abraham will be 31-years-old this season. The only developmental cornerback on the roster is Omare Lowe, who the Jets signed to the practice squad last year. But remember he doesn't have great speed (4.6), and was signed to play in the old defensive scheme, a cover-two zone. He might not be a good fit for the new defense under Donnie Henderson, which will emphasize more man-to-man. It requires more speed than a zone.

So it's essential that Jets draft a man-to-man cornerback with shutdown potential in the first few rounds. There is a very good chance the first round pick will be a cornerback. A JC writer was at the Jets complex this week, and there was a college defensive back prospect being walked around the complex. We can't verify who it was, but he definitely looked like a cornerback.

Do don't be shocked, if the Jets grab a cornerback at 12 . . .

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