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How the Jets Got to Know Christian Hackenberg

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Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday MMQB published an interesting piece by Kayln Kalher discussing some of the behind the scenes moves the Jets made in the leadup to the NFL Draft to get to know quarterback Christian Hackenberg.

One of the criticisms of Hackenberg is that he can’t make quick throws under pressure. So Jets coaches sped things up and put him through quick-release passing drills. They tested to see if he could throw off balance, watched his footwork closely, and put him in scenarios that they hadn’t seen on his game film. “It was about getting a really good feel for the way they are going to coach me going forward,” Hackenberg says.

After the workout, the group grabbed an early lunch at Happy Valley Brewery, a popular spot in State College. Rosa and LaMontagne had suggested the group stay at Penn State’s facility, where they could remain completely private, but the Jets risked the possibility of being seen with Hackenberg in public. “They said, ‘No, we want him in a natural setting. We want to see him in football, but we want to see him as a person, too,’ ” LaMontagne says. Hackenberg made easy conversation with Gailey about the Masters, which was playing out on the bar’s TVs. (Gailey is an avid golfer; Hackenberg is just picking up the game.) Because it was early for lunch on a Sunday, the Jets coaches went unnoticed at the restaurant.

This was part of a workout the team had set up. The author indicates the Jets were adamant about it remaining a secret. Everybody knew the Jets were interested in the Penn State quarterback by Draft day anyway based on the large scouting contingent they sent to the Penn State pro day and the private visit at the team facility Hackenberg had. They still got their man.

This is a really interesting read. I recommend clicking over and checking it out.