Former safety Erik Coleman on Jets moves: 'I like where they're going'

Jets safety Erik Coleman intercepts a pass intended

Jets safety Erik Coleman intercepts a pass intended for Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, rear, during the fourth quarter to seal the 31-24 Jets win Sunday, Sept. 12, 2004 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford. (Credit: AP / Bill Kostroun)

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Erik Coleman conjured an image of Ed Reed when talking about the importance of Jets safety Calvin Pryor, the 18th overall pick in this year's NFL draft, to his new team.

The former safety admittedly got excited to see a player at his position taken so high on the board and said the move was a clear step in bolstering the Jets' defense.

Coleman touted Pryor's athleticism and toughness in a phone interview Tuesday. He noted that the two traits are incomplete unless paired with intelligence, which is why he believes the newcomer will make an impact.

"Those are some of the main staples that you want out of a safety," Coleman said. "Someone who's going to be able to make plays with the ball and process a lot of information. You need someone who can make quick decisions."

He added that confidence to stand by convictions, even if that means critiquing a veteran player if it's warranted, is another necessity for any safety.

Veteran quarterback Michael Vick, who was signed to a one-year, $5-million deal March 21, also earned Coleman's endorsement.

"I'm very excited about what they're doing," Coleman said of New York's efforts to get stronger through recent acquisitions. He expects second-year quarterback Geno Smith to greatly benefit from Vick's leadership and experience. "I like where they're going."

The Jets finished 8-8 in the 2013 season and were tied for second in the AFC East behind the 12-4 New England Patriots.

Coleman, 32, who spent nine seasons in the NFL, the first four (2004-07) with the Jets, resides in Mount Sinai and is the practice manager for Core Medical New York's Woodbury location. The practice incorporates intravenous treatment with amino acids to aid in recovery from fatigue and injury.

Dr. Mario Manna, a family practitioner and cousin of Coleman's wife, Sabrina, leads the clinical team.

Coleman trained at Bommarito Performance Systems in Miami during his playing career, which ignited his interest in the medical field. He now describes that interest as an "obsession" and plans to relocate his family closer to where he works.

"It was just something I was excited about," Coleman said. "This was an avenue for me to help people and make a living out of it."

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