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Ainge Has Tennessee, Oregon Ties. Hmm …

Posted by Randy Lange on April 27, 2008 – 3:57 pm

So what do we know about Erik Ainge?

Well, he’s 6’5½", which never hurts when you’re a quarterback about to embark on a career of peering over NFL linemen to find your receivers.

And he’s the nephew of Celtics general manager Danny Ainge, so the bloodlines are strong.

And now he’s the second quarterback with Tennessee ties and the second QB to hail from Oregon to join the Jets’ roster.

How’s that again? Well, the Green & White took Ainge, the University of Tennessee signalcaller, with their fifth-round pick, No. 162 overall, which they obtained earlier today from Green Bay, and so he joins Knoxville native Chad Pennington. And since Ainge lives in Hillsboro, Ore., near Portland and went to Glencoe High School there, he joins Kellen Clemens, who grew up not close to Portland, across the state in Burns.

On his conference call with Jets beat reporters, Ainge said he’s met Clemens several times.

"I actually was going to go to Oregon originally, but Kellen was going into his junior year," Ainge said. "I didn’t want to wait two years to play because in college you’ve only got four. I came to Tennessee almost because of Clemens. He’s a great guy."

Then when he set his sights further east, he ran into Pennington, not in college but in off-season football activities.

"Chad puts on a camp in Knoxville every year, and obviously playing at the University of Tennessee, I would always go over there and throw some balls to some people and do all that kind of stuff," he said. "Chad was always a very nice guy and he always said maybe I’ll play with or against you some day. So, now we get to play against each other, with each other — you know what I mean."

As nice as everyone is, Pennington, Clemens, Ainge and Brett Ratliff will drop the gloves from here on out. How they’ll line up in the depth chart for opening day at Miami has many months to be determined.

One upside for Ainge is a good arm, which enabled him to finish third in many Volunteers career passing categories behind Peyton Manning and Casey Clausen. One downside has been an injury history at UT. He’s hurt his shoulder, knee, ankle and right little finger, which have cost him games in his four Vol seasons. And the finger injury cost him velocity on his throws as a senior.

That in turn led critics to question Ainge’s arm strength. And in response, former Tennessee WR Jonathan Hefney told the Chattanooga Times/Free Press, "That’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. … He throws missiles, man. I’ve seen enough quarterbacks to know a great arm when I see one."

"My injuries have been kind of fluky," Ainge said. "Have I been hurt a little bit? Yes, but at the same time I know how to play through it and how to be successful."

Then with the Jets’ own sixth-round selection, 171st overall, they found Marcus Henry, a big (6’4") wide receiver with long arms and a developing frame from Kansas who can catch passes this off-season and summer from Ainge and the rest of the Jets’ arms. As NFLDraftScout.com described him, "The light seems to have finally come on to stay for Henry."

Henry’s career has built to his senior season at KU, when he had 54 receptions for 1,014 yards. His 10 TD catches set the Jayhawks’ single-season record, and his five 100-yard receiving games tied the school’s 24-year-old record.

"I think I could be a possession kind of guy," Henry said in his conference call ."In college, I was considered a tall guy who could go up and get jumpballs. I think I could bring that into the NFL and develop that more and be that type of receiver."

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Posted in Randy Lange | 53 Comments »

53 Responses to “Ainge Has Tennessee, Oregon Ties. Hmm …”

  1. By greg on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    before all you mindless ‘so called fans’ bash the jets draft how about you just wait and see what and how these kids become and develop into..time will only tell how they pan out

  2. By BobbyD on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    Henry replaces the size of wr lost when we took the TE over Hardy. Ainge could be great, and it is about time we have a QB on the roster over 6’5″.
    Great picks over all….very well-rounded.

  3. By Johnny Cool on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    yet another QB with a weak arm.

  4. By Jimmy C on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    I think the Jets had a really good solid draft. No complaints here I love the pick of Ainge great potential for him

  5. By joe on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    i feel alot better today that we filled our needs at corner back and widereciever n which could be a steal at quaterback

  6. By CUBANJET on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply


  7. By tommy c on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    love our draft pics you gotta.. gholston ganna be a pro bowl outside lb and our qb that we finnally got in ainge i like alot.. he had no recievers at tenn.. so i like what we have with a 6″6 qb.. marcus henry could help out our smaller recievers in coles and cothey.. and who knows maybe this cb lowery could start the other side with revis and justin miller… we just need a safty besides revis

  8. By MikeMc on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    I’m sure we are not done FA’s and june 1 cutdowns, we still have some peices to the puzzle missing. Let’s hope all of our picks stay healthy and are signed in time for camp. I like the direction Tangini has us in,even though one of the draft “experts”(not Kiper) said it was one of the poorest. I think it was that Todd Mcshay guy I never heard of him before this year. Time will tell.

  9. By Big A on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    I guess i was looking too high up in the draft for a QB and big WR. I hope these guys work out and can help our team. I was disappointed to not have the extra picks to get a 3-4 DE and ILB also, but maybe we can invite some undrafted prospects into camp to provide competition and depth there.

  10. By playchad on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    Hey fellow jet fans lets have some faith in Chad Pennington if we have any chance of winning this year it will be because of Chad!!! Chad is the answer and if we don’t have him in we don’t WIN!!! Kellen is not the answer and wont be!!! Now that he finally has a o-line CHAD will succeed! Give Chad a chance JET fans he is our ticket!

  11. By joe mott on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    Well said Greg. Bunch of mel kiper jr.’s talking about 7th round picks like you have the slightest clue.

  12. By CEDRIC on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    Chad has to prove us wrong, until then, he’s finished, just let it go Chad fans. You have to be able to make all the throws. How many of his INTs let to OPP TDs? He’s Done. Kids outta college are coming out with better Arms. Let it Go guys. Kellen isnt the best, he’s just better than Chad

  13. By Drew on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    For all the “experts” that feel the Jets should have drafted a WR instead of Keller look at the board people. Every WR fell in this draft. They fell because they were overrated!!!!! Keller creates MAJOR match up problems for defenses. He run just as fast as most of the WR everybody wanted plus he’s 250 lbs. Bubba and Baker have nothing to do with this kid.

  14. By Andrew on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    I agree that we wasted our last pick. We deffinetly need a RB. I realize that I am a die hard fan , but we do not have a running game..

  15. By BIG on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    The jets draft was terrible. I am starting and email campaign tomorrow to have tannenbaum and mangini removed as decision makers of the jets. Gholston is way overrated. They drafted a tightend that cant block and the last qb in the draft that I would have taken. Let not forget they traded vilma and robertson for NOTHING.

  16. By playchad on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    Cedric my man there is nothing to let go!!! Its about leadership and smarts! With this o-line Chad will excell!!! He has better chemristy with this team than Kellen and like I said he’s a leader!!! Chad is our meal ticket!! your crazy if u think other wise! This is not about letting go its about playing the best player!

  17. By CEDRIC on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    Look at the league and how it has evolved, He cannot make all the throws, Chad gives us nothing to look forward to, maybe he will excel with a better Run game, but I would rather run with a QB who is constantly improving than a QB who is on the Decline. i use to ride with Chad but its over now

  18. By CEDRIC on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    Frank or Drew, anybody going to the opening day or even second day training camp? I am.

  19. By playchad on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    Cedric the way the league has evolved? Thats something you would say if your going back to the fifties!!! I mean give me a break all u guys out there that wanna get rid of chad are crazy tell me how Kellen improved once last year its just crazy! He is not the answer!!! Chad has the smarts and now the suporting cast he needs to win! Hands down the jets are better with Chad! Prove me wrong!

  20. By juan on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    Ainge is a nice backup guy who can develop if we let Chad go after this year. Kellen should be the starter. Chad has shown he no longer has the arm to play at the highest level in the NFL when he showed last year that he could simply not make the throw from one side of the field to another on a simple out route. Kellen has to be given the opportunity behind a now revamped offensive line.

  21. By #1-jetsfan on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    Look, none of the QBs coming out had high grades, so they grabbed Ainge in the 5th. We don’t need a RB. If you’re using last years stats as an example that’s wrong. Teams stack the box on young QBs so they are forced to throw. The OL was no good so they fixed that in FA along with NT&OLB. Now they added skill players on O, ANOTHER pass rusher, and possibly a #2 CB. What’s the problem fellas?

  22. By playchad on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    Hey guys chad doesnt play we dont win Period! Do you really want a season with Kellen trying to gel or have Chad a proven winner I mean look at his track record he has won in the NFL! With the quarterback talent on this team Chad is more proven! I dont know what else to say it bothers me with this crap! I dont wanna say it again but chad is the Answer Wise up!

  23. By CEDRIC on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    Chad plays like he in the 1950s. I cant prove you wrong, but Chad proved you wrong 06-08. Dont get all mad cause you know the truth hurts but its the truth. The 10-6 season Chad had a subpar season even then, he didnt outplay kellen in 07, so your basing your opinion on Chad in a whole other system. 2 shoulder sugery’s and a sprained ankle. Not the same Chad.

  24. By Big A on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    Our improved O-Line is not going to protect the QB any better than last year if the QB doesn’t scare the secondary. It is setup to allow us to run the ball effectively and setup the pass with play action fakes and shorter 3rd down opportunities. Instead of 3 and 8 all the time, we can expect to see 3 and 2s. This will make any QB we play more successful, but I think Chad is not the guy.

  25. By joe on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    hold on i got a question what happened 2 the 4th round pick we got from the redskins for pete kendall

  26. By Drew on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    Might be going to training camp big Ced but not sure yet. I will be at the home opener though. Really like what we did with the draft. Am expecting some decent players from the FA list also. With what we pulled off this weekend and the talent we added in the off-season there should be a ton of happy Jet fans today. Of course there will be a few dummies who will find something to cry about.

  27. By Ray on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    Man I didn’t realize Adrian Arrington didn’t go until almost the last pick of the entire draft. I hope we don’t regret passing on him, no pun intended.

  28. By playchad on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    Cedric bottom line Chad will beat out Kellen cause the players like Chad and will actually play for him!!! Chad is a true warrior and based on 06-08 I would still play Chad over Kellen! Kellen did not even come close to turning our season around! Chad made an immediate impact the day he took over for Vinny! Please were are the real jet fans this is a joke! Heart,smarts,accuracy+o-line=CHAD Starter

  29. By Randy Lange on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    That pick is in the 2009 draft.

  30. By playchad on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    Randy what do you think the best decision is for the New York jets at QB?

  31. By Randy Lange on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    You trying to trick me, playchad? I think the best decision at QB for the Jets is to have the QBs compete for the job through August, as the head coach and GM have stated will occur.

  32. By playchad on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    I’m probaly not even talking to Randy Lange it has to be a computer?

  33. By Jetsforever on Apr 27, 2008 | Reply

    Hey it could have been a lot worse people, I agree a RB in the 5th would have been a good choice but Henry is a good pick, especially with LC’s injury problems, the front office is trying to create balance on both sides of the ball, you’ll see a difference I’m sure, and Callahan will improve the O line this year.

  34. By Alex G on Apr 28, 2008 | Reply

    Enough with CHAD!! There has to be some new blood. We need a QB that can be a threat down field and open up the playing field. Our WR’s are getting killed out there because it takes half da game to get the ball to them. They leave themselves open to catch those flutter passes and get their ribs broken! Give Kellen the responsabilty and let him start the season on his terms instead of half way thru

  35. By Randy Lange on Apr 28, 2008 | Reply

    This is Lange, playchad. You send them, I read them, I post them or I decline them.

  36. By Greg D on Apr 28, 2008 | Reply

    Very Interesting pick. Like the size 6’5″ and all. Let’s face it all these pick down low are guess picks were you hope the player can develop further. Tennesee is good football stock nonetheless.

  37. By Sandy on Apr 28, 2008 | Reply

    Eric is cool under pressure… We send our best wishes
    for great success in the NFL with the NY Jets!
    Sandy & Paul in TN

  38. By playchad on Apr 28, 2008 | Reply

    listen I’ll leave it alone after this but Chad has to play! Kellen will not get it done!!! Even if he does win the starting job i dont think the kid can even get through a full season! Why is anyone high on him anyway he did nothing more than chad did last year with a gelling o-line! I’m a diehard fan and i love my fellow jet fans! But it makes me sick how fast u can turn on somebody!

  39. By Frank on Apr 28, 2008 | Reply

    Cedric you and Drew would be last last 2 guys I’d go to anything having to do with the Jets it would be one non-stop argument and at 6’2″ 250 I’m afraid I might have to hurt Drew if he starts with me.

  40. By doug storzak on Apr 28, 2008 | Reply

    Watched every throw Erik made here in Tennessee. Smart, tall, hard working and would have made a run at Peyton’s records if not for some fluke injuries. This guy is a steal for the 5th round

  41. By MikeMc on Apr 28, 2008 | Reply

    Playchad and CEDRIC, I love chad I wish he could make all the throws with the velosity needed, Kellen may develope to be great. The only solution is an open competition and I will support the winner 100%. Mangini proved he is not afraid to pull Chad and he also proved he is not going to bail on his guy the first sign of failure. I’m very optimistic with our new line, I think both can be successful

  42. By CEDRIC on Apr 28, 2008 | Reply

    Playchad, I married the FRANCHISE, NOT THE PLAYER, because they come and go in this league, Kellen didnt outplay Chad, but Chad didnt outplay Kellen and He’s a 9 year vet, so what does that tell you? I understand how u feel but even the 49ers had to get rid of JOE, let Chad prove me wrong and I will buy you a Steak dinner, and Im serious about that. and ALEX is right the WR are gettin killed.

  43. By Johnny Cool on Apr 28, 2008 | Reply

    I was expecting we’d pick Andre Woodson instead of Ainge. Only then I could stomach our semi -disappointing draft. At least Woodson has an NFL arm. Both Giants and Pats, two teams that didn’t really need to fill this position, picked a better rated QB than we did. I don’t think any of the QB’s we have on are roster could lead us to the Super Bowl.

  44. By Johnny Cool on Apr 28, 2008 | Reply

    I pray that we pursue our future quarterback via trade or next draft more aggressively and more intelligently.

  45. By Drew on Apr 29, 2008 | Reply

    Come on Frank….giving out ht and wt details now…LOL you’re an old man buddy….. let the young men do all the hurting. Cedric and I would probably have to protect you from all the drunk fans you insulted during the game. By the way 5’11 205 built like granite.

  46. By CEDRIC on Apr 29, 2008 | Reply

    Frank, I’d just have to take you out at the knees, 5’8 160 (built like a boxer). No i wasnt inviting you but if happened to be at the same Jet event i need to know who to throw my Beer Cup At…lol

  47. By Row on Apr 29, 2008 | Reply

    Let’s go get Rhodes from the Raiders! He carried the Colts in the superbowl, should have been the MVP, and now he is teamless. We NEED Dominic Rhodes!

  48. By playchad on Apr 29, 2008 | Reply

    Cedric lets just keep this a friendly bet I dont need to be having dinner with u! Dude I’m telling you right now i would rather play Ainge over Kellen! Chad is not done trust me i’m not a total chad fan but he’s the best we got why waste a whole season on Kellen hear me out bro! Its gonna happen if he plays! Chad has alot of options I think he’ll be alright! All’s I’m saying is give chad this year

  49. By CEDRIC on Apr 29, 2008 | Reply

    Playchad, I want you to be right, but I just dont believe him anymore, even in MADDEN he’s bad lol. But Mangini has the right idea, QB competition will settle our debate for now. D.Rhodes is washed up, if the Raiders cut him over the lamont jordan, then he’s no good to us. GM ROW mustve forgot we got Chatman go look at his stats for 07 n see IF we NEED D.RHODES

  50. By playchad on Apr 29, 2008 | Reply

    Randy i think you should make a new blog. Best Jet of alltime and have the jets fans decide! Sound like a good idea by the way i would not go with chad guys lol!

  51. By Nick on Apr 30, 2008 | Reply

    I’m not a Jets fan but I am a Tennessee fan and I can speak from experience you guys got a heck of a QB. Great pick. I’m gonna keep an eye on the Jets this year… best of luck to ya

  52. By CEDRIC on Apr 30, 2008 | Reply

    LOL, thats a good Idea on who would is considered the best Jet of all time, but there are so many. I would Go with….Klecko

  53. By HDR on May 2, 2008 | Reply

    I really like this pick. I still think that Kellen will be fine. but it was good for the jets to go out and secure a backup and possibly QB of the Future if he excells and Kellen doesn’t. He’s big, fast, and has a good arm. We can go into this season with Chad, Kellen and Ainge.

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