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Allison Draws Motivation from All Around Him

Posted by Randy Lange on May 31, 2010 – 9:05 am

When life deals lemons, well, you’ve heard that sweet-and-sour story before. In Aundrae Allison’s case, he looks across the line at the other side of the ball.

Allison, the Jets wideout who lost all of last season to an ACL tear in the final preseason game against Philadelphia, took inspiration during that time from a Vikings linebacker of his acquaintance.

"My whole mindset during that time was that I know so many people who came back from that injury that I really look up to player-wise," Allison told me last week. "One of the guys I always thought about was Chad Greenway. He’s one of my favorite linebackers in the NFL. He had the same injury his rookie year and he just bounced back. He was making great plays out there as if he never did it. I kept that in mind. That’s kept me motivated the whole time."

"My main focus is not to be a statistic. If I am, it’ll be a statistic that came back from the injury and had a great career."

Allison has been tantalizingly close to doing that since entering the NFL as Minnesota’s fifth-round pick out of East Carolina in 2007. Packing 4.39-second speed, he turned in a 104-yard kickoff-return TD as a rookie and averaged 12.8 yards on 18 receptions in limited work as a Vikings receiver.

When the Vikes waived him last August, the Jets brought him aboard and he started to catch eyes in Cortland. Rex Ryan called him "88 Out of the Gate" during camp, and it’s easy to forget that "Drae" had the third-most all-purpose yards on the Jets last preseason — 293 total, with 70 coming on one touchdown reception from Erik Ainge against the Giants.

Then Allison’s playing time came to a halt and the rehab began on the late-second-quarter kickoff return against the Eagles. But he’s come out of it a stronger and more focused candidate for the Jets’ WR corps.

"I’m feeling really good. Thank God the trainers did a good job of getting me back right," he said after running routes and catching a few balls during the most recent OTA practice. "It’s been a good process. It wasn’t too hard. Mentally I feel like I’m all the way there, but physically I’ve just got to take my time and be patient, still get the feel for it back. It’s going to take time, but it’ll come."

Time is starting to accelerate now, of course. Full-squad minicamp is ahead in mid-June, then camp in August. As if to keep Allison on his toes, the Jets went out and traded for Santonio Holmes. But again, Allison’s using the addition of topflight competition at his position as motivation.

"Santonio coming in, I’m like ‘Good, I can learn from him.’ That’s another guy I looked at, paid close attention to when he was at Pittsburgh. He’s a playmaker, so if anything I’m always going to be in his ear, trying to get his knicks and knacks, what he does on the field.

Ryan has Jerricho Cotchery plus two talented players at the position that he didn’t have at training camp last year in Braylon Edwards and Holmes. But the coach hasn’t forgotten how Allison was starting to come on late in the preseason. As he said on last week’s live chat, "We have an incredible amount of depth right now at receiver. Someone like David Clowney, Aundrae Allison, who unfortunately had the knee injury last year, the multitalented Brad Smith, those are guys who will be competing for jobs."

"You can’t really focus on who’s here and who’s not," Allison said about the crowded wideout picture. "You’ve just got to really stay in the present, just take advantage of the time you’re in that situation. That’s what I try to do. I just try to stay focused on the present and myself."

Lemonade, anyone?

Here are the Jets’ seven pass plays of 70-plus yards, all for touchdowns, in all games the past five seasons:

Date Type Receiver Quarterback Opp Yds
Sept. 17, 2006 RS Jerricho Cotchery Chad Pennington vs. NE 71
Jan. 7, 2007 PO Jerricho Cotchery Chad Pennington @NE 77
Aug. 25, 2007 PS Leon Washington Chad Pennington @NYG 79
Aug. 7, 2008 PS David Clowney Brett Ratliff @CLE 71
Aug. 7, 2008 PS David Clowney Brett Ratliff @CLE 70
Aug. 29, 2009 PS Aundrae Allison Erik Ainge @NYG 70
Jan. 24, 2010 PO Braylon Edwards Mark Sanchez @IND 80


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Posted in Randy Lange | 19 Comments »

19 Responses to “Allison Draws Motivation from All Around Him”

  1. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on May 31, 2010 | Reply

    If AA’s as good as he’s looked in spots both at MIN and with us, him and Clowney backing up SH, J-Co, and BE could be scary. (Much as I love BS on ST, I still say he’ll never show much at WR.) Speaking of injuries, there’s a good piece on the NFL site today about how Chad’s so fragile that MIA can barely put him on the field to practice, much less play him. Instructive for the “Leon’s the best” this or that or “Chad would be a great back-up to MS” crowd. Unless you’re healthy, you ain’t nuthin’.

  2. By 37 year fan on May 31, 2010 | Reply

    Braylon really did a great job coming in here last year . Remember he had to learn the entire system , from scratch , in the middle of the season. Also he had his court drama going left over from Cleveland . Also he had a rookie QB. He had some unbelievable sideline catches and fought for the extra yards. Much Love ,Thanks Braylon . This year is going to be much better.

  3. By Ira on May 31, 2010 | Reply

    Allison could make the roster if he has a strong summer camp and they don’t sign LC. Allsion could be the #6 WR but he has to show he is going to be able to play special teams. Right now Westhoff wants Clowney to take Wright’s spot as the gunner or flyer. Randy, i can envision Leon lined up wide right and just running straight down field. The Giants totally blew the coverage on that play and Chad and Leon hooked up. I hope Leon can get back to that in time.

  4. By AOKP on May 31, 2010 | Reply

    hey randy to be clear….is Braylon gonna be the no.1 WR ? is he gonna be starting on the right or on the left? and also, is there any new news on the contracts of Darelle and Nick?

  5. By Randy Lange on May 31, 2010 | Reply

    AOKP, I’ve got no clear information or new news on any of those questions.

  6. By scjoe on May 31, 2010 | Reply

    Given the fact that SH and BE could be on borrowed time, I see no way AA don’t either make the final cut, or at the very least the practice squad, That is a no brainer. In fact, the way these contracts are expiring after this season, Cotchery, Clowney and Allison just could be the future. If the latter two can reach their potential, that may not be to bad a future at WR.

  7. By Vincent on May 31, 2010 | Reply

    Hope Allison gets a shot pre-season to show what he’s got. You never know when the unthinkable happens and a starting WR goes down, so best to have a talented replacement than one who you ‘hope’ can get the job done. And – who doesn’t like a comeback story…?

  8. By Ira on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply

    Just looking over some #’s and Keller really doesn’t get enough credit about his play in the postseason. Sure Sanchez QB rating went from 64.1 to 92.7 and looked like a different player. Greene we all know how he was. But Keller’s #’s are eye opening and shows what he is capable of doing. Reg season 78 pass thrown to 45 caught 57.7%-2 TD’s 11.6 yds per catch-4.2 yac. PO’s 17-12-70.6%-3 TD’s -15.1-7.6. Imagine the #’s he could have when everbody is covering SH,BE and J-Co. Keller will be a PB.

  9. By Ira on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply

    While everybody looks at sacks and is hoping Taylor is going to give them some help. He did have 8 sacks last year. I see though that more important was that he also had 4 QB hits and 20 QB pressures. I think Rex is going to be right with Taylor. Keep him on say a pitch count and play 25-30 snaps per game and Taylor can stay fresh and probably put up better #’s than he did last year.

  10. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply

    scjoe, your post convinces me some Jets fans are so used to failure that they won’t admit success till 2 yrs after we win the SB. SH and BE are about 26 yrs old! Why do you talk like we’re gonna give them a casual look and let ‘em go? THEY are the future and we got ‘em because Clowney and Smith weren’t stepping up! And how do you figure J-CO’ s the future when he’s the oldest of our WRs? I love him but if SH and BE play to their potential HE may be on the way out unless he shines in the slot.

  11. By Ira on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply

    We are getting way ahead of ouselves talking about 2011 if there is football. Realistically there is no way they can sign Edwards and Holmes. unless Mr. T pulls a rabbit out of the check book. 09 R. White and G. Jennings including signing bonus’ avg 14 mill. You can’t sign 2 WR’s at an avg of 15 mill per. It will throw your roster salary structure all out of whack. You can only invest a certain amount of $ for each unit. Lets hope they both have a PB year and Mr. T has that task. GO JETS!!!!

  12. By ranger46 on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply

    I like our receiving corps. We now need a QB who can stand patiently in the pocket, stand tall and deliver the football on a rope. Throwing to our receivers on a downward trajectory, instead of MS having to throw ‘over’ the “D” and “O” lines, with too many lobs, therefore the ball is in the air longer, leading to more picks, MS at 6’2″ can’t see as well as a 6’5″ stud. I do not understand why we do not have a legitamate QB competition. EA and KC are both better QB’s than MS, Win a SB W/AINGE!

  13. By OriginalJetFan on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply

    Ranger, not to rain on your parade but SB with Ainge? other than being 6’5″ what has he shown, and at 6’2″ Sanchez is bigger than Drew Brees.
    Give the rookie a chance , the experts see him as a good one.
    And KC, well best said , he seems like a nice guy, but he couldn’t beat out Chad Pennington who would have started if Favre hadn,t come along. Come to think of it, if Chad had started we wouldhave made the playoffs!

  14. By scjoe on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply

    Tom64..First off, Cotchery will never demand or receive what BE and SH will demand with any kind of a decent season in 2010. Secondly, your are kidding yourself if you believe the Jets can resign Revis, Harris, Mangold, Brick, Edwards and Holmes. Now, if this were the NFL of thirty-forty years ago (which it is not) I would not have the same mind set as I do today, you know, a REALIST!

  15. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply

    2011 aside, Ira, your arguments re WRs fail on several levels. First, no one knows what our salary structure will support since no one knows how much money we will make. Second, no one knows what kind of deal SH, BE, or anyone else will take to stay on the team, as you suggested yourself with the idea that even Scott’s contract could be reworked. Finally, nothing at all can be predicted sufficiently to justify a priori pessimism — as Ranger 46’s shocking (well, not really) return today shows!

  16. By scjoe on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply

    Ranger46…Drew Brees did a pretty good job of getting the ball over his linemen and the D line at 6’0″ don’t you think? Yes, Sanchez has at least two full inches on Brees. On the other end of the spectrum, if you like those big 6’5″ type QBs, maybe we should go after Jamarcus Russell.

  17. By Mr. Green on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply

    37 year fan, Sorry it came out that way. Those are my feelings about Woody. I am a 50 year fan and I am not very happy about the PSLs. Had to give up my 3 seats. Just couldn’t afford and refused to lay out $60,000 to sit in seats I sat in when this team STUNK. And this team Stunk most of the time. I’m retired now so I can careless if this owner goes broke. There will be BLACKOUTS. Maybe not the 1st season, but in the future. Enjoy your seats, after 37 years, you earned them.

  18. By 37 year fan on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    Mr Greene , now I understand . I can’t afford ‘em either.

  19. By Row on Jun 3, 2010 | Reply

    Allison could be a #1 if someone would believe in him and let him run some routes. Danario Alexander could too. Our offense is the big question mark. Sanchez has a big chance at a sophomore slump, we’re not 100% sold on a RB. Schotty has options, but he’ll make his money this year if he can find a way to score TD’s. We sure aren’t going to be making field goals. Dre, you have my vote for a roster spot. I could definitely see you in at kick return. Go Jets

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