Chicago Sun-Times

Bears check out QB Ainge

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The pro day circuit is just heating up with nearly a full month ahead of showcases at schools across the country.

The Bears sent scout Rex Hogan to Knoxville, Tenn., today for Tennessee’s workout. Volunteers quarterback Erik Ainge is in a large group of projected mid-round picks who the team could be considering with a second-day pick. But it’s impossible to look too far into the their potential interest in Ainge for the simple fact that Tennessee is a huge program. You don’t skip the pro day at a top-tier SEC school any year.

Ainge never matched the hype generated during his freshman season in 2004 (it only seems like he’s been there since Peyton Manning left) when he passed for 17 touchdowns vs. nine interceptions and averaged 7.33 yards per attempt. He was productive the past two seasons throwing for 6,511 yards and 50 touchdowns, including two in a New Year’s Day victory over Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl.

Ainge won 29 games over four seasons, and I remember something general manager Jerry Angelo said about Vince Young before he was drafted. He was asked about Young’s mechanics, how he projected as a passer on the pro level and if he could make the adjustment from a wide-open offense at Texas to a more traditional one on Sundays.

``He’s a winner,’’ Angelo said.

But for all the victories, Ainge never seemed to lift the Volunteers to that next level. He has good size at 6-5, 225 but can fall into ruts where he’s inaccurate. It’s easy to poke holes in the games of passers are projected to be mid-round selections on down but eventually there’s got to be another Tom Brady, right?

``I like him,’’ said one coach who was in attendance and confirmed Hogan’s appearance. ``He’s real natural for a big guy and he’s got a real natural motion. He’s feet are decent for being a big guy. The only thing is he doesn’t always throw a spiral. The ball doesn’t always come off his hand clean. There's something there to work with."

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11 Comments

Looking at 1st day OT and 2nd day QBs interesting.Watcha thinking Angelo?Us Fans want to know.

Ainge could be a second day choice though both San Diego guys are better ateletes but Ainge just seems to get things done. Not spectacular but gets things done.

I think Ainge is an interesting guy because he's talented, but didn't really reach his full potential in college. He'd definitely take at least a year or two on the bench before he's NFL ready.

But don't look too much into Bears scouts and other brass going to Pro days. Sometimes the guys that they end up picking are guys that they get convinced about after seeing them just once or twice at the combine or somewhere else.

we definitely need a QB that can make an impact in a hurry. With us only having 1 good, but unproven QB in Orton, and that other joke that wears the # 8 jersey we need impact and need it now. Wrecks Grossman was a waste of $3 Million. Orton is definitely our best bet for this year.

Thats interesting but i still think they nedd O-Tackle in 1st,and O-Gaurd Or RB or WR in 2nd.We should wait till next year to get a QB.Yeah i know we need one more? Oh well hopefully Hallas Hall knows what ther doin.YEAH RIGHT!

THEY THE BEARS BETTER GET THE O line better and get a real runningback

he is garbage, i go to school at UT, the article is wrong, sometime he throws a spiral, most of the time he doesn't. he's a poor mans chris simms, and look how he is doing in the nfl. wrecks grossman is horrible. i say we focus on the other 20 holes in our roster and get a new QB next year somehow someway. the only QB that should be on our roster for next year should be orton in a backup role

I think it's important to have O-line and defense squared away first. Championships are won on the o-line and defense. It's admittedly hard to be hard on Rex and Cedric with an aging O-line in front of them. There were no good fits in FA for either QB or RB, so I can see the logic Angelo is using in resigning Orton and Rex. I just hope they make some major moves on O-line soon.

I really wonder what our focus is. We have done nothing about our terrible running game.

Goldizzle, I have got your answer for you. Our focus in this years draft will be on Angelo. Just kidding sort of. Actually our focus on this years draft will be OT, OG, RB, QB, WR, DT, and S. We have 8 picks so that leaves us one to spare, we will have 8 top end starters, the will all probably be pro bowlers and we will have them by the end of the draft. Also I have this Big red bridge in San Fran I am selling real cheap if your interested.

We have to take a chance on a QB in the middle rounds. Erik Ainge is not pretty but gets the job done. Maybe he will step it up in the pros, kind of like some other QBs that were drafted late or not at all like Brady, Bulger, Schaub, Romo, Warner, etc. You never know till you take a chance and try. In the Senior Bowl, he was the only QB that actually moved the ball!!!! Pretty is not always good. Look at David Carr!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 12, 2008 4:59 PM.

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