Erik Ainge: “I would’ve made Charlie Sheen look like Miss Daisy.”

Jets’ quarterback Erik Ainge recently opened up about a drug problem that he has apparently had since he was 11. In an exclusive interview with ESPN’s Rich Cimini, Ainge admitted that he needed to get help before his addiction killed him.

Ainge says that he was addicted to the hardest of drugs – heroin, cocaine and alcohol – and said that at the height of his problems he “would’ve made Charlie Sheen look like Miss Daisy.” (Apparently Miss Daisy wasn’t doing crack and heroin in the back of that car? Not sure if that reference applies, but I’ll cut Ainge some slack and move on.)

Ainge isn’t the only human being to suffer from drug problems and he certainly won’t be the last. If he stays sober, then good for him. He knew he needed help and he sought it. There are many people who never reach out and they wind up six feet under, so hopefully Ainge won’t be among those who have suffered a fatal ending.

As he said in the video, maybe him going public with his issue will help those who suffer from similar addictions.

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Daily Six-Pack: NFL Preseason Friday

NFL preseason action continues tonight with four games on the schedule. Below are six quick-hit thoughts and things to watch for during tonight’s slate of games.

1. Are the reports true about Palmer?
All indications from Bengals camp is that Carson Palmer is in the best shape of his career after missing virtually the entire 2008 season with a right elbow injury. Palmer is expected to get 12-15 snaps tonight when the Bengals travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints. Just as the Patriots were hoping for a strong showing from Tom Brady last night (he threw for 100 yards and 2 TDs, by the way), Cincinnati is hoping that Palmer flashes the arm strength that once made him the top overall pick. Another thing to keep an eye on is how the young Cincinnati offensive line looks in protecting Palmer. The Bengals have a physical unit in Andrew Whitworth, Anthony Collins, Kyle Cook, Nate Livings and Bobbie Williams, but they’re an inexperienced unit on a whole and Cincy would love to see some cohesion from the group tonight.

2. The starting quarterback battle for the Vikings begins tonight.
Head coach Brad Childress reported that Sage Rosenfels will get the start Friday night against the Colts, which isn’t a huge surprise considering Tarvaris Jackson missed some time in camp with a sprained knee. Still, Rosenfels getting the starting nod tonight may be an indication that he’s pulled ahead in the race for the Vikes’ starting quarterback job. Rosenfels doesn’t have a high ceiling in terms of potential, but he’s steady and could be a good game manager for a Minnesota team that is expected to keep the ball on the ground a lot with Adrian Peterson. While Jackson will certainly get his opportunity to start in preseason, a strong first impression tonight would go a long way for Rosenfels.

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