Pennington to revive Jets offense?

Chad Pennington may be back sooner than expected. <p>

The quarterback returned to practice on Monday. He wore a brace on his left hand, and threw 50 balls after the team's morning practice session.

Pennington took about 50 snaps at a normal velocity from center Dennis O' Sullivan, and threw to all of the Jets receiving core except Santana Moss.

"I snapped the ball the way I always snap it," said O'Sullivan after the session.

Pennington looked extremely sharp during the workout, as the ball touched the ground only once (an overthrow to Curtis Conway).

"He still has that same old accuracy," said Conway after the throwing session. "He got some rest so maybe his arm is a little stronger, but yeah he looks real good."

The work Pennington put in this morning adds fuel to speculation about when he might be able to play on Sundays.

He threw perfectly, and took regular snaps from center, pain free.

"If I had my druthers I would be back tomorrow," said Pennington…

"The injury is a day by day thing. I feel really comfortable where we are. The movement (in the wrist) is not where it needs to be. Anytime you have a injury like this there will be stiffness but you have to work through it, but no pain."

All of the surgically inserted pins, which were put into the wrist after the injury, are now out.

"I don't have a timetable (for a return)," said Pennington. "Me and coach Edwards constantly talk on a weekly basis, and when we feel that it is necessary to go back in, that's when [it will happen]. We have a twelve game season now and we are focused in getting this thing turned around. I think we can, and I am going to do everything I can to help us do that."

Edwards was non-committal, Monday morning during his press conference, about when the franchise quarterback might return.

However, the coach did stick around to watch him throw after practice, telling writers "I just enjoy watching him throw."

When Pennington met with reporters two weeks ago he stated that he would like to return for the game against the cross-town Giants on November 2nd. His original return date was November 16th, a game at Indianapolis.

It is even possible now with everything running smoothly, he could return before the Giants game.

Pennington broke his wrist in a preseason game against the Giants(August 23). Speaking of his possible return against the team that injured him the former Marshall University standout said "wouldn't that be ironic."

The Jets have struggled without their starting quarterback so far, going winless in their first four games (0-4). They have been able to move the football well, but are ineffective deep in opponent's territory.

Pennington's absense has been missed most when the Jets are in the red zone. Gang Green ranks dead last in the NFL in red zone efficiency this season.

The Jets have been inside the red zone eight times this season, and come away with only 19 points. Thier offense has scored one touchdown, and four field goals, while inside the 20. This equates to a red zone efficency TD percentage of 12.5.

As of yesterday, the team next to last in the NFL in this category was Dallas, who had a 21.4 TD percentage, followed by Pittsburgh (31.6 percent).

At the top of this list is Kansas City who scores a touchdown on 80 percent of their possessions inside the 20.

The ineffective Jets offense has only scored three touchdowns this season (one came in the red zone, the run by Jerald Sowell in Washington). Two came on passing plays, and one the run.

Against Miami, Vinny Testaverde found Santana Moss for a 32-yard touchdown, and in New England, Testaverde hit Wayne Chrebet from 29 yards out.

Edwards has warned against the notion that once Pennington returns all the Jets problems will be solved, saying on Friday "I don't want to paint the picture that Chad is going to come in on his white horse and everything is going to be alright."

He took the opportunity to repeat this message on Monday Morning.

"I don't think that with Chad coming back," (everything will just be better). We have to play better as a team. Remember Chad has not played since the Giants game."

NOTES:

Santana talk:

The decision to make Santana Moss the starting wide receiver has to do in part to the fledgling running game of the Jets. Curtis Martin by his own admission is off to the worst start of his nine-year career.

But now maybe he will get a boost.

"We have been seeing a lot of eight men in the box, this season, said Edwards. They are trying to stop Curtis Martin. If defenses use two guys on Santana then they cant use the 8 men in the box, maybe it opens up the running game. Or maybe the other receiver man coverage."

Young Blood:

Edwards's refuses to say this season is turning into a rebuilding year. He aims to still put a competitive team on the field on Sunday's, but would also like to see what the future holds in store.

"You have to put them (young players) in there and find out what kind of a player they are," he said. "This way you can get a full evaluation."

However, anything would be an improvement to a defense that ranks last in AFC stopping the run.

John Abraham update :

John Abraham will not be at practice today. He will rejoin the team tomorrow. Edwards said on Monday that having him come back on Tuesday was the plan all along.


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