Heading to Oakland

For Chad Pennington, the key to having success this Sunday, and for the remainder of the 2003 season is simple. <p>

According to Pennington, the times when he has played within himself, and within the confines of the West Coast offense, he and his teammates have had success.

However, the fourth-year pro from Marshall has gotten himself into trouble when he deviates from the reigns of Paul Hackett, and the scheme, and tries to do too much.

"The biggest thing with me is inconsistency," said Pennington, who has thrown three interceptions in a game and a half this season, compared to the six picks he threw in his twelve and a half games last season.

"There are times that I have trusted my teammates, and trusted the system. There has been a few times where I haven't and those few times have cost us."

The times where it has cost him eats at the fiery quarterback, and it is prompting a slightly changed approach.

"That is why I have to simplify as a quarterback and make sure I am working within the framework of the offense, and not trying to do too much," said Pennington. "I have to realize the guys around me are the ones who are going to make the plays for me. I don't really have to do anything but put them in a successful position, and they can do the rest."

Although Pennington does occasionally drift from the West Coast scheme, this is not because of his lack of faith in the offense.

"In our system we have to trust [the West Coast system] and it will take care of any blueprints the opponent has for us," he said. "This offense has won double digit world championships, like 13. There is a lot to be said for that."

Herman Edwards believes Pennington is a perfect fit for this offense. He also believes when the quarterback is on his game, there is nobody better at orchestrating it.

"When [Pennington] is in a groove the flow of the offense runs really smoothly," said the coach.

"[Chad] is an equal opportunity quarterback, he will take it where he feels he can go with the ball. It is fun too watch because it has a nice flow. He knows the offense is one where you have to move the chains and make first downs."

Edwards is also under the opinion that because of Pennington's competitive nature, he might try to make things happen on his own, or "out of the scheme" throughout the course of the game.

This is one area where Edwards feels his quarterback who has only started 13 games as a professional can improve upon.

"[Chad] is an excitable guy that is how he plays," said Edwards. "And that is contagious, but he knows he can go somewhat overboard. "Going into his second year he has to start from the beginning and just let the offense work. Sometimes he makes some throws he shouldn't make, but he will learn from that.

"Sometimes he is trying to make something happen, if he just sticks with what is there, and what he believes, he will be more successful."

According to Pennington once the offense under his guidance begins to play a little less error free football, winning games will soon follow.

"We are in these football games [that we lose], we have to get over the hump," said Pennington. "The positive thing at this point is we control why we are losing. Our opponents are not controlling that."


SLB Mo Lewis will start the game, and Victor Hobson will rotate in along with the rest of the LB's.

KR Michael Bates is probable, and will play, however Jonathan Carter will man the kick returning duties. Bates will cover on kick offs and punts.

WR Wayne Chrebet has been undergoing tests with a neurologist, and according to Jets officials this will continue into next week. He is not going to be making the trip to Oakland.

Curtis Conway will be the starting X receiver, and Kevin Swayne and Jonathan Carter will alternate the third and fourth spots.

It is interesting for as fast as Carter is he has not yet been involved much in the offense. With Chrebet out, this may be his shot.

"Jonathan has great speed, that is his god given gift," said Edwards after practice on Friday. "If there is one thing you can't teach it is speed."

CB Donnie Abraham, FS Jon McGraw, and DE John Abraham all remain out. In their places will be respectively CB Ray Mickens, S Tyrone Carter, and DE Bryan Thomas.


Starting SS Sam Garnes is amped up for this weekend, and senses the urgency his team faces in Oakland. If the Jets lose this game they will be 2-7.

"I don't really care about going to Oakland or wherever, we just need to get a win," said Garnes. "I don't like anything about losing and I can't find any thing good in losing."

He also said with the talent the Raiders have on offense. he expects them to attempt to run the ball down their throats, and it will be up to Gang Green's run defense to answer the call.

"I expect them to run," he said. "Last year they played Kansas City in the rain and they just ran the ball down their throat. They have about four or five good running backs, so that is what I expect."

The battle of 2-6 teams should be interesting.

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