A conversation with Chad Pennington

This is a big camp and season for Jets quarterback Chad Pennington, who is entering a contract year. If the Jets are going to make the playoffs this year, they need a 2002-type season from Pennington. Here is a conversation with the Jets franchise quarterback.<p>

Q)What are your reflections looking back at last season?

Pennington: It was my first time coming back from an injury as a starter. I didn't realize missing that much time, how much it sets you back. I tried to do too much too soon and be the savior, and it backfired on me.

Q)So you learned a lesson last year . . .

Pennington: It's hard to swallow, but it's absolutely going to help me as far as being a professional and being a veteran and understanding what I have to do.

Q)What are your thoughts about this year's team entering training camp?

Pennington: I feel good about our team. We're under the radar right now.

Q)What are your early impressions of Justin McCareins?

Pennington: I think most importantly he goes full speed every play. He is like Laveranues Coles. He is never going to be dogging it. He is always honing in on the details. That is important.

Q)What can you tell us about him as a receiver?

Pennington: I think his two strengths are first, he has the physicality at the X receiver to get off the bump-and-run and beat double coverage. Secondly he does a great job of catching the ball away from his body, using his hands. He has really soft hands.

Q)What are your thoughts on the receiving corps overall?

Pennington: I think we are more well-rounded at wide receiver. Obviously not having Wayne was a big factor in our lack of success in the red zone, and on third down. Having him come back healthy is a huge bonus for us. I think our receivers compliment each other well. You have Justin who is a big, physical guy at the X, you have a speedy guy in Santana at the Z, and you have Wayne who can come in and work the middle with his quickness.

Q)What do you think of the new wrinkles in the offense this year with the incorporation of more of the hurry-up offense?

Pennington: It will be an advantage for us to play at a higher tempo, playing faster than the opponents expect us to. Plus we will have multiplicity, doing a lot of different things. We are concentrating on not allowing defenses to concentrate just one or two concepts, but doing a lot of things well.

Q)What about the red zone, what are you doing to improve the offense in that area?

Pennington: We want to make sure we are not just kicking field goals, but we are scoring touchdowns. I think our our goal in the red zone is when we get in there four times, we expect to have three touchdowns and a field goal. Anytime you can score more than 20 points a game in this league, you give yourself a great advantage in winning games.

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