Monday Whispers - Pennington sounds off

Chad Pennington's relationship with the media isn't great right now.<p>

This after he refused to answer questions after the Seattle game. He read an opening statement and then left. On Monday, he had a press briefing, and for the first 15 minutes it turned into a war of words with a few members of the media.

"Life is all about inconvenience, and as athletes we face inconvenience a lot of the time, especially when we lose," said Pennington. "So I thought: How appropriate to have a big win and create a little inconvenience for you reporters."

Pennington said he had no problem with writers ripping him for having a bad game against Pittsburgh, but he took exception to some of the other negative coverage the he and the team received last week.

"Troy Aikman came to the (Fox) production meeting on Friday and said, 'I've been reading the papers, and it seems like you guys haven't won a game all year'."

Pennington doesn't think it's a big deal that he didn't take questions after following his post-game statement.

"I really covered the game in a minute and 25 and said exactly what I needed to say. I'm kind of experienced at this now, so I know what kind of questions you're going to ask, so I tried to give you a quote, give you some things to write on."

When pressed further on the issue by a reporter, Pennington started to get a little agitated.

"You have the power of the pen I also have the power of the voice. If I don't feel like I'm in the right frame of mind to answer questions or I don't want to answer questions then, you know what, I have that privilege, too, just like you have the privilege of being able to write and report and take the angle that you think most appropriate."

When reporters continued to press him, Pennington continued to fire back at them, not backing down. "I just think it's funny that, you know what, I get thrown a curve ball every day of my life, but when I throw you guys a curve ball, it's like somebody threw a bomb in the media room and everybody gathers around and can't react real well." . . .

The Jets have listed linebacker Victor Hobson as probable for the third straight week. The previous two weeks he didn't play, so his current status doesn't mean he will play this week. He is still bothered by a high ankle sprain.

Mark Brown has done a great job filling in for him, and it might be tough for Hobson to get his job back this year. Remember high ankle sprains take about two months to truly heal, and Hobson suffered this injury about a month ago.

"I feel for Victor," said Jets defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson . . .

Santana Moss has officially been replaced as the Jets punt returner by Justin McCareins. There are two reasons for this move. One is that Moss' hamstring is still bothering him, so they think handling the team's #1 receiver position and the punt returning job is too much. Also, he's running laterally too much . . .

Shaun Ellis dominated Seattle's backup right tackle Pork Chop Womack. Ellis stopped Shaun Alexander for a loss of a yard on the Seahawks second drive. Ellis soundly beat Womack, also on the Seahawks second drive, to force QB Matt Hasselbeck into the arms of a blitzing Erik Coleman for a sack. On the Seahawks' third drive, Ellis stopped Alexander for no gain. Ellis had a quarterback pressure, forcing an incompletion to end the Seahawks first drive of the second half. Ellis recovered a third quarter fumble in the end zone. Ellis beat Womack to sack Hasselbeck forcing a fumble. Steve Hutchinson recovered, and then Robertson forced Hutchinson to fumble, and it was recovered by Eric Barton . . .

Expect to see more of Sam Cowart in the last two games. Not just because his knee is feeling better, but because they don't want to overuse rookie Jonathan Vilma. This is just about the time of year rookies start to hit the wall, and Vilma has logged a motherlode of snaps this year between his work as the Jets starting middle linebacker and on special teams. The Jets coaches want to make sure Vilma's fresh for the playoffs, if they make it. So expect to see more of Cowart in the last two games . . .

Henderson on playing the 12-1 New England Patriots.

"We will be lucky if we come within 25," said Henderson tongue-in-cheek.

One factor that should help the Jets next Sunday against the Patriots is the green and white should be the fresher team for this game. The Patriots are playing a Monday night game on the road against Miami. They will likely get back to Boston about 5 a.m. Tuesday morning. Then on Saturday, after a short work week, they will have to fly to New Jersey. Not helping matters is that the Patriots are a banged up football team with a lengthy injury report. The Jets have just two players on their report – John Abraham (knee-out) and Hobson (ankle-probable).

NY Jets clinch a playoff berth if:

1) NYJ win or tie

2) BUF loss or tie + BAL loss or tie

3) BUF loss or tie + DEN loss or tie + JAC loss or tie

4) BAL loss or tie + DEN loss or tie + JAC loss or tie

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