Pennington "Pleasantly Surprised"

New York Jets quarterback Chad Pennington hasn't missed a practice and is feeling good about the results early in camp. He talked about various topics on Monday, including the shotgun, his rapport with Laveranues Coles and, of course, his health.

Have you come up short on some passes?

Chad Pennington: I haven't come up short, I threw behind. One (pass) was anticipation and one (pass) I threw behind. I haven't thrown to Laveranues (Coles) in three years. I haven't thrown to Justin (McCareins), Wayne (Chrebet) or Jerricho (Cotchery) or any of those guys since January 16th. I had no spring work. I'm excited and I don't get down about what happens with the throws as long as I'm making the right reads. I'll fix the throws. I was able to complete my first long ball yesterday too, so I'm just taking baby steps and we'll learn from all those things.

Are you going to throw a lot more long balls in this offense than the Jets have the last few years?

Chad Pennington: Coach Heimerdinger talks about managing the game and that's what it's all about. If you have your shots then you'll take them, but we're not just going to loft passes up in the air to woo and awe the crowd. That's not what it's about. We're going to put them in the air when the shot is there, then we have to make the play.

Are you getting comfortable in the shotgun?

Chad Pennington: I've played in the shotgun for five years at Marshall, and it doesn't affect me at all. I think it will benefit us. In this League, I think you have to be very versatile in what you do. You have to be able to make adjustments whether it's a pass rush that's getting to you or whatever; you have to be able to make adjustments. The shotgun allows you to make some of those adjustments. It gives you that split second longer to get rid of the football if you're getting a big-time pass rush.

How are your shoulder progressing?

Chad Pennington: I haven't had to take any steps back. I haven't had to miss any practices or anything that's planned.

I'm pleasantly surprised. I feel really good about it. I think our medical staff is surprised and pleased with my progress and practices have been going the way we planned them.

Did you ever talk to Paul Hackett about using the shotgun?

Chad Pennington: There are a few dinosaurs in the League, as far as coaches that don't want to use shotgun, Paul is one of them, and Jon Gruden is one of them, and you're not going to teach an old dog new tricks. They've been on the West Coast a long time so I didn't worry about trying to get that issue forced. There were more things we had to worry about and concentrate on than a small thing like that. So I tried to make it work with what we were doing.

How are you progressing in re-establishing chemistry with Laveranues Coles?

Chad Pennington: I think it's going good. I have missed both long balls to him, but it's not because of being in the wrong place, it's just been because I haven't worked with him. I told him yesterday, ‘Don't worry about it. This is the second post I've thrown to you in three years.' It's going to take some time and that's why I'm here. I need to experience that failure on the field. That's the only way I'm going to learn where to put the ball down the field.

Are we going to see the ball thrown down field more to the tight ends this year?

Chad Pennington: Both of our tight ends Chris (Baker) and Doug (Jolley) have done a great job. This offense allows them to work down the field. They're not just underneath decoys; they're not just underneath control receivers. They are going to get a chance to not only catch it and run, but catch it downfield. Doug does a great job of that. He can really push the field vertically and it has helped Chris to see Doug run these routes. Now Chris is really catching on, doing a great job of running these routes and making plays too.


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