A conversation with Chad Pennington

Q)You've been listed for three months with a calf injury. How are you able to overcome that when you are scrambling like you did against the Vikings?

Pennington: I feel pretty good. I don't see myself as a scrambler, but if I have to get a few yards here or there, whatever I need to do, I'm willing to do.

Q)So the calf isn't holding you back at all?

Pennington: I'm feeling good.

Q)Your thoughts on the win?

Pennington: It's such a team game. This win started on Wednesday, with a really good day of practice, and then we practiced better and better throughout the week. We are really honed on what we needed to do to get a win.

Q)What was the game plan?

Pennington: When a team only gives up 54 yards a game on the ground, that is pretty impressive. You just don't have much success running the football. If you want to give yourself a chance to win, you have to be very efficient in the passing game, and try to protect the football, and don't have turnovers. For the most part, we were able to do that.

Q)What about yourself, and bouncing back from the Buffalo game?

Pennington: It's part of being a professional, being able to take a tough game, and learn from it, and by the end of the week, being able to put it aside, and focus on the next opportunity and next challenge.

I just tried to learn from last week's game.

Q)The game didn't start out to great . . .

Pennington: We talked in the locker room that there was going to some adversity in this game. When it happened, we needed to look at each other and smile and stare at it right in the face. It just so happened, it took place on the first series of the game, the second play. And guys just smiled at it. We went to the sideline, looked at the problem we had, fixed the problem, and from that point on, everything worked out.

Q)What happened on that play?

Pennington: There linebackers do a great job of penetrating the gaps on blitzes. Henderson did a great job of penetrating, and beating the back. He got to me before the back could pick him up. We had to do some things on the offensive line to take care of that.

Q)You continue to get a lot of different receivers involved . . .

Pennington: With all the weapons that we have, you can't just hone on on Laveranues. You can't just concentrate on him because you have Jerricho, Brad. Everyone is being used in the passing game, and it's too our advantage.

Q)How much of a statement was this game?

Pennington: It was a big game as far as our mentality and attitude. After suffering a setback like we did last week. Things weren't rosy anymore. Things that are being said about you as individuals and a team, this was a big game for us, to see how we would respond. I think our response shows the character that we have.

Q)Did this game plan excite you - playing a spread passing game . . .

Pennington: Usually whatever the game plan is, it doesn't turn out just like that. You go into a game and think you are going to have to throw it 50 times, but we only threw it 39.

We had some good runs that helped us out. We had a touchdown run, which doesn't happen against them. It worked out.

Q)What was Brian Schottenheimer's mindset entering the game?

Pennington: I give Brian a lot of credit for putting trust in me as a quarterback, especially after last week. He said, "Hey listen, the ball is going to be in your hands, and I trust you with the football - take care of the football, do what you need to do, and keep the chains moving."

It is great to have an offensive coordinator who builds a game plan around you regardless of what happened the week before.

Q)This was your 14th start this year, how significant is that?

Pennington: That is what it's all about in this league, being available for you team, and being blessed enough to stay healthy. I'm very fortunate to be healthy after two surgeries and to feel like I do now, I'm just ecstatic.

Q)What are your thoughts on Jacksonville losing, and the playoff picture?

Pennington: It shows you how crazy this league is. What it means, is every game counts, no matter who the opponent is, no matter what the opponents record is.


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