5 Questions with Chad Pennington

Chad Pennington is the #1 ranked QB in the AFC, and leads the entire league with a 71 percent completion percentage. He spoke to the New York media about his success and the team's improvements as a whole.

Q: How does it feel to be the highest-rated passer in the AFC?


Pennington: I don't even think about it.  I am so focused on what we have to do the next six games and our game with BUF that it is not even a factor or something that crosses my mind.


Q: How confident do you get with each successful start?


Pennington: With every start I get more confident in my teammates.  They are making more and more plays across the board.  The offensive line, everyone, just keeps getting better and better, and for me to see that as a quarterback, your confidence grows.  I know that I am only one little part of this.  It is up to me to do my part, but also make sure that the other ten guys in the huddle are being accountable, and that I am doing what is necessary to keep giving them confidence and encouragement. 


Q: Are you surprising yourself with your great completion percentage?


Pennington: Not really.  Completion percentage is a mindset.  I don't think it is something where you are concentrating on making great throws, or being accurate on the field.  It is a mindset of taking what the defense gives you.  If you look at our games, I think we are doing a good job of taking what the defense gives us—using our running backs in the passing game, not necessarily trying to force the ball downfield, only taking the shots downfield when we have them.  And that is the beauty of this offense.  If you use all facets of the offense it can be very dangerous. 


Q: How comfortable have you become with your receivers?


Pennington: I have said along that the reason I feel confident is because of those guys.  I feel like they can make plays for me, and make up for the errors I may have in my throws or reads sometimes.  And I believe in that ability that they have.  It gives me more confidence as a thrower—just get it in the vicinity.  Get it somewhere where they can have a chance to make a play, and more times than not they make the play.


Q: Can you talk about the pass distribution and how it has evolved?


Pennington: There are two things:  first, with this offense and with how we are doing business around here, I think everyone is going to get the chance to be involved.  Some games it may be one WR having more catches than another WR and the next game it may be flipped.  Secondly, Wayne and I are working on getting a better feel for each other.  As an inside receiver, the QB has to have a great feel with the receiver because there is a lot more traffic sometimes to have to maneuver around and be able to make plays.  It is a process that I am going through, trying to establish that feel with Wayne.  Similar to what Vinny (Testaverde) has with him—they have something great going.  It is just going to take time, and it is something that is not going to happen overnight. 


Q: Can you talk about the improvement of the OL?


Pennington: First of all this is the first year where we have had some new faces in the OL, young players are playing due to injuries and transactions.  Secondly, what they have done is prepare really well each week.  The coaches have done a great job with them. They are starting to work really well as a unit, and they are really physical.  These guys are really taking the punch to the defense and establishing a tempo.  That is a testament to them, and their willpower to go out and set the tempo and let other guys feed off of them. 

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