Writers Cramp
By Justin Paley
Jets Staff Writer
December 20th, 2004
A day after Jets QB Chad Pennington snubbed the media following the Jets 37-14 win over Seattle, he explained his actions and how it was blown out of proportion.

A day after Jets QB Chad Pennington snubbed the media following the Jets 37-14 win over Seattle, he explained his actions and how it was blown out of proportion.

When the Jets lost to the Steelers last week, Pennington was scrutinized. The QB struggled and threw three interceptions against the AFC’s best team. Afterwards, leading up to the Seattle game, many reporters questioned his arm strength and his ability to win big games. Pennington, who admitted last week his shoulder was still store, responded by completing 18-of-23 passes for 253 yards and three touchdowns in their victory over Seattle. Following the game Pennington gave a one minute statement and refused to answer question from the media.

Today before a packed media room at Weeb Ewbank Hall, Pennington explained his actions.

“Life is all about inconvenience, and as athletes we face inconvenience a lot of time, especially when we lose,” Pennington said. “So I thought: How appropriate to have a big win and create a little inconvenience for you reporters. That’s what I did. And it was out of fun, it was out of jest; it wasn’t out of malice or being mad or anything like that, but obviously it created a lot of commotion. So now you know how we feel as athletes sometimes when things don’t go necessarily the way you want them to go. A lot of curve ball questions get thrown at you sometimes. So I just thought I’d throw a curve ball right at you and see how’d you respond as the media. And I just had fun with it. That was my main reason for doing it, and that’s why I did it. Secondly, the reason why I did it, you know, last week was a long week for me. I just didn’t want to answer any questions. I didn’t feel like I was in the right frame of mind to answer questions at the time. The 10-minute cooling-off period the NFL gives you before you guys come in, I needed more than 10 minutes.”

Pennington went on to say that his performance was not about proving people wrong.

“It’s about being able to bounce back from a poor performance,” Pennington said. “It’s about being able to respond.”

Pennington also mentioned that he is frustrated that despite a great year for the team, the media focus seems to be on the negatives rather than the positives. He jabbed the NY writers on this subject today.

"You're the voice for the fans," said Pennington. "And when we're having a great season, then to me it's part of your duty as a beat reporter to portray that, not to portray that we're 3-4 or 4-9.

Jets head coach Herman Edwards has full confidence in Pennington.

“I trust every week he’ll play good for us,” Edwards said. “I have no doubt in the quarterback”

The Jets dominated Seattle yesterday, racking up a season-high 482 yards of offense and the defense forced three turnovers while shutting out an opponent in the second half for the seventh time this year. Edwards was pleased with the performance.

“We played a complete game,” Edwards said. “It was one of our best games of the year. We functioned on all cylinders and you like to see that, especially at the end of the year.”

The Jets are 10-4 and with a win in either of their two remaining games, they can clinch a playoff spot. They currently have a two game lead for the fifth Wild Card spot over Baltimore, Jacksonville, Buffalo, and Denver, who are all 8-6.

Edwards said one of his goals has always been to get to 10 wins as fast as possible.

“That’s always been my deal since I was a player in this league,” Edwards said. “When you get to 10, you separate yourself from other teams. You strive to get there as fast as you can. It’s always been a race to 10. Quicker you can get to 10 more pressure you put on everyone else.”

This week, the Jets host their final home game as they take on the rival New England Patriots. The Patriots, who play at Miami tonight, are 12-1. The Jets will be out for revenge after falling short, 13-7, in New England on October 24.

Edwards talked about what a win would do.

“It gives you confidence if you beat one of the best teams in football,” Edwards said.

Edwards knows it won’t be easy.

“It’s something we haven’t done” Edwards said. “It’s something we have aspirations to do. It’s going to be a challenge and we understand that.”

Pennington talked about his approach to the game on Sunday.

“The way I look at it, the game to clinch the playoff berth,” Pennington said. “We win this game, we go to the playoffs, we don’t need anybody’s help. And that’s kind of how I’m focusing on it. So I look at it as this is a chance to get our 11th win and secure our playoff berth without anyone’s help. And we control that, and that’s in our own destiny.”

MISCELANEOUS TIDBITS: Yesterday was a relatively clean game as there were only two penalties on each team. The Jets have the second least penalties in the NFL with 80. A week after getting penalized 12 times against Pittsburgh, Edwards talked about the reason the Jets drew only two fouls against Seattle. “We got smarter as a football team, “Edwards said. “We did good job not getting penalized in that game. It always helps you.”

-LB Eric Barton was a force on defense yesterday, leading the team with 11 tackles. He also had a sack, interception and fumble recovery. “That’s a player’s game,” Edwards said. “That’s everything you could ask a linebacker to do. He had a very productive game to say the least.”

At halftime of Sunday’s game against the Patriots, the Jets will retire former Jet defensive lineman Joe Klecko’s #73. Today, Edwards talked about his memories of playing against Klecko. “Tough, physical guy,” the HC said. “He was a very good football player. An overachiever. Always like guy’s like that. He never left anything on table when he played.” -Here are the four scenarios in which the Jets can clinch a playoff berth: 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

INJURY REPORT: DE John Abraham remains out with a knee injury. “He’s just trying to deal,” Edwards said. “He’s coming back slowly but surely and getting better.” Edwards said Bryan Thomas has done a nice job his place. “He’s playing well,” Edwards said. “He understands his opportunities. He’s playing well for us.” Edwards also said that LB Victor Hobson (ankle) is progressing and hopes Hobson can return this week. Besides those two injuries, the Jets are healthy heading into the stretch.

-DE John Abraham (knee): Out
-LB Victor Hobson (ankle): Probable

The Jets host their final home game of the season next week as the New England Patriots come to the Meadowlands. Check back to Jets often throughout the week for all the latest information leading up to the Jets/Patriots clash.