Quarterback Chad Pennington (Marshall) was drafted in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the Jets.
James Chadwick Pennington was born in Knoxville, Tennessee on June 26, 1976 (31 years old) to parents Denise and James. Pennington attended Marshall University to play football, but also excelled in the classroom. Pennington's 3.75 GPA as a Broadcast Journalism major qualified him as a Rhodes Scholar finalist.
Pennington was drafted 18th overall in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft to the New York Jets. He spent his first two seasons as a backup to Vinny Testaverde before taking over the team in 2002-current.
Pennington is 6'3" 225lbs
As a Jet
|2000||New York Jets||1||5||2||40||67||13.4||62||1||0||1||1||127.1|
|2001||New York Jets||2||20||10||50||92||4.60||24||1||0||1||0||79.6|
|2002||New York Jets||15||399||275||68.9||3120||7.82||47||22||6||40||3||104.2|
|2003||New York Jets||10||297||189||63.6||2139||7.20||65||13||12||26||6||82.9|
|2004||New York Jets||13||370||242||65.4||2673||7.22||48||16||9||33||6||91.0|
|2005||New York Jets||3||83||49||59.0||530||6.39||37||2||3||7||0||70.9|
|2006||New York Jets||16||485||313||64.5||3352||6.91||71||17||16||38||9||82.6|
|2007*||New York Jets||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Career||New York Jets||60||1659||1080||65.1||11973||7.22||71||72||46||146||25||89.3|
Statistics from the NFL
Source - NFL.com
Pennington was the 3rd string QB his rookie year, behind starter Vinny Testaverde and backup Ray Lucas.
Still playing the backup role behind Vinny Testaverde, Pennington finally had a chance to play against the St. Louis Rams in week 7 and took advantage of it. Coming in for Testaverde in a JETS loss Pennington completed 9 of 14 passes for 1TD and a passer rating of 99.7. Pennington also rushed for 11 yards on one attempt. This was the only significant time he saw in the 01-02 season.
After making only three appearances during his first two seasons, Pennington emerged as the Jets' starting quarterback after filling in for Vinny Testaverde during the fifth game of the 2002 season. Pennington helped reverse the Jets' fortunes by leading the 1-4 team to an eventual 9-7 record and an AFC East division championship. Despite playing less than a full season, Pennington managed to throw for 3,120 yards with 22 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. His 104.2 quarterback rating during the 2002 season is a team record. Pennington led the Jets to a first round 41-0 blowout of the Indianapolis Colts in that season's playoffs. While this was his first season as a starter, it remains Pennington's best season of his career.
After a breakthrough performance a season earlier, Pennington and the Jets were given lofty expectations entering the 2003 pre-season. However, in the fourth pre-season game against the New York Giants, Pennington endured a fracture-dislocation on his non-throwing hand after suffering a hit from linebacker Brandon Short. The injury forced him to miss the first six games of the season. Without Pennington the Jets began the season 1-4. Despite his return, the Jets were only able to win five more games to finish 6-10.
During the 2004 NFL season, Pennington suffered what most thought to be a career ending injury. The injury to his right shoulder rotator cuff occurred during the Jets week 9 game vs the Buffalo Bills when Pennington scrambled out of the pocket and dove for a 1st down. He was sandwiched by Bills linebacker London Fletcher and cornerback Nate Clements. The sandwich style hit awkwardly injured his right arm.
The Jets called it a "strained right rotator cuff" and Pennington would miss the next 3 games (led by Quincy Carter, 2-1 record). He returned as the Jets starting QB in a home game vs the Houston Texans in week 13 and he led the team to victory with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception.
However, as the rest of the 2004 season played out, Pennington had his ups and downs. It was widely speculated that his "strained right shoulder" injury was far more serious than what was being advertised. And after the Jets lost to the Steelers in week 14 by a score of 17-6, (Pennington threw 3 INT's & 0 touchdowns, 0 redzone appearances) the media started to question his arm strength, the actual severity of his shoulder injury and his ability to win the big game.
The following game in Week 14 was the Jets home game vs the Seattle Seahawks. In this game, Pennington had one of his best statistical games of the season and seemingly he put to rest any questions of his injury status and arm strength. However after the game was over (Jets won 37-14), Pennington completely shunned the NY media after the game in his press conference. A day later on Monday, Pennington gave the media a stern lecture over the privileges of covering an NFL team. Chad explained to the media in the Monday press conference that it is an “honor and priviledge” to cover an NFL team.
This led to an ongoing verbal battle between Pennington and the NY/NJ media, producing headlines in the papers such as “Just Whine Baby” along with numerous beat writers chiming in and ripping Chad Pennington.
The following week, the Jets hosted the Patriots and were beaten by a score of 23-7. Pennington had a poor game with 3 turnovers. Needless to say, Pennington didn’t lecture the media the next day. In fact, he received more brutal shots from the media after again failing to beat a top defense. Steve Serby’s (NY Post) headline article “Imperfect 10 Equals Zero” heavily criticized Chad’s lackluster performance. Adrian Wojnarowski (NorthJersey.com) wrote an article entitled “Chad Has a Long Way to Go”, in which Adrian ripped into Chad saying, “Pennington misjudged his standing, his stature, and most of all, his talent to back up his words.” Also, Ian O’Connor (The Journal News) wrote an article called “Game big, QB Small”, in which O’Connor much like Serby and Adrian, took shots at the Jets starting QB, saying “Chad Pennington came up smaller than his chin strap when asked to beat the defending champs, and thus came across as a bumpkin from Jerkwater, Tennessee, a naive little boy from the hills who took on the naked city and came out smelling like a hopeless rube." Ouch!
After all the media shots, the Jets still had to play a game the next week (the final game of the season, week 17 vs. the St. Louis Rams). This game, a road game for the Jets, would be built up as a must win game by the head coach, players and media. The Jets went into the game with a 10-5 record, and if they beat the Rams they were automatically in the playoffs, but if the Jets would lose to the Rams and the Bills would beat the Steelers, the Jets would be not be able to make the playoffs, even with a 10-6 record. Chad Pennington had 1TD & 0 INT's in the game and a long rush of 16 yards. Pennington went 21-36 completing 59% of his passes & was sacked 6 times.
The Jets lost the game (by only 3 points 29-32) but in typical fashion of the Herman Edwards era, the Jets backed into the playoffs with great luck (this time due to the Steelers 2nd-stringers defeating the Bills).
The next game the Jets would play was in the wild card round of the playoffs. The Jets would go toe-to-toe against a confident San Diego squad led by Drew Brees (a team the Jets defeated earlier in the season in week 2). The game was full of many ups and downs, and a solid game by Pennington (2tds, 0ints and 279 passing yards), but the game would go into overtime after linebacker Eric Barton elbowed Drew Brees in the head on a failed 4th down pass that would have otherwise ended the game. And after Chargers rookie kicker Nate Kaeding missed a game winning field goal in overtime, the Jets took the ball and marched 60 yards, capped by a LaMont Jordan run that got them into easy field goal range. Doug Brien would win the game on a 28 yard field goal in overtime.
After defeating the Chargers, the Jets would go play the Steelers in the division round. The Jets in this game had a defensive touchdown (Reggie Tongue, interception) and a special teams touchdown (Santana Moss, punt return), but in typical Jets fashion they still found a way to lose the game, 20-17 in OT. The offense led by Pennington only put up 3 points in 5 quarters of football. Once again, Pennington & the Jets failed to beat a top defense and his lack of arm strength and injury issues became a question mark again. To throw more salt to the wound of Jets fans, Chad was shown on the TV laughing it up with Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger on the field right after the game had ended. It is unknown what the funny joke was, but its hard to imagine anything being funny after suffering such a brutal playoff loss.
The 2004 Jets season ended in an ugly manner, and to nobody's surprise Pennington would go under the knife a few weeks later to have his 1st of 2nd rotator cuff surgeries (it was also later revealed Chad was to have his surgery done the Tuesday after Jets lost to the Steelers, but Chad & his family went on vacation instead, thus the reason it was done a few weeks later).
Pennington underwent surgery on his right shoulder in Birmingham, Alabama on February 4, 2005. It was later revealed that he had suffered a substantial tear in the right rotator cuff, as well as a large bone spur on that shoulder. A dismal performance against the Kansas City Chiefs in September and a lackluster one against the Miami Dolphins the following week led to speculation that the shoulder had yet to fully heal, but both Pennington and Herman Edwards denied this, citing rather a lack of pre-season practice and Pennington's less-than-full grasp of new offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger's plays. On September 25, 2005 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Pennington once again suffered injury, although he re-entered the game later and almost led the Jets to victory despite not throwing well. However, tests later showed another tear in his rotator cuff. On October 6, 2005, Pennington once again underwent surgery to repair his right shoulder.
The 2006 season was a year of redemption for Chad Pennington, as he came back from his second rotator cuff surgery to lead the Jets to the playoffs and win the Associated Press NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
Entering the 2006 season, Pennington trained with new throwing coaches, and worked significantly on the strength of his torso and throwing mechanics. During training camp, new head coach Eric Mangini told players and the press that the quarterback position was still uncertain, and that all four Jets quarterbacks (Pennington, Patrick Ramsey, Brooks Bollinger, and Kellen Clemens) had a chance to be the starter. Also, the Jets medical staff had continued to limit Pennington's play, placing him on a limited number of throws to ensure the safety of his shoulder.
Pennington won the Jets pre-season quarterback competition, and started the 2006 season in apparent pre-injury form. For the first time in his career, Pennington posted back-to-back 300 yard passing games in the first two weeks of the season. Pennington's Week One performance against Tennessee earned him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. In Week 15 in Minnesota, Pennington passed for a career high 339 yards.
Pennington would go on to reach career highs for the season in completions, passing attempts, and passing yardage with 3,352 yards. Perhaps the most notable career high Pennington reached in 2006 was in games played with 16, marking the first time that he stayed healthy for an entire regular season in his career.
Although his lack of superb arm strength was often criticized, Pennington's abilities fit well into the new offense instituted by offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Using a short passing game and taking advantage of the "yards after catch" ability of wide receivers Laveranues Coles, Jerricho Cotchery, and running back Leon Washington, Pennington led the Jets to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth as a wild card team, a surprising feat for a team that finished 4-12 a year earlier.
The Jets took on the New England Patriots in their lone playoff game. The Jets lost 37-16 with Pennington passing for 300 yards and a touchdown. Pennington's second quarter 77-yard touchdown pass to Jerricho Cotchery stands as the longest pass in Jets postseason history. With the start, Pennington also became the Jets' all-time leader in postseason starts by a quarterback with five.
For his stellar season, Pennington was awarded the Comeback Player of the Year Award, just one year after tearing his rotator cuff. He received 27 of the 50 votes cast, finishing far ahead of the 8.5 votes received by second-place finisher Drew Brees.
The 2007 season was a tumultuous one for Pennington. In the first game of the season, against the New England Patriots, Pennington suffered a high ankle sprain that kept him out of game two. In the third game, against the Miami Dolphins, he led the Jets to a 31-28 victory, throwing two touchdowns and running for a third. After a 17-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 4, he threw three interceptions against the New York Giants in Week 5, giving him 5 interceptions in two games. Two weeks later, he threw a costly interception late in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals. After leading the Jets to a dismal 1-7 start, Mangini decided to bench Pennington for second year quarterback Kellen Clemens. But, during the Week 15 game against the New England Patriots, Clemens left the game after the second play with a rib injury and Pennington returned to the game. Pennington went 25-38 for 184 yards. He he also threw for more yards and fewer interceptions than opposing quarterback Tom Brady, who, not only was on his way to an MVP season, but that day was 14-27 for 140 yards with one interception. Neither quarterback threw a touchdown that day. Pennington would start the next week at Tennessee, where the Jets wound up losing 6-10. Clemens replaced Pennington for the final game of the season against the Chiefs. Pennington finished the '07 season with 10 TD's and 9 INTS with a passer rating of 86.1, and 1,765 yards.
After the Jets
On August 7, 2008, Pennington was released by the Jets, and promptly signed with the little known semi-pro team, the Miami Dolphins. In his first game, ironically against the Jets, he helped the Jets win with a last minute endzone interception. Since then he's done various stuff, but who cares. If we don't mention it, it didn't happen, right?
Post-Rotator Cuff injury
November 7th 2004 - Present Day
29 TDs and 27 Ints since tearing rotator cuff.
15-14 W/L record since tearing rotator cuff.
28tds - 34 turnovers since tearing rotator cuff.
Source - http://sports.yahoo.com/
Record vs winning teams
7-16 Career W/L record vs. winning teams
Winning team = Record of at least 9-7 at seasons end
Source - http://sports.yahoo.com/
Record vs top 10 defenses
2002 Team Record: 9-7 (Pennington was 8-4 as a starter in 02')
Record against top 10 D's: 2-1 (W-Mia, L-Mia, W-Den)
Playoffs / Team Record: 1-1
Playoff Record against top 10 D's: 1-0 (W-Ind)
2003 Team Record: 6-10 (Pennington only started in the last 9 games due to injury and was 4-5 as a starter)
Record against top 10 D's: 2-3 (L-Ind, W-Jax, L-Buf, W-Pit, L-NE)
2004 Team Record: 10-6 (Pennington missed 3 games with an Injury and was 8-5 as a starter)
Record against top 10 D's: 3-5 (2xW-Mia, W-Buf, L-Buf, 2xL-NE, L-Bal, L-Pit)
Playoffs: Team Record 1-1
Playoff Record against top 10 D's: 0-1 (L-Pit)
2005 Team Record: 4-12 (Pennington played games 1-3 before getting injured during game 3)
Record against top 10 D's: 0-1 (L-Jax) (*Pennington left this game early with an arm injury)
2006 Team Record: 10-6
Record against top 10 D's: 5-3 (W-Mia2x, W-NE, L-Jax, L-Chi, L-NE, W-Minn, W-Oak)
Playoffs: Team Record 0-1 (L-NE)
Playoff Record against top 10 D's: 0-1
Career W/L vs Top 10 D's
Regular Season - 12-13
Playoffs - 1-2
Source - http://www.profootballreference.com
Record vs top 10 scoring defenses
Record as a starter: 8-5
Record against top 10 D's: 1-3 (W-Mia. L-Jax, Cle, Oak)
Playoffs: Record 1-1 (both Indy and Oakland were ranked in the top ten)
Record as a starter: 4-6
Record against top 10 D's: 0-4 (L-Phil, Buff, NE, Mia)
Record as a starter: 8-5
Record against top 10 D's: 1-4 (W-Buf. L-NE, Buf, Pitt, NE)
Playoffs: Record 1-1
Record against top 10 D's: 0-1 (L-Pitt)
Record as a starter: 1-2
Record against top 10 D's: 0-1 (L-Jax)
Record as a starter: 10-6
Record against top 10 D's: 4-5 (W-Mia2x, Buff, NE. L-NE, Jax, Chi, NE, Buff)
Playoffs: 0-1 (NE with top 10 scoring defense)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Regular Season: 6-16 W/L record vs. Top 10 scoring defenses
Playoffs: 1-3 W/L record vs. Top 10 scoring defenses
7-19 All-Time record vs Top 10 Scoring Defenses
source - http://www.nfl.com/
Awards and Recognition
2nd most accurate passer all time (QB's with at least 1500 attempts) with a 65.1 completion %.
2006 NFL Comeback Player of the Year
2006 New York Jets Walter Payton Man of the Year award winner. Source - NYJ Website
1998 Motor City Bowl MVP
Charity - 1st and 10 Foundation
"Chad and Robin Pennington created the 1st and 10 Foundation in 2003 with the mission to build stronger communities by funding programs and institutions that seek to improve quality of life throughout West Virginia, Tennessee and the New York Metropolitan area."