Leftwich: Pennington Comeback Not a Surprise

bl104.jpg


We all know Byron Leftwich assumed quarterback controls at Marshall after Chad Pennington was selected by the New York Jets with the 18th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft.  On Wednesday, Leftwich talked about the college days including a memorable first meal on campus.

"He bought me McDonald's. We went through the drive through and he bought me the value meal," Leftwich said of Pennington.  "It had to have been the quarter-pounder value meal because it was the only thing that I would eat."

Read Below for the Full Leftwich Transcript

On being mentored by NYJ QB Chad Pennington…

I came into a situation where the best quarterback in college football was Chad Pennington. He helped me and showed me how he got there. As a guy coming in as a freshman and new to school, and then here's a guy who is the number one quarterback in the country, who is not selfish, who wanted to make me a better football player from day one. I respect that from the beginning. He showed me how to study, how to prepare, and he showed me the do's and the dont's of the quarterback position.

On Pennington buying Leftwich his first meal at Marshall…

He bought me McDonald's. We went through the drive through and he bought me the value meal. It had to have been the quarter-pounder value meal because it was the only thing that I would eat.

On Leftwich throwing a football through the goal posts from the 50-yard line in front of Pennington…

That was something. I remember being so worried when I got there, there were a lot of quarterbacks there, I was worried about how everyone else is. He saw me throw the football and he said "You ain't going to have no problem." He was like, "Don't worry. You won't have a problem." He always used to tell me, "You will break every record that I ever made." He always told me that from the beginning. When a guy believes in you, and we aren't talking about just any other quarterback, they were calling him the best quarterback in college football, and for him to help me that way, it shows what type of guy he is.

On Pennington being injured during the JAX game last season…

I believe it did (register with me). When I didn't see him come back in the game; I know Chad, I have seen him take some hits and shots and I have seen him get up from it. Actually, I have seen the play and I saw the way he was holding that arm, and I was like 'get up, get up.' You don't ever want to see anyone get hurt, especially a good friend of yours. It was tough to see him go down in that situation. Then after the game I saw him, and his eyes told me everything. I have known him long enough to understand. I knew he was really hurt and I knew he messed that shoulder up for the year. You feel for a guy like that because he works his tail off so hard and you always want to see good things happen to guys like that.

On where he saw Pennington after the game…

I saw him in the tunnel after the game, right outside our locker room. He stopped for a second. He didn't know what was going on, but I knew from his facial expressions and from his eyes that it wasn't good.

On the Jets defense…

Those guys run a lot of different things. The coaches have the utmost confidence in those guys because they are constantly making plays. Every time you look up, those guys are making a big play and they are always trying to force the quarterback into a bad situation, or force the quarterback into making a mistake. I have got to make sure I am on top of my game, and that is how I prepare all week. They have a good defense. They have guys running around an making plays. When you watch those guys you understand that you have to be prepared.

On if Leftwich is surprised that Pennington has comeback so well…

It does not surprise me. Nothing he does surprises me. That shouldn't surprise anyone. Anybody who knows how hard Chad works and what he will do to be successful. Once you know that and you know that about a person; that's not surprising. The only people who are shocked are the people who don't know him on a personal level; the people who have not had a chance to meet him and get to know him on a personal level. Anyone who knows him knew he was going to be having this type of season.

On the Jets' game last week versus Indianapolis and if he was surprised with anything that happened…

You see two good football teams playing each other, and in this league, nothing shocks me. I know they had the opportunity to win, and that shows you what a great football team they are because that was us the week before. We had a great opportunity to beat those guys and we fell short. In the NFL, if you don't play well for four quarters, any play can hurt you.

On getting focused after two straight losses…

That is so easy when you lose. That is the way part when you lose, to make sure you are focused and to make sure you do all the little things. We have lost to two football teams. We know that we let some things slip away from us, sometimes that happens, but it makes you go back to doing the basics. If you understand that it is the little things that make the big things happen, then you make sure you do all you can to make sure you are prepared for Sunday.

On if one loss is ever worse than the other…

No, they all hurt. They all feel the same. No matter who we lose against, they are all bad. Anytime you lose it is not a good feeling. None are worse than the others because they all have the same bad feeling. What you do to get rid of that bad feeling is try to prepare yourself and try to make sure that you can win the next one.

On starting the season with a tough schedule…

We were in the same situation last year. Our first six games were against "Playoff" teams. This year it is the same thing. I have never played in an easy game in this league. The day some one is playing an easy game, they need to let me know so that we can play that team. I have never played an easy football team in this league. All of them are going to be tough no matter who is on the schedule, and that is the schedule that we got.

On having an easy one next week with the bye-week…

Yeah, that is the best one. We always beat them.

Wednesday Injury ReportJets
Doubtful: *RB Cedric Houston (knee) *Questionable: CB David Barrett (hip), WR Laveranues Coles (calf), RW Tim Dwight (thigh), OL Pete Kendall (thigh) & OL Trey Teague (ankle)
Probable: *DL Dave Ball (hand), *RB Kevan Barlow (calf), *LB Matt Chatham (foot), *OL Anthony Clement (shin), *DL Bobby Hamilton (knee), *FB James Hodgins (knee), *OL Adrian Jones (thigh), *CB Justin Miller (hip), *QB Chad Pennington (calf), *S Kerry Rhodes (thigh), WR Brad Smith (thigh), *S Eric Smith (knee), & *DL Kimo von Oelhoffen (knee)

Jaguars
Doubtful:WR Matt Jones (hamstring), DT Marcus Stroud (ankle), DE Marcellus Wiley (groin) & RB Derrick Wimbush (knee)
**Probable: *S Donovin Darius (knee), LB Nick Greisen (ankle), CB Rashean Mathis (knee), G Chris Naeole (knee)
* Denotes players who participated in practice

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising