Pennington Conference Call

Transcript of Chad Pennington's conference call with Jets beat reporters Friday afternoon:    

On his feelings when the deal for QB Brett Favre was made…

I found out about 11:30 Wednesday night. Coach Mangini and I had a good conversation — not a lot of football was discussed. It was more about life and how to approach it and my thoughts on this great game of football.

With all this speculation up until this point, I always knew this could be a possibility. Emotionally, I don't think I was totally prepared, but at least mentally I was prepared. I knew I could handle the situation no matter what it would be.

On how much he draws on his philosophy of the NFL being a business…

I think you have to. You can never take business personal. If you take business personal, you're going to get your feelings hurt a lot. With that being said, as human beings, we still have emotions. We're emotional beings and that plays a major role in how we act, think and react. There have been a lot of emotions running through my mind and through my head the last 48 hours. That's to be expected.

Right now, I'm just focused on the next opportunity. I can either look at this as an obstacle or I can look at this as an opportunity to continue to play this great game and to be involved with an organization that is trying to win championships. It's a difficult time, but at the same time it's exciting as well.

On his career as a Jets quarterback…

I've enjoyed my time in New York. I think my family has enjoyed our time in New York. We've enjoyed Long Island, Jets fans and playing for the New York Jets. It's been a great opportunity and a blessing to have.

Part of being a professional is understanding that you're going to receive praise, you're going to receive criticism, and being a quarterback, you take all the blame when you lose and you take all the credit when you win. That's part of it. I've enjoyed it. I learned a lot. I've become a better professional and a better man because of my experience and time in New York. I don't regret or feel ashamed about anything that has happened to me within my time in New York.

Over the last eight years, I feel very comfortable with how I've acted and reacted as a professional and how I've tried to treat people and how I've tried to play this game. I play it with a lot of heart, a lot of passion, injured, non-injured, if I'm available, I'm going to play. I don't regret any decision that I've made over the last eight years.

On if he has any hard feelings due to fan and reporter criticism...

I don't have hard feelings. The great thing about being a fan is you can have an opinion and you can express your opinion. I'm glad we live in a country where we're allowed to express our opinion and say what we feel is on our mind. A lot of people don't have that freedom and don't have that opportunity. That's part of being a fan, expressing your opinion.

Just as many negative opinions that I may have received from fans, I've received double or triple the positive. I've talked to numerous fans who have enjoyed me being a Jet and I've enjoyed them being fans.

I don't have any regrets. I don't have hard feelings towards anyone. It's a game. Sometimes we forget that, but it's a game. It's a game a lot of us played as kids and enjoyed so much that sometimes the business side of the game ruins that. I've always tried to keep that first and foremost as far as understanding that it is a game. It's something that's meant to be enjoyed. It's something that is an opportunity that not a lot of people have.

On if his release is unfair after he devoted himself to winning the starting job…

That is certainly the most difficult part. The most difficult part is thinking that you're preparing and getting ready for a quarterback competition and the huge challenge ahead and you are doing everything in your power to be successful within that situation and I feel really good about how I played during camp. I think people saw that I have become a better quarterback. They have seen the changes that I have made in myself physically, mentally and that I was on my way to doing some good things. Our organization had different plans.

On wishing his release could have happened sooner...

Absolutely. But that is not the nature of this business and sometimes you just have to be able to respond to adversity whenever it strikes and be ready at any time. That is the most difficult part as a professional and as a person dealing with the suddenness and the sudden change of when things could have been different if it happened earlier.

On if he thinks the organization was infatuated with a big name…

I don't know how the organization feels as far as that is concerned. I think that the organization didn't feel like I was the quarterback that could lead them where they wanted to go. I think that is extremely clear or the decision would not have been made.

Because of the decision being made I think that it's clear that I wasn't the quarterback to lead them where the organization wants to go and that is fine. That is part of being in business. Each business, each organization has an opinion and they have to make a decision. That's why you can't take that personal and that's why there are other opportunities around. I am fine with that.

On the most difficult moments in the last day...

I think the most difficult part of the last 24 hours is just coming to the realization that you're no longer wanted by your organization. You spend eight years with an organization, and in the blink of an eye you're no longer wanted there. That's just the crude part of the business that's sometimes hard to accept emotionally.

Physically and mentally, I feel good about the situation. I actually have an inner peace about it. Even when I was told at 11:30 p.m., it wasn't an emotional time for me at that point. I had a peace about it, an inner peace. I felt good about how I was playing and how I was conducting myself.

I have no control over someone else's outside decision or opinion. The most difficult part, growing up as an athlete, is you yearn to have the approval of your coach and of your team. Once that happens, when you're a professional, because of the business side of things, that is sometimes hard to take. That is the most difficult part.

On whether he is encouraged about opportunities from other teams…

I'm extremely encouraged about it. It makes me feel good that teams are interested because that solidifies the fact that I am a good quarterback and I know how to play this game and start and help the team win. I'm excited about that part of it and, right now, this is the first time I've ever been in a situation like this. I'm trying to look at all the different options, weigh those things out, discuss them with my family, discuss them with people that I know care about me and support me, then go ahead and make a decision.

Once that decision is made, it's full steam ahead on whatever that decision is. You know how I am. It's full steam ahead and I'll be on to a new challenge and a new goal.

On if he wants to stay in the division so that he can face the Jets twice…

I've had people ask me that, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I have no feelings like that whatsoever. If something happens with the Miami Dolphins, it would be because I feel good about the situation and good about the opportunity. It won't have anything to do with the New York Jets or me trying to prove a point.

There are 31 other teams besides the New York Jets. It'd be different if a team played the New York Jets every week, but you don't. The most you're going to play, if you're a divisional team, is twice a year. If you're not in the division or in the conference, you may never play them in a year. It's not about that. It's about finding the best opportunity for me, especially at quarterback, to have a chance to go and help a team win.

On if he has spoken with Bill Parcells or Miami offensive coordinator Dan Henning…

I haven't spoken with Coach Henning at all. My agent has been contacting and speaking with other teams. I certainly don't want to discuss any of that to compromise my position and the things that are going on, as far as myself as well as teams that are interested. I'm glad to have another opportunity and I'm excited about that. I look forward to it.

On if he has any prerequisites when choosing a team…

I think my prerequisites would be to go to an organization that I feel is stable and is on the right track to doing good things, winning football and that has good people. I think that's what it's all about. Its not about the game itself, it's about the men in the game and the people in the game, and how you treat them and lead them and build relationships with them.

That's what wins football games. It's that chemistry. It's that human element that makes our game so great. It's not just about simply Xs and Os, stats and things like that, although we like to talk about those things. It's about that human side of the game that makes it so intriguing and allows so many exciting things to happen within the game.

On if he is backing down from wanting to start…

No, not at all. It was a totally different situation. I was in a situation where I was competing for the starting job. Then, if you're referring to last year after the 2007 season, absolutely. If I wasn't with the Jets, I was looking for a starting role somewhere. I think we all are as competitors.

What you have to look at, also as a professional, is, "What organization gives me the best opportunity to be a professional and to succeed?" I think that's extremely important. One opportunity presents itself one way and another opportunity presents itself another way. That's always my goal. No matter where I end up, my goal will be to start and lead a team.

At the same time, I'm not going to just jump at the first option or jump at the most lucrative. It's going to be a full, inclusive decision that takes into account everything involved.

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