Former Jet Chad Pennington Believes in Mark Sanchez


July 29, 2008; Hempstead, NY, USA: New York Jets quarterback Brett Ratliff

With the opening workout of training camp just a few hours away, we talk about the quarterback, Mark Sanchez. Actually, former Jets QB Chad Pennington talks about Mark Sanchez. Newsday caught up with Chad at his home in South Florida, and he talked about how the Jets QB situation can only go one way or the other:

“Or else the Jets will lose, Mark will get the blame, and they’ll put Tim in,” the former Jets starter said from his home in South Florida. “One of those two things will happen. It’s either/or, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t think there’s really any other scenario.”

As we have talked about before, Mark Sanchez sought out Chad on two separate occasions after Tony Sparano took over for Brian Schottenheimer as offensive coordinator, to talk about the offense as well as his experience here in New York. During those times, Chad learned that Mark has the desire and work ethic to get it done:

“He made the effort to come to South Florida twice, and that says a lot. I think he probably wanted to reach out to me because of my experience with Tony [Sparano], and also because he knows I’ve been in the exact spot he’s in right now — playing in New York, experiencing some success as well as some failure.”

Chad Pennington had some advice for Mark as the Jets head to Cortland to open up camp:

“Stay out of your own way, stay confident in what you do and what you believe in, and let that confidence show with your teammates.”

Pennington was in a similar situation, although he lost his job quickly. Remember 2008, when he was having a great camp, and then he was out the door in favor of Brett Favre. Chad got the last laugh, leading Miami to the division title, and earning a comeback player of the year award, and second place in the MVP voting.

If Mark handles things well, he will be fine. If not, he won’t. Chad has felt this before, and has seen some interesting things out of the Jets in this situation, as we all have:

“I’ve never seen backup quarterbacks have a press conference,” Pennington said. “As an organization, I would recommend you don’t do that. There will be plenty of time to just let that come naturally. Don’t force it. And a lot also depends on the players. In my opinion, there needs to be no opinions out there. The players and the team truly need to focus on what they have to do to win. If you win and take care of business, that’s all that matters.”

Despite everything the Jets say about Mark being the starter, we know that could change. If he doesn’t play well, we will see Tebow. And Mark could find out how it feels to be Chad Pennington.