TRADING E-MAIL WITH ...
Jets quarterback Chad Pennington
SI: As a country boy, what's been your favorite Manhattan
Pennington: Going to see The Lion King on Broadway.
SI: Your first thought when you heard Paul Tagliabue say that the
Jets had drafted you?
December 2, 2002
Pennington: Get ready for the unexpected.
SI: How can a major-college player find time to be a Rhodes
Pennington: It's all about balance in your life. I made sure that
no matter what I did, my priorities were right, and I did the
best I could at everything. I didn't want to be good at just one
SI: You see your name ahead of Favre, Bledsoe and Manning in the
passer ratings. Do you think, I am not worthy?
Pennington: I think about what a great job my teammates have
SI: The secret to your success?
Pennington: Trusting my teammates and making myself accountable.
SI: Favorite off-day activity?
Pennington: I come to the complex to watch film, lift and get my
cardio in. It's all about getting ready for the next opponent.
SI: If you weren't an NFL quarterback, what would you be doing?
Pennington: Broadcasting a football game for a network somewhere
SI: You can have dinner with one person. Who would it be? Where
would you eat?
Pennington: My father. We'd talk about where we have been and
where we are going. We'd eat at a Cracker Barrel.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK
Ricky Williams versus the elements
We'll find out this month if Williams is the back the Dolphins
think they traded for last March--a four-wheel-drive vehicle
built for the winter. Miami plays at Buffalo to open December and
at New England to close the season. In a game in which the
Dolphins held the ball for almost 36 minutes, Williams warmed up
on Sunday with a 143-yard rushing day against the Chargers, who
had the league's third-best run defense.
The Colts' Marvin Harrison is not just on his way to breaking the
NFL record for receptions in a season (123, by former Lions
wideout Herman Moore in 1995), he's on pace to smash it. Here are
the top reception totals through 11 games of an NFL season.
CATCHES PLAYER, TEAM YEAR THROUGH 11 GAMES SEASON TOTAL
1. Marvin Harrison, Colts 2002 100 145 (projected)
2. Cris Carter, Vikings 1994 88 122
3. Cris Carter, Vikings 1995 84 122
4. Johnny Morris, Bears 1964 83 93*
5. Keyshawn Johnson, Bucs 2001 83 106
My Two Cents
1. Look for the league and the players' union to barter early in
the off-season over reducing the suspension for banned
stimulants--now four games for a first violation. My gut feeling
is that the NFL will agree to reduce the unpaid suspension to two
games in 2003.
2. The Vikings' Randy Moss, who took himself out of a 24--17 loss
to New England late in the fourth quarter and later made no
effort to come off the line of scrimmage on the last desperation
pass of the day, said he was fatigued from running the no-huddle
offense. That's garbage. If you were conditioned, Mr. Moss, you'd
be in the game when it really counts--the way a star is supposed
to be. --P.K.