Chad Pennington was a huge inspiration to all of us in South Florida last year, which is why I have picked him as my interview subject. In addition, he grew up in the “South” and is close to my age, which would be my lead into the interview.
Here are a few questions I would ask Chad Pennington if I had the chance:
I grew up in NC, your next door neighbor. Growing up in Tennessee in the '70s and '80s, you did not have a local NFL team to root for. What team were you a fan of, and who was your favorite quarterback growing up?
—I would like to open him up with this introduction question, and get him talking about his inspiration as a football player.
What a thrill it must have been to lead a losing team to the playoffs in one short season. You have clearly earned your title as Comeback Player of the Year. You also nearly nabbed the title of MVP. Aside from that esteemed title, what other coveted honor in your future as an NFL quarterback would you find most rewarding?
You are the currently the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, and you put on an impressive show last year. With an unsecured future with the Dolphins, do you feel more motivated as a result to perform at a level that exceeds everyone’s expectations?
—Depending upon his previous answer regarding his own heroes, I could tie in a relevant statement here.
Based on the tougher schedule this year, what physical and mental preparations have you personally made to get ready for this season?
—This question helps to make the interview personal.
As a leader on your team, which game this season would be the most rewarding to win?
If you continue to remain injury free this season and preserve your consistency as an extremely accurate quarterback, do you think it will cost the Dolphins some “nice change” to keep you around?
—I could use this as just a bit of humorous banter, to lead into the next tough question.
Are you interested in continuing your career in Miami as a backup, if that were to be the case, or would you continue your career elsewhere if it suited you?
You’ve worked with some of the best coaches in the NFL. Name one important thing that you learned from a coach that has enhanced your game.
—This helps me warm him up for the next questions about his future.
Your easy-going nature seems to reflect your Southern roots, growing up in Tennessee. The rookie quarterbacks on the Dolphins’ roster will look to you as a teacher. Do you think your parents being teachers naturally aides you in that role?
—Bringing the focus to his natural given talent, while at the same time making a difficult situation easy to talk about.
I’ve seen you do interviews on TV and you are extremely well spoken. Considering your background in journalism and broadcasting in college, is it in your future to become a broadcaster once you’ve retired from the NFL, or would we more likely see you in a coaching position?
—Wrapping up the interview with a question of his future.
Although it may seem premature to talk about his future in broadcasting, I think it would give my interview a different edge exploring the more personal side of Chad Pennington.