Mike Pennel’s Prepared to Keep Climbing – New York Jets News

Mike Pennel’s Prepared to Keep Climbing – New York Jets News

There’s not a whole lot in Mike Pennel‘s short NFL résumé that suggests he could be on the verge of a career breakout. He was an undrafted free agent by Green Bay in 2014, had five starts in three Packers seasons, was hit with a pair of NFL suspensions in 2016, and was released by the Pack in March.

But the Jets were interested enough to acquire the burly nose tackle on waivers, and there was some buzz among Green & White faithful at his arrival.

Then last week head coach Todd Bowles added his name to the list of offseason admirers.

“Mike’s a big man,” Bowles said of the 6’4″, 332-pounder. “He’s had a good spring, a very good spring. And he’s into it. If it continues in pads, he’ll have a future here.”

The personable Pennel hears the compliments from outside and in, and he smiles. But he lets them roll off his broad back.

“To be honest, I kind of shut myself off from outside influences my second year into the league,” he said. “My mom reads a lot of the stories and comments, she always sends me stuff, and I tell her, don’t send me that. It doesn’t matter to me. I just want to stay even keel.”

The good ship Pennel has brought him further east from his Colorado home and his Wisconsin stopover to the Jets, where he’s made a smooth transition to the Green & White and into the still formidable talent in the D-line room.

“Everybody’s been so welcoming here, giving me everything I need, and I’m just trying to take advantage of all that,” he told me after the last practice of minicamp. “I feel like I can be another piece to the defense. We already have great playmakers, and I have a veteran nose tackle I can learn from. Whenever…

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