One of the vital attention-grabbing prospects within the 2024 NFL Draft is Washington QB Michael Penix Jr.. The lefty with the rifle arm captivated the eyes of school soccer after transferring to Seattle two years in the past, and now’s going to the NFL with hopes of being part of a really small record of left-handed QBs who had success within the NFL.
Because of the nice people at Panini, I used to be capable of meet up with Penix Jr. to speak about playing cards, passing progressions and QBs he enjoys watching. Panini America is internet hosting Michael Penix Jr. together with a number of different NFL gamers and draft prospects on the Panini Prizm VIP occasion in Las Vegas forward of Tremendous Bowl Weekend.
J.P. Acosta (JA): So what are you doing with Panini in the course of the Tremendous Bowl?
Michael Penix Jr (MPJ): Proper now I’m on the Panini home, you understand, simply spending time with them. They bought lots of cool issues happening in right here, been doing autographs, I bought buying and selling playing cards and stuff like that popping out quickly, you understand. So I’m simply having fun with my time right here in Vegas, you understand? I’ve been with them [Panini] since earlier than the season. So it’s been an actual good course of. And I’ve been having fun with it up to now.
JA: So if you have been a child, did you accumulate participant playing cards like Panini has? And when you did, did you may have a favourite participant rising up that you just tried to gather their card?
MPJ: I didn’t actually accumulate participant playing cards that a lot rising up, you understand, but when it was someone that I wished a card from, I imply the greats like quarterback stuff, you understand, for me, I watched Mike Vick, Tom Brady.
JA: Throughout Washington’s run this previous season, going undefeated, making it to the nationwide championship, you obtained lots of love and appreciation from Indiana followers. How did that make you are feeling, seeing that love and appreciation even after transferring?
MPJ: I didn’t actually see it an excessive amount of. You already know, I don’t actually be on social media rather a lot. However I did see a few of it, you understand, however it’s good to know that someplace the place, you understand, I spent lots of my time at, placing lots of laborious work and dedication right into a program nonetheless displaying me help, you understand, though I needed to transfer on. It’s nice to have help like that.
JA: What was that strategy of studying quarterback mechanics left handed when the whole lot on this planet appears to be like, it’s taught in the direction of proper handed quarterbacks or proper handed folks?
MPJ: So far as the entire left hand, proper hand factor, you understand, I really feel like that didn’t actually occur. Like, it didn’t actually have an effect on me. If it feels laborious on anyone, it’s most likely more durable on my coaches, just like the trainers, that was coaching me. For me, I used to be at all times capable of, you understand, I’ll see him do a proper handed and it was at all times simple for me to select it up and flip it to the left hand facet, so it wasn’t actually that arduous for me.
JA: One of many issues I love about your play is throwing off platform, so I used to be questioning sort of the way you prepare your self and having the ability to have the ability to throw exterior the pocket so that you just’re capable of get the ball not solely downfield, however precisely.
MPJ: I really feel like lots of that got here naturally. Clearly, you understand, simply going by quarterback coaching and stuff like that, they put in drills which can be related and stuff like that, too, however after I first began taking part in quarterback I used to be throwing sidearm, you understand. I performed baseball, and I didn’t actually have the mechanics, I didn’t actually know methods to throw it, so I actually began off throwing sidearm simply naturally, however, um, I really feel like lots of is pure.
JA: At Washington you had three nice receivers in Rome Odunze, Jalen McMillian and Ja’Lynn Polk. How does your passing development change when you may have receivers like them on the skin?
MPJ: It wasn’t actually a change in any respect, you understand, it’s all constructed into the play. I really feel like I do job of attempting to verify I get the ball to anyone who’s open. And if I really feel like everyone seems to be gloved (coated), and I belief any of them to only put the ball in the appropriate spot, you understand, and so they’ll make the play for me. So, it simply made it simpler for me to be sincere.
JA: Say you’re constructing out a playbook for your self. What are two or three of your favourite passing ideas that it’s a must to have? Like, if it will get referred to as you’re like, ‘Oh, I’m cooking on this.’
MPJ: First one I’ll say is 4 verts. 4 verts is nice towards something, and clearly I like to indicate off my arm. So 4 verts is primary, then I like choice ideas, you understand. Choice routes and stuff like that throughout the board. Simply looking for some methods to present the receiver a number of choices or alternative ways to get open. I really feel like with my fast launch and my capacity to make throws off platform, I’m capable of modify and react shortly to any route.
JA: So on these choice routes, are you studying the leverage of the defender, or how do you learn it out?
MPJ: I’m studying my receiver, like you would have choice proper and the defender has inside leverage and the receiver nonetheless breaks inside and get open. It’s simply primarily based on movie or the best way he [the defender] is taking part in it, the approach he’s taking part in at. So with choice routes you gotta learn your receiver.
JA: What would you inform 18-year-old you in regards to the strategy of going by faculty the best way you probably did, primarily based on all that you just’ve been by?
MPJ: Simply preserve combating. Adversity is gonna present, so simply be prepared for it and be able to assault it, you understand, with a mindset that, you need to proceed to get higher and are available out on the higher facet of it.
JA: Once you have a look at guys who’re both at present within the NFL or traditionally, who’re some QBs that you just try to emulate or mannequin your playstyle after?
MPJ: I wouldn’t say I attempt to emulate anyone, I attempt to be one of the best model of me. Rising up, I used to observe Mike Vick. I watched Teddy Bridgewater, when he was at Louisville. You already know, earlier than he bought the accidents and stuff like that, I really feel like he was an excellent quarterback as properly, however it was actually these two guys.
JA: My final query for you Michael, if you get to the NFL, who’s the NFL getting in Michael Penix Jr.?
MPJ: They’re gonna get a confirmed winner. I’ve been capable of win in all places I’ve been and, you understand, circumstances weren’t at all times one of the best. I really feel like, you understand, to me collectively with my staff simply discovering methods to win at any time when I used to be on the sphere. I’m one of the best quarterback on this draft, for a number of causes, however I simply know I could make any throw at any time.
I additionally bought to interrupt down one in all my favourite passes by Penix in his total profession, this 76-yard landing towards Oregon in 2022. It completely dominated, and listening to Penix speak about it was even cooler.