|Just in time, Pennington arrives in Miami|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 09 August 2008 18:34|
Now, he'll be running the same offense for AFC East rival Miami, where former Jets offensive coordinator Dan Henning calls the plays.
``On the plan ride over, I was kind of thumbing through it, looking through it, just trying to remember it,'' Pennington said. ``Some of it sounds familiar, some of it doesn't.''
The Dolphins are hoping he's a quick learner.
Pennington, cut by the Jets after they acquired Brett Favre, was formally introduced in Miami after the Dolphins' 17-6 loss to Tampa Bay late Saturday night. The 32-year-old Pennington, expected to be the starting quarterback for Miami, agreed to a deal Friday worth $11.5 million over two years.
He roamed the sideline in a fresh, aqua Miami jersey watching another quarterback named Chad lead the Dolphins offense. Chad Henne, the rookie from Michigan, is expected to be the future of the Dolphins. Henne threw for 67 yards on 5-for-10 passing and led Miami's two scoring drives.
The Dolphins are hoping Pennington can serve as a bridge to Henne and be a mentor. Already, Pennington is dishing out rules.
``One thing we have to get straight is this Chad thing,'' Pennington said. ``We're going to have to call him 'rook,' or call me 'C.P.' or something.''
Bill Parcells, now the Dolphins' vice president of football operations, drafted Pennington with the 18th overall pick in 2000 when he was the Jets' general manager.
Pennington became the popular face of the Jets the past eight seasons and arrived in camp this year competing with Kellen Clemens for the starting job. The Jets jettisoned Pennington to clear salary cap space once they got Favre from Green Bay.
Pennington ranks first in NFL history among quarterbacks with at least 1,500 attempts with a 65.6 completion percentage. He was often recognized as being a leader in the huddle and an intelligent field general, but was dogged throughout his time in New York for his lack of arm strength.
His new teammates said they aren't worried about his physical abilities. But they did offer some advice.
``I don't know, he looks a little thin. He needs to eat some chicken wings or something,'' linebacker Channing Crowder said. ``He's cool, though. I've played against him so many times. He owes me some money, though, because I get all those personal fouls against him every year. So I might take his shoes or something and maybe he'll give me a ransom.''
Pennington won't have to wait long to face his former team and the man who took his job.
The Dolphins, coming off a 1-15 season, will open the season against the Jets in Miami. Don't think Pennington didn't notice.
``It's going to be a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to it, I really do,'' he said. ``I don't have revenge on my mind or anything like that. I have one thing on my mind and that's a victory. Period.''
Pennington's signing leaves the future of the three other Miami quarterbacks - Josh McCown, John Beck and Henne - in doubt.
McCown, tabbed as the No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart earlier in the week, didn't play until the fourth quarter Saturday night. He hasn't stood out through the first two weeks of training camp, and either McCown or Beck will likely be the odd man out when Miami trims its quarterbacks to three.
``I think when you're in this business you know that things can happen anytime,'' Beck said. ``Being in it now, this being my second year, I've seen things happen throughout the season the last year where, hey, it's just the way this business goes. It's the NFL and you have to be ready to live with whatever happens. It went down.''
McCown said he wasn't surprised by the move and relishes the chance to compete against Pennington.
``They said over and over again they're going to do what they have to do to help this team win,'' McCown said. ``We were competing before, and we're still competing.''
First-year Dolphins coach Tony Sparano insisted Saturday night that he would consider going with four quarterbacks on the roster this season, hinting to a possible quarterback competition should Pennington struggle.
Pennington said he came to the Dolphins knowing he would have to earn the starting job.
``I'm no stranger to competition,'' he said. ``I've been there before. I know what it's all about. I think it brings out the best in all of us, and I think it makes our team better. So I'm no stranger to that. I welcome the challenge and I look forward to it.''