The third quarterback in the conversation these days is seemingly Chad Pennington. We talk about the drafting of Pat White and its effects on the Wildcat and the spread option. We talk about Chad Henne and how the Dolphins have designs for him being the starter in 2010.
Yet we seem to overlook Pennington, who is kind of important because, well, he's the starter now. He's the guy who will hold the reins to the offense this year.
SOBeFit Magazine recently did an interview with Pennington for an upcoming issue, and in it, we see another example of why Pennington is the perfect quarterback for a Bill Parcells-led organization.
Pennington is a consummate professional. He never gives place to the wrong idea even though, inside, you know the guy might be questioning what's happening atop the organization or himself or his teammates. He never questioned the quarterback competition the Jets put him through the last couple of years he was there. He never second-guessed the Brett Favre acquisition, either.
And in Miami he has not uttered a cross word about the Dolphins plan to elevate Henne, their decision not to re-sign him even as he enters the final year of his contract, or their decision to draft Pat White, yet another guy who might replace him.
In fact, Pennington is quite complimentary of White in the interview with SOBeFit.
"We'll wait and see where the coaches want him to fit in," Pennington tells the publication that is on sale at newstands. "Obviously some people have mentioned the Wildcat offense -- mentioned him being able to do some things because not only is a great athlete but he throws the ball really well and doesn't get enough credit for how well he throws the football. And anyone who put up the numbers that he did -- he won four bowl games in college as a starting quarterback -- he did a lot of really good things. He adds to our team and makes us better and so do all the other free agents and draft picks we've acquired."
Pennington led a handful of late-game drives that either sealed a Dolphins victory or delivered one in comeback fashion last season. In the maelstrom that is an NFL huddle during fourth-quarter heroics, Pennington was outwardly cool, calm.
How does he do it? Where does it come from?
"Well," he tells SOBeFit, "I think first it comes from my father and him being a coach and me being able to be around his team and his players. Growing up, my heroes were his high school football players. They weren't professional football players or college football players. And, although I may be calm on the outside, I am like a tornado on the inside, with emotions and feeling and things that are going through my mind ... nervous energy.
"So you have to be able to harness that in and then show a calming effect because those other 10 guys are looking at you in the huddle for leadership and direction."
And what does that cover?
"It covers everything," Pennington tells the publication. "It covers speed ... power ... strength. It covers all the prehab, as I call it, to make sure that I'm keeping everything intact with the smaller muscles in my body. It covers film work. It covers the mental preparation. It covers being a servant to your team. That's part of being a leader -- the service. So it's a wide range of things and I constantly have to go back and revisit my plan to make sure I'm hitting all those goals."
Being a servant to his team? That is a true professional and the prototype of what Parcells wants from his quarterback. As you will see below.