Friday, March 2, 2012
Chad Pennington helps Mark Sanchez
By Rich Cimini
Quarterback Mark Sanchez is learning the New York Jets' new offense from one of the Jets' old quarterbacks -- Chad Pennington.
Sanchez met Pennington in South Florida recently for a crash course in Tony Sparano's offense, ESPNNewYork.com confirmed. Pennington brought an old Miami Dolphins playbook and began teaching the system and terminology to Sanchez. The two quarterbacks met more than once for classroom-type sessions.
Sanchez reached out to Pennington because, under the new collective bargaining agreement, players aren't allowed to meet with their coaches and discuss football until April 16 -- the start of the offseason program.
Sparano was hired Jan. 11 to replace offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Instead of waiting around for three months, Sanchez took the initiative.
Pennington, unceremoniously released by the Jets before the 2008 season, signed immediately with the Dolphins and directed Sparano's offense in 2008 and 2009. Pennington played brilliantly in 2008, leading Miami to the AFC East title.
Pennington, 35, who worked last season as an NFL game analyst for FOX Sports, has a home in South Florida. He missed last season because of major knee surgery and is considering retirement after a career filled with several shoulder injuries.
Interestingly, Pennington's former backup in Miami -- Chad Henne -- is on the Jets' free-agent radar, according to sources. The Jets are looking for a veteran to back up Sanchez. Obviously, Henne would be a fit because of familiarity with Sparano's system.
Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com.