The View From New York

As the Dolphins made official the signing of Chad Pennington on Saturday night, we got these thoughts on Pennington from publisher Dan Leberfeld.

Here is what Leberfeld had to say:

"What an amazing move by the Miami Dolphins!

"Chad Pennington is a really good quarterback who constantly gets discounted by people who think arm strength is a must to be a good quarterback. Last time I checked, Joe Montana didn't have a great arm. How many rings did he get? The late Bill Walsh used to say that arm strength is one of the most overrated areas in scouting a quarterback.

"Pennington excels in four of the most important areas of quarterbacking — field vision, reading defenses, pocket presence and leadership. I would give him an 'A' in all of these areas.

True, he doesn't have a Howitzer, and there are some throws he has difficulty with. But he took the Jets to the playoffs three of the five seasons he was the full-time starter, so he must be doing something right.

"And don't judge Pennington by last season. He suffered a severe ankle sprain in the opener and, as he told a friend recently, 'I was playing on one leg last year.'

"Pennington isn't Marino — he can't fling the ball off his back foot. He needs great mechanics and footwork to be successful, and when he can't set his feet, it takes away from his game. Eric Mangini embarrassed him last year by benching him at midseason, and not saying it was because of the ankle. Believe me, it was because of the ankle.

"And with a good running game, which the Dolphins should have with the bookend tackles and talented duo at tailback, Pennington will be able to sell the play-action, which he is very good at. And his great play-action fakes allow him to create more spacing between the receivers and defenders, which also helps him overcome his average arm.

"Also, he is great with young quarterbacks, more than willing to mentor and coach them. He doesn't care if a guy could eventually take his job, he is going to do all he can to help his fellow QBs. Chad Henne will really benefit from playing with Chad.

"What a steal for the Dolphins! Not only do they solve their QB spot for at least a couple of years, they will be able to pick Pennington's brain for valuable information about their division rival. This will certainly help on opening day."

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