Pennington's First Practice

All it took was one pass in practice Monday to see that adding Chad Pennington was the right move and that he's clearly the best quarterback on the roster. The pass fell incomplete, but that was because Ted Ginn Jr. couldn't hang on to a beautifully dropped touch pass over a defender.

The pass showed the kind of accuracy that has made Pennington the NFL's all-time leader in career completion percentage.

It also wasn't Pennington's only great throw of the afternoon. He also connected with Ernest Wilford over the middle on a pass where he had to throw over a linebacker, another exampe of his touch.

Yes, Pennington was intercepted by Andre' Goodman in a red-zone drill on a play where Pennington appeared to focus too much on his target, but the positive clearly outweighed the negative.

As Coach Tony Sparano had indicated before practice, Pennington got the bulk of the work in team drills, taking 28 of the 54 snaps. The other QB who got a lot of work was rookie Chad Henne, who got 21 snaps.

If you do the math, that leaves five snaps, and Josh McCown had three and John Beck had two.

For those keeping score, Pennington completed 13 of 21 passes, Henne was 9-for-15, McCown was 1-for-3, and Beck completed his only attempt -- a beautiful fade for a touchdown to rookie Davone Bess.

But clearly this day was about Pennington, and what was apparent to the media was his quick decision-making in the pocket and his accuracy.

What we couldn't see was the way he ran the huddle, but his teammates helped out with that.

And Pennington earned rave reviews in that department as well.

"Really positive, really upbeat ... A heck of a leader," said new starting guard Justin Smiley. "I mean, he doesn't know any of us from the man on the moon right now, but he comes into the huddle and says, ‘Give me your eyes.' We didn't break the huddle good one time and he was like, ‘Nah, nah, nah. Next time, we've got to stand and break the huddle.' Just stuff a veteran with great leadership (would do). It's pretty exciting."

For his part, Pennington said practice was like a "blur" because of how fast he was trying to process information.

Pennington had a head start on learning the offense because his offensive coordinator as a rookie with the Jets in 2000 was Dan Henning, who is now doing the same job with the Dolphins.

Given how sharp he is, it probably won't take long for Pennington to get a firm handle on it.

Pennington was listed first at quarterback on the team's new depth chart, although the Dolphins continue to say that is based solely on seniority. Make no mistake, Pennington is the starter on this team.

That was pretty clear the moment the Dolphins signed him, and nothing that happened on Monday changed that.

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