No Surprise: Pennington Starting at QB

Whatever suspense there might have been about the Dolphins' starting quarterback position came to an end on Monday when Tony Sparano made official the obvious: Chad Pennington will start in the Sept. 7 season opener against the New York Jets.

There had been a sliver of doubt before Monday because of comments Sparano made last week when he said he wasn't sure whether rookie Chad Henne would go into the season as his No. 1 or No. 2 quarterback.

The reality is that no matter how impressive Henne was in the early part of training camp and the preseason, he still needs some seasoning and is nowhere near ready to lead the Dolphins offense as Pennington.

Whatever shot Henne had at beating out the veteran -- if it was a legitimate shot -- disappeared on Saturday night when he completed only 2 of 7 passes and was intercepted in the end zone when he badly underthrew a fade to tight end Justin Peelle.

Henne left that game with a 0.0 passer rating.

Pennington, meanwhile, put up a 111.5 after completing 11 of 15 passes for 94 yards and one touchdown with no interception.

More important than Pennington's accuracy, however, is the way he has run the offense and has brought an air of confidence to the whole unit since signing with the Dolphins on Aug. 9.

There's finally a sense the Dolphins could be effective on offense this season, and it all has to do with Pennington.

That's why there never should have been a doubt he would start the opener for the Dolphins. The fact the Dolpins are facing Pennington's old team makes for a great story, but that's not why it was the right decision.

It was the right decision because Pennington is the best quarterback on the roster at this point. Case closed.


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