Pennington to spell Testaverde in Philadelphia <p>

After Vinny Testaverde's second straight win as the Jets' starting quarterback, he will remain in that role this Sunday against Philadelphia. However, that's not to say he will finish the contest in that capacity. <p>

Herman Edwards will use a rotation system against the Eagles at quarterback. Testaverde will begin, and Pennington will finish. After this, barring something unexpected, Pennington will remain the starter for the remainder of the game, and for the rest of the 2003 season.

"Vinny Testaverde will start the game, and Chad Pennington will come in the game," said Edwards. "I am not going to let you know when."

Pennington told reporters Monday afternoon that it would probably happen sometime in the first half of Sunday's game against the Eagles.

"I want to get Vinny going so when Chad comes in the game Vinny has already been in," said the Jets head coach. "I don't know if Chad can make it through a whole game. Players all say I can do it. He might say he can [play an entire game], but with his anxiety and the kind of guy he is, I want to make sure he goes in the game, unless something happens he can finish the game."

This decision by Edwards is very interesting. One of the most complex positions in the National Football League is quarterback. Head coaches usually will do anything to establish one stable player at the position, fearing uncertainty over who is playing will divide the team. On Sunday, the Jets will have two players playing quarterback.

So why is Edwards taking this approach?

"I just think it is the right thing to do for the football team," said Edwards at his Monday afternoon press conference. "It is the right thing to do for Vinny, and for Chad. We are going to change the quarterback, you want to make sure that both parties are involved in the game, because of the uncertainty about Chad. I just think that is the right way to go about doing it."

However, there may be more to this decision that Edward's explanation. He may be doing this to gain a strategic edge in terms of game-planning. The Eagles coaches will have to scheme for two quarterbacks. It only makes their job harder.

Not to mention when Pennington does enter the game, he will know what the Eagles are doing on defense having watched for at least one series on the sidelines. This will give the Jets signal-caller a distinct advantage, given the fact that the super-intelligent Pennington was once a Rhodes Scholar finalist, and he understands the West Coast offense perfectly. If Pennington knows where the defense is going to be, he will have a better idea about where and when to deliver the ball.

The only way for this not to be an advantage of Gang Green, is if Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson decides to employ two different defensive game-plans, one for each quarterback. Given the amount of work that would take, this is a highly unlikely scenario.

"When you bring another guy in obviously he is watching what is going on," said Edwards. "He already has a feel, rather than coming in cold. [Chad] will be watching and paying attention as to what [the Eagles] are doing. He gets to look at all those things before he goes in there.

"Especially against a defense like Philadelphia that brings a lot of pressure. Vinny is used to it, he has been playing. Chad has not faced it, so he gets to watch it, and he can look at it and see what they are doing, and he comes in. There are a lot of different things you look at, and you have to do what gives you the best chance to win."

NOTES:

Donnie Abraham is still out for this weekend's game. Jon McGraw is also out, with his shoulder.

Jamie Henderson is questionable, with the injury that kept him out of last week's game. Wayne Chrebet is also questionable with a back injury. His headaches have gone away.


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