Jets bench QB Testaverde; Pennington takes over

The first of what likely will be several lineup changes for the underachieving New York Jets came Monday when coach Herman Edwards announced Chad Pennington would replace veteran Vinny Testaverde as the quarterback against Kansas City this week.

Based on comments from Edwards last week about not wanting to switch starters back and forth, the move is probably a permanent one.

Pennington, in his third year since being selected in the first round, played nearly all of Sunday's 28-3 loss at Jacksonville after Testaverde left in the second series with a bruised right shoulder. He was 21-of-34 for 281 yards but couldn't lead the Jets to a touchdown.

Edwards stressed that while Testaverde had struggled -– just 485 passing yards this year -– the Jets' problems aren't all his fault.

"It is not all on Vinny, we are all held accountable," Edwards said. "Quarterback is always the guy who takes the hit first. The way we've performed, judging the performances by the first four games, it is not where we are supposed to be.

"I thought about it all last night and this morning and that is the direction we need to head in: Chad is the starting quarterback."

Edwards talked with Testaverde about the move and said it didn't surprise the 18-year veteran when he was told of the change. Testaverde had completed 53 of 82 passes with three touchdowns and three interceptions. The change will break a streak of 36 straight starts for Testaverde.

"I'm not going to sit here and tell you I am getting a raw deal," Testaverde said. "But I think anybody in my position isn't happy about it. I understand and I don't want to be a distraction to this team. I understand how the process works."

There could be many more changes, with the offensive and defensive line likely areas ready for switches. Some starters may be replaced, like LG J.P. Machado, while other positions may just have different rotations or platoons, such as at defensive tackle where Larry Webster will play on running downs and Josh Evans in on passing situations. Those changes won't be announced until the Jets resume practicing Wednesday.

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