Peyton Manning is apparently not the only veteran quarterback trying to prove this offseason that he is healthy enough to make a comeback in 2012. Chad Pennington, formerly of the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, said Monday he is considering a comeback. And if he does play, he would like to be the backup quarterback for Mark Sanchez with the Jets.
Of course, any comeback by Pennington, 35, would depend on his health, especially that of his shoulder. Pennington has been forced to injured reserve three times in his career by injuries to his throwing shoulder, and did not play in 2011 after suffering a shoulder injury midway through the 2010 season with Miami.
"You can say you want to go back someone up, but you gotta understand, starters go down and starters have to be relieved," Pennington said Monday on "The Michael Kay Show" on 1050 ESPN New York. "So if you’re a backup, you have to believe you can go in there and believe you can make something happen. That’s so important for me, to have that confidence that I can look Coach Sparano and Coach (Rex) Ryan in the eye and say, 'Yeah, you can trust my sholder.’ Right now, I don’t know if that’s the case or not."
Pennington has apparently been tutoring Sanchez, since he played for new Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano in Miami and knows his offense.
A Pennington comeback with the Jets, for whom he played from 2000-2007, would hinge not only on his health but on whether the Jets end up with Manning. Pennington would probably be an upgrade from veteran reserve Mark Brunell, both as a tutor and a player. He would not necessarily be competition for Sanchez, however.
One player who could be competition for the Jets quarterback is Jason Campbell. The former Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders starter will be a free agent soon, and a report Monday indicated the Jets are interested in bringing in Campbell.
A six-year veteran, Campbell lost the starting job in Washington when the Redskins brought in Donovan McNabb. After Campbell suffered a season-ending collarbone injury in Oakland in 2011 the team acquired Carson Palmer, making him expendable.