It looks like the New York Jets are serious about making this Wildcat offense a working reality. The day after the team held a top secret practice to work on the offensive scheme, they brought in Chad Pennington to help bolster the belief that the Tim Tebow formation can work.
If anyone can bridge the gap between the Jets and the Wildcat— it's Pennington.
The former Jets quarterback played for Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano from 2008-10 when the Miami Dolphins brought the freaky scheme back into the NFL. Sparano was the Dolphins head coach during those years.
On Tuesday, Pennington sounded like a true believer in the two-quarterback system with Tebow and Mark Sanchez as equal parts.
"It's truly about finding an edge as a team," he said. "Whether or not you use the Wildcat, a team has to prepare for it week in and week out . . . It can become an X factor."
Ever since the Jets traded for Tebow, people have been wondering if adding another quarterback to take Wildcat snaps will affect Sanchez's mojo.
"Well, I think that's selfish," said Pennington. "If you think as a quarterback that this game is solely about you, you're sadly mistaken. This is not an individual game, so for a quarterback to gripe about whether or not he's getting rhythm or not, grab the football, make a play. That's what it's about."
Pennington was invited to camp by GM Mike Tannenbaum to sing the praises of the Wildcat and teamwork in general. And the seven-year Jets QB knows both. Pennington took it on the chin when his Jets career ended after they traded for Brett Favre in 2008. He went on to run Sparano's Wildcat— predominantly in short yardage situations— while playing in Miami.
Yesterday, the shaggy-haired Pennington stressed that having an extra quarterback is more of an asset than a hindrance.
"It doesn't matter if it's Tim Tebow or anybody," Pennington said. "The organization has to bring in a quarterback as a backup that can help you win. The volatility of the position is amazing, and there are so many injuries, you have to have two quarterbacks as an organization to win."
But Pennington thinks if the two can co-exist, it could lead to the ultimate goal.
"Winning keeps everybody happy," he said.