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Jets sign QB Fiedler to back up Pennington

NEW YORK (March 11, 2005) -- The Jets signed Jay Fiedler, hoping the quarterback can provide experience and depth behind Chad Pennington.

Fiedler, who will be entering his 10th season, visited the team at its Hempstead complex March 10 and the sides started negotiating.

The move made sense for both sides: New York wanted someone with experience to back up Pennington; the 33-year-old Fiedler is closer to his home in Oceanside.

Pennington is recovering from offseason surgery on his right rotator cuff, and the Jets had no intentions of bringing back Quincy Carter. Brooks Bollinger was the No. 3 quarterback last season, but is entering his third year in the league and needs more seasoning.

"I know (Pennington's) shoulder situation," Fiedler said during a conference call. "That's going to allow me to come in and get a lot of work in the offseason, get a good familiarity with the players around here. Once Chad gets back, I know he's the guy. I'm going to push him as hard as I can and try to make him the best quarterback he can be as well as doing what I can to make myself the best quarterback."

Fiedler spent the last five seasons with the Miami Dolphins, where he took considerable criticism in succeeding Dan Marino.

Last season, Fiedler started just seven games for the Dolphins (4-12), going 1-6 while throwing for 1,186 yards, seven touchdowns and eight interceptions. Fiedler spent much of the 2004 season on the injured list with a herniated disc.

Fiedler started 15 games in 2000 for Miami as the heir to Marino. He led the Dolphins to the first of two straight 11-5 seasons and playoff berths, going 1-2 in the postseason.

The Dolphins failed to make the playoffs the next two seasons despite winning records, with Fiedler missing nine starts in 2002-03 because of injuries. He missed five starts in 2002 because of a fractured thumb and missed four games in 2003 with a knee injury.

In five seasons with the Dolphins, Fiedler was 36-23 as a starter, throwing for 11,040 yards, 66 touchdown and 63 interceptions.

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