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Leftwich divulges Pennington's glee

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
New York Daily News reporter Rich Cimini had an interesting exchange with Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback Byron Leftwich in Tampa.

While Leftwich wouldn't bite when asked if he would be interested in joining the New York Jets next year -- Leftwich will be an unrestricted free agent -- he did talk about fellow Marshall University teammate Chad Pennington's retribution.

Pennington, cut by the Jets to make room for Brett Favre, landed with the Miami Dolphins. Pennington beat the Jets in the season finale, clinching the AFC East title for Miami. He has been ultra-diplomatic in downplaying the victory.

"He won't say it, but I will: It meant a lot to him," Leftwich said in Cimini's blog, the Jets Stream.

"Sometimes when you feel you're getting the short end of the stick, or you're the fall guy ... He watched me go through it as a player [with the Jacksonville Jaguars] and he helped me. So when it was happening to him, I tried to help him through the process. ... Football is justice. It [the showdown against the Jets] was going to happen. There was no other way."

Leftwich wasn't a fan of the Jets' decision to cut Pennington -- even though it might have triggered a sequence of events that could create a job opening.

"I don't understand," he said. "He's always been a good quarterback, leading them to the playoffs all those years. Just like that, people forgot. ... I know that felt good for him [to beat the Jets]. I know it felt good for him."