In January of 2009, for the second time in three years, Chad Pennington was the AP 2008 NFL Comeback Player of the Year. The Miami Dolphins star was the first player in the 11 seasons of the award to win it twice. During the 2008 season, the Miami Dolphins needed to lean on Pennington as a leader as much as a passer. He started all 16 games and became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 3,500 yards with 7 or fewer interceptions. The team rallied around him to win the AFC East championship; Miami’s first since 2000. Pennington, a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, was named co-winner (along with Joey Porter) of the team’s 2008 Dan Marino Most Valuable Player Award, as well as the recipient of the 2008 Don Shula Leadership Award. Pennington began the 2009 season strong. He started the first 3 games and was 2nd in the AFC and 3rd in the NFL in passing completions at the time of a season-ending shoulder injury followed by surgery. He finished the 2009 season on injured reserve.