for this game

Harrington gets the call again as Dolphins visit Jets

Oct 10, 2006 - 10:49 PM Miami (1-4) at NY Jets (2-3) Sunday 4:15 pm EDT

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Until Daunte Culpepper can shoulder the load, Joey Harrington will be the quarterback for the Miami Dolphins.

Harrington has been designated as the starter this week as the Dolphins prepare for Sunday's AFC East showdown with the New York Jets, a matchup of teams with their own sets of problems.

Both Culpepper and Harrington were acquired in offseason trades as the Dolphins tried to upgrade the quarterback position, which was manned by journeyman Gus Frerotte last season. Neither has been very effective as the Dolphins are 29th in the NFL with just 61 points.

Culpepper started the first four games and was sacked a league-high 21 times as his lack of mobility was exposed. He had major knee reconstruction surgery in the offseason and clearly is not fully recovered.

In addition, Culpepper suffered a bruised shoulder, forcing coach Nick Saban to make the switch to Harrington last week at New England. Harrington was sacked just once and completed 26-of-41 passes for 232 yards but was intercepted twice, both setting up scores that helped the Patriots to a 20-10 victory.

On Monday, Saban admitted he had a heated discussion with Culpepper in practice last Friday but denied that there was any ill feelings with his quarterback.

"I confront players on the field all the time," the coach said. "There's not a player that's been here that been disrespectful to me. Daunte has not been disrespectful to me."

Saban also said Harrington would be considered the starter in practice this week and would receive the majority of the repetitions with the first-string unit. He would like Culpepper to develop more "explosion" with his legs in order to have the quickness to step away from pass rushers.

The Dolphins are 0-2 in the division and 0-3 on the road as they visit the Jets, who have some problems of their own.

Under first-year coach Eric Mangini, the Jets split their first four games and were competitive in each. They gave the powerful Indianapolis Colts all they could handle in a 31-28 home loss two weeks ago.

However, the road to respectability took a serious detour with last week's 41-0 loss at Jacksonville. Despite facing a defense missing three starters, the Jets suffered the 20th shutout in franchise history.

With Chad Pennington throwing three interceptions and absorbing six sacks, the Jets totaled just 177 yards as they were blanked for the second time in their last 11 games.

Nevertheless, the bigger problem may be on the other side of the ball. The Jets gave up 181 rushing yards and have surrendered 148.6 per game, fifth-worst in the NFL.

New York holds a 41-38-1 edge in the all-time series, which dates to Miami's entrance into the old AFL in 1966. The teams split last season's two meetings, with each winning at home. The Dolphins won here in 2003.

In Miami's 24-20 victory last season, defensive end Jason Taylor had three sacks. The Jets used their 2006 first-round pick on left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson.

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