The Charleston Daily Mail is reporting that QB Chad Pennington will be taking 2011 off from football while he recovers from shoulder and knee injuries. During his time away from the field he'll be working as an analyst for Fox Sports. Apparently Fox is pairing him with Sam Rosen.
In years past the 49ers have been far enough down the depth chart that Rosen has been a guy we frequently heard. The addition of Harbaugh and the story lines that brings makes it hard to tell where the 49ers will fall on the NFC TV depth chart. The Rosen team (Tim Ryan, Chris Myers) was fifth on the Fox depth chart in 2010 and likely won't be making a dramatic change.
I've always been a fan of Chad Pennington in part because of his performances at Marshall. However, his intellectual prowess and general interests outside of the football arena could mean the addition of a quality football analyst. Pennington was a finalist for a Rhodes scholarship while at Marshall, he wrote about campus politics for the school newspaper, and also made appearances on the school's radio station discussing news issues (he used a pseudonym to avoid distractions from the program).
It's entirely possible he won't translate to television, but I've got a good feeling about this. Given some of the awful analysts out there, fresh blood is always welcome. I thought former QB Jesse Palmer was a very solid NFL color guy but he's off doing college football now. Maybe Pennington can fill his shoes.