The Dolphins released QB Doug Pederson six times between 1991 and 1995. Today, Pederson will start for the Eagles against the Dolphins at Pro Player Stadium.

He has resurrected a career that seemed over in 1995, when the Dolphins released him twice in two months.

"I felt like I was done," Pederson said this week. "I really didn't know if anyone else in the league was interested in me."

The last cut was the deepest for several reasons.

Pederson felt that he had outperformed Dan McGwire for the number three job in training camp. Don Shula, who was then the Dolphins' coach, said at the time that the cut was the hardest decision he had had to make.

The Dolphins called Pederson in October, then waived him again two weeks later. He went to work for Federal Express. But after a month Pederson signed with the Packers.

"When I got to Green Bay," he said, "they told me they'd been following me. They told me, 'We noticed Miami kept bringing you back. They didn't ever go after someone else to be their third guy or their fourth guy. They kept cutting you, but they kept bringing you back. They must have seen something.' From that standpoint, it was a good thing."

McNOWN LEARNS FAST: For most of the preseason and early regular season, it was thought QB Cade McNown had been slowed in his development because he missed part of training camp. When he played his one series or prescribed number of plays each week, the second given was that there were obvious limits to what he could learn.

But McNown played most of the fourth quarter against the Vikings and the whole game in place of Shane Matthews on Sunday against the Eagles. If Coach Dick Jauron had high expectations before, those expectations may have increased because McNown's NFL education has moved dramatically.

"There's a huge difference between going out there and knowing what you feel and then seeing it on film, as opposed to just going out based on what other people have seen or what you've seen other people do," McNown said. "To look at what I saw on film and know how I felt doing that just allows you to get better a lot faster."