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Four Dolphins rookies vying for starting jobs

The roster is obviously beginning to crystallize for coach Tony Sparano and today he shared some of his views on it, making it obvious that four Miami rookies might be starters when the season begins Sept. 7.

The rookies? Donald Thomas at right guard, Jake Long at left tackle, Kendall Langford at left defensive end, and Chad Henne at quarterback. That's right, Chad Henne at QB.

Langford got his first start of the preseason Saturday against Jacksonville and is scheduled to start again this weekend against Kansas City.

"We put Kendall in there and Kendall hasn't missed a beat," Sparano said. "He's playing against good people. I like him in there. He might be there for a long time."

Everyone has been assuming for a while that Chad Pennington will be Miami's starting quarterback and that is that. Except the Dolphins are not making that assumption because, so far this preseason, Henne has been the team's best QB by all the combined measures this staff is considering, including game management.

"This guy has shown me great poise, he really has," Sparano said of Henne. "He's been in some tough situations and handled it well. He's probably made the most heads-up plays at that position. Now that being said, he's played the most."

I asked Sparano how he feels about the possibility of playing a rookie QB and Sparano didn't seem bothered by the notion. "If he's the best guy, I play him," the coach said.

So Henne is still in the QB duel with Pennington. It is not settled yet. And it says here he could be the team's starter before this season is over.

Thomas has been a starter for going on three weeks now and Sparano basically said that unless the rookie collapses he's the guy at right guard.

"I think it's Donald's job to lose at that position right now," Sparano said. "I say that in all honesty and if we don't play well enough, we'll find someone else that does. And this is a marathon and we're going a bunch weeks in a row so you got to be able to do it and be consistent, but we're not going to change.

"He's continuing to get better and as long as that happens, he's going to stay there."

------------------OTHER STUFF FROM TODAY'S PRESSER--------------

Joey Porter is hurt again. After missing the preseason opener with a back injury, Porter missed today's practice with a couple of injuries. The back is acting up again and he's got some knee injury, too.

It has gotten to the point where one reporter asked Sparano about Porter "stacking" injuries

"His back was a little sore again today and we tried to get him loose," the coach said. "He also kind of tweaked a knee. We're  dealing with that right now. I'm not sure what the status is of that is. I think it might just be a sprain."


The coaching staff has zeroed in on Derek Hagan and Ted Ginn Jr. as their starting receivers. They will start Saturday and, barring a terrible night by Hagan, that is the duo that will open the season versus New York.


Finally, as was reported earlier on this blog, Sparano shot down the ESPN rumor that Ronnie Brown will be playing elsewhere in 2008.

The exchange:

Q. Is there any chance you guys might trade Ronnie?

A. "No. There's no chance we'll trade Ronnie ... There's been no discussion of that internally or externally."


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What about Merling? Haven't heard too much about him, has he been a disappointment?

Henne starting QB? I'll believe that when I see it. I wouldn't throw him out there just yet. I think it will be Pennington and if or should I say WHEN he goes down with an injury, that's when I think Henne steps in.

And what's up with Porter? I hope the Fins can collect on their investment($$$$$$$).

Consider this......Henne continues to perform so well in preseason that the Trinity go with him as starter and release (drum roll please).......Pennington. They have less $$ tied up in Penny. Think outside the box, fans.

Scott-Merling must be a bust; what a shame.

The rookie kicker would make 5

Hmmm... if Pennington gets hurt early in the season, you start either McClown or Beck over Henne. If Pennington is healthy he starts all year until through bringing Henne into games that are out of reach, you see enough of Henne to know he gives you a better, not just as good but better, chance to win than Pennington.

... oh, and Merling being a #2 behind Holiday certainly doesn't mean he's a bust. In fact, it seems he'll be part of the rotation.

Merling has been performing well but there's no way he starts ahead of Holliday. Have you forgotten everyone besides the rookies?

markeyh - kicker is not a 'starter'

Weird.... Henne starting..... especially after hearing the entire offense say that Pennington is the leader they've needed.

Seems to me like they're just making sure Henne is for real, and worth making the future of the team....... unlike the former regime, that didn't put Beck in these situations last year....... so the team went into this year's draft not knowing what they had in Beck.

Dan Carpenter is a Rookie,he will be starting!

Does that mean everyone on special teams is a starter too? you can't be a starting kicker when there is no relief kicker!

You forgot another rookie starter Carpenter the kicker

Damn Porter! The guy has been a walking waste of money! I was really hopeful about him going back to 3-4 and earning some of that fat paycheck. He better get that azz in gear.

Carpenter is a hunk!!!!

Porter! The guy has been a walking waste of money! I was really hopeful about him going back to 3-4 and earning some of that fat paycheck. He better get that azz in gear.

Porter! The guy has been a walking waste of money! I was really hopeful about him going back to 3-4 and earning some of that fat paycheck. He better get that butt in gear.

The roster is really taking shape... now all they need are some real recievers... not their families

Stop talking about Porter's Butt... it is fine!!!!


Posted by: Armando| August 19, 2008 at 02:12 PM



Henne will be number two unless Pennington gets hurt. Beck and McClown are gone, one way or the other. Hope they hold on to Rod Wright!

Henne will be number two unless Pennington gets hurt. Beck and McClown are gone, one way or the other. Hope they hold on to Rod Wright!

Joshua, if you know who is going to start and who is cut, you obviously know more than Tony Sparano. So what are you doing on this blog and not on the sideline?

Release Penny? are you nuckin futs? Henne seemed like a rookie before Penny showed up, and started mentoring him. Do you honestly think that Henne learned EVERYTHING he could from Penny in TWO WEEKS? Drop that scrub McCown, and let Penny work with Henne, and Beck. If we end up with a confident, accurate starter, and a good backup, both of whom are young guys, we could end up with an Elway/ Kubiak situation. Gary Kubiak was drafted a year, or two after Elway, and was his backup for most of Elway's career. Every time he was called upon to play, he played well. He even won games he started. He was loyal, and intelligent. I would put Kubiak right there with Don Strock as the best backup QB's ever. I would like to see us develop someone like that again, as QB is pretty critical to have a solid backup.

But - - according to Mando - -- Sparano left open the strong possibility that Henne may start during the regular season. After all we've been reading about Pennington, this puzzles me.

I enjoy being spanked by hairy men.

PORTER, not a "TUNA-helper", better watch is mouth and his back.
He will be parking cars in South Beach if he can't get it together.
Let's hope he is just taking "camp" off and ready to go when it counts...

Tree, to be fair to Henne, he was looking good before Pennington showed up. He makes good decisions and has been making plays. Of course he's learning from Pennington but to say he 'seemed like a rookie' (he is, in fact, a rookie) implying that he wasn't doing better than the other two QBs (he clearly was) until AFTER pennington arrived and schooled him is preposterous. Also, as far as Kubiak goes, if he was so good why didn't he go start for another team? Riding the bench for ten years is not what we should be looking for from Beck or Henne (depending on which camp you're in). I thought this sentence particularly funny:
"He even won games he started."

To be fair, Armando is the only one who reported that Henne could be the starter. In fact, he doesn't actually say that. He says that the Dolphins have not ASSUMED that Pennington is the starter as of yet. Whereas Sparano says Thomas' RG spot is 'his to lose', he cannot say the same for Pennington. That's all he said.

I hope Donald Thomas isn't this year's version of Drew Mormino...

The Giants WR's should be watched, someone good is going to be cut. They currently have 9 talented WR's
Have these guys are better than Hagan and at least 3 have to be moved. I wonder if Parcells has contacted the giants about trading for one.

Henne starting? Nah, Pennington will be the QB this year, unless he gets hurt. His blind side has the number 1 pick so he should stay healthy. Jake has looked good and will only get better. How will Henne react to a few picks, he looks poised but is still a rook.

just read that joe horn was released by the falcon. he says he wants to play for the cowboys or eagles. rumor has it his agent has contacted miami; thinks it would be a good situation for him.
yeah or nay armando?

Horn is interesting but way on the decline. He is 36 and his numbers have sharply declined each of the past three years.

He wanted out of Atlanta so he could play for a playoff team, why come here?

Mando, ESPN has also posted a rumor saying Cowboys are interested in Beck. Did you sniff any new developments there yet?

Nice stuff Armando! As for the rest of you guys think about it Beck is not coming around and is not "one of the boys" he will be gone come Sept. I approve of everything we have done so far and I believe we will be a .500 team this year. Before you jump down my throat ask your self would you have been willing to trade the entire team and coaching staff by week 12 last year? we cant be worse than that team.

Frankinho, that's SOOOOO five minutes ago...

Wait...I just posted something totally moronic. Why would Parcells trade for one of the Giants excess receivers when the Giants will cut at least three?

Oh yeah, because I'm the moron that posted the scenario.

Miami is hangin' with the Chads: Henne-Penny. My bet is Penny starts the season but Henne continues to progress and overtakes him to become the starter by mid-season. If Penny's injured, it could happen sooner. Henne has better arm strength and more upside potential. The Dolphins won't put him in there until he's ready, but they've already decided he's the guy.

no way henne starts over penny dumbest thing ive seen written.

Is Chad Hutchinson still in the league? He could be our 3rd QB.

If Henne was to remain as the 3rd stringer, getting a year of learning in, then McCown would be the preferred choice as the #2 due purely to experience and Penny's nack for getting injured. If Henne has solidified (at least) the #2 spot then the McCown/Beck debate is a u-pick-m to the highest bidder. If we gotta cut one, cut McCown.

Porter better hope a good OLB doesn't get cut anytime soon.

You missed one, THE KICKER!
That makes five and the best draft ever, potentially.


does anybody know anything on roscoe parish isint he a hairy cane azzz u guys might say or the u or whatever.

intersting p lover i can see parish on the end around for the wild cant that might make ginn expendable things that make u go hmmmmmm. But is he even availble?

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