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Can Pennington and Ginn work together?

Chad Pennington and the Dolphins receiver corps meet twice a week -- typically on Wednesday and Friday -- to watch film and talk and clear the air about different subjects. It's a good way for the players to forge a bond away from the field.

The group is also working together, according to coach Tony Sparano, after each practice on the field in an effort to find chemistry that way as well.

But the question I have, in all honesty, is how Ted Ginn Jr. and Pennington can bridge the divide between their playing styles and God-given gifts to make things work between the team's No. 1 receiver and starting quarterback?

I ask because I simply don't think these two guys are well-suited for one another.

Ginn is a developing player but we all know his strengths are speed and stretching the field. He is a long-strider who seems most comfortable running 9 routes and deep posts and skinny posts. He needs to go down the field in a straight line, outrun people, and get the ball thrown over the top of the defense.

Pennington, meanwhile, is a quarterback more comfortable working with his receivers on timing. He wants to know the ins and outs of their route-running so he can anticipate them coming out of their breaks and have the ball delivered to them as they come clear.

The fact is a deep sideline pass of 17 yards typically requires a QB to throw it about 24 yards on a line. Pennington can do it, but the ball doesn't really hum out there. I sails sometimes. So he prefers working the short middle of the field.

Pennington is not a quarterback you'll see throwing the ball 30, 40 or 60 yards down the sideline to the receiver. Those throws also require a strong arm. Pennington relies on the receiver catching it between 5 and 15 yards downfield then delivering YAC (yards after catch) if there is to be a big play.

Ginn, still learning to run precise routes, isn't a great timing receiver. He also isn't built for attacking the middle of a defense a lot, although he'll gladly do it if asked. Again, he is about speed and running by folks.

So how can a QB that relies on short passes and timing and a receiver that is best suited for getting behind a defense before he gets the ball mesh?

So far they have not. Pennington has completed two passes to Ginn this season. They were both of the short variety and Ginn didn't turn them into long gains because they came in traffic.

It seems to me like an obvious problem for the Dolphins. The solution?

Either Ginn has to drastically adjust his game and accept running short, precise routes in the middle of the field. Or the Dolphins need a stronger-armed quarterback that can fire over the top of the defense. Doesn't seem like rocket science to me.


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Mando- this was the insight I was looking for all week. Thanks. Hopefully the coaches can find some ways to get Ginn's speed into Pennington's style of play.


two words: chad henne :)

Maybe Chad (Pennington) can just go into his drop and immediately throw it down field to where Ginn should be after blowing by a DB, it's still a timing route, just no left/right break. I know it sounds ridiculous, but not anymore ridiculous than having Ginn running short timing routes in traffic.

Very good question, Armando. I wonder the same thing.

ummm....Chad Henne

Jeez Mando...... this is depressing.....

It does seem as though Chad Henne possesses the arm strength to deliver the BOMB, which is one play I have not seen in successful form from the Dolphins in AGES.

However, while I'm excited about Henne, I know that his success on Sunday was attributed to the Cardinals playing the wonderful PREVENT defense that provides for serious stat padding.

Having said all that, its clear that Pennington is going to be the guy for now. We know his limitations, which is perhaps why we're seeing Ginn get less playing time. It's probably up to GINN to adjust his style of play and perhaps try to become more of a possession guy and hope that he can get some YAC over the middle. To expect Pennington to throw a laser-guided 60-yd bomb on a post pattern like I saw Eli do last week is probably expecting too much.

What's the answer?

The only way Henne does not get in the NE game is if the game is close and lets face it there is no chance of that, the question is really how far out of hand does it have to get before Henne comes in.
We are the weakest team on the schedule of every opponent we have this year.

i don't want to totally abandon this season, but, we are not a very good team. we need another draft and a few good moves to get this team competitive. this was a great draft. long and thomasIR on the Oline, merling and langford on the Dline, and henne at QB. other good pick-ups were bess, fasano, ferguson.
i think penny should still be the starter, for now, but i would like to see henne splashed in for some work each game. i was a fan of beck's but cam ruined him last season. no snaps in camp, scout team all year till he threw him in. at this point henne is the guy. he looks more polished, got a cannon. i like him much better then if we would have drafted brady quinn last year. i'd take henne over quinn the chocker any day of the week!!

Very good insight Armando- well thought out.

Question about Ginn since I haven't seen him on TV too much-

Is he getting off the line?? Seems like in the early preseason he was getting jammed by the corners and thrown off his routes from the beginning.

Is this a problem, or is it like the last game when Coach said that Ginn "just wasn't thrown the ball too often" ?

Thanks for any input

Cant we employ some kind of two quarterback system? So that heene can get in and spread the field with Ginn? Didnt Arizona do it for a while?

"So far they have not. Pennington has completed two passes to Ginn this season. They were both of the short variety and Ginn didn't turn them into long gains because they came in traffic."

You eliminate the "traffic" Armando and that falls squarely on the shoulders of Dan Henning.

Joe "Rocket arm" Montana did this time and time again with Rice and Taylor using 5-10 yd slants with the other receivers routes being used specifically to empty the middle of the field and those schemes produced huge gains and if that isnt one of the first solutions that comes to Hennings mind when/if he wonders how he can hit Ginn in stride with an open field in front of him then he must be senile because THAT my friend is common sense and I realize hes no Bill Walsh but COME ON.

I know we dont have a Rice on our team BUT we dont need one because its NOT about personnel..its ALL scheme and Henning is schemeLESS!

NE runs the pick screen to free up the screen OR the slant and they kill D's with it and Ginns screen pass last week was the pick screen and went for 9 yds or so and wouldve went for much more had there not been so much traffic around him.

We DONT need a superstar WR corp..we need a OC with some common FN sense and a little bit of imagination who DOESNT think that play action on 4th and 17 is a good call and we will be fine!

I thought the same thing watching Desean Jackson for the Eagles the other night. He is a speedster who has a quarterback who can get him the ball downfield.

I don't think he's any more of a polished receiver than Ginn, they are just able to utilize hime more.

It seemed like Ginn and Pennington worked well in the preseason, but it hasn't clicked yet in the regular season. He is one of the few weapons we have on offense and they need to be creative in getting him the ball.

Ginn & Pennington did not work well in the preseason, they worked very little in the preseason.
Ginn's big numbers and most of the dolphin preseason scoring came with Henne as qb.
If you break down the preseason Pennington led 1 td drive, 2 fg drives and the rest were 4 and outs.

How is this any different than having 2 solid RBs and no blocking???

The entire offense needs to gel. That always seems to take the Fins all 16 weeks... just in time to be replaced... one vicious circle.

How is Ginn going to be where he is supposed to be on the field on a timing pattern when cornerbacks are bumping him at the line and blowing him out of his jock.

Pennington won't be the QB next year. Henne will. lets face facts, even tho cam cameron regime drafted Ginn, he was still drafted to be our devin hester of a kick returner (not our starting WR), so its a shame Bess is given the duties. the dolphins need to trade for an established WR, NOT A GREG CAMARILLO! three times, the ravens, eagles and cowboys all traded a draft pick for Terrell Owens. 2nd rounders i believe. because they are good teams who know what they're doing! Who would you rather have, T.O. or Ted Ginn? and dont tell me ginn is for the future, because Chris Chambers was a great WR and he was for the future but we traded him anyway for no reason, and Wes Welker too. was a 2nd and 7th rounder really worth it for the nfl's leading reciever last year? a guy who would work perfectly with Pennington? the suits for this team are forever retarded, no matter who's in charge.

This is the kind of insight and study I get here a lot that I don't find on other blogs/sites. Interesting stuff. Unfortunately, it is a problem with no easy solution until Henne wins the QB job.

Is it too much to ask to slide Henne in at specific periods of the game? Gameplan that if so and so happens then let Henne get in under center for an entire series. Letting him get mop up duty will only give everyone a false sense of security and confidence. Also I saw a couple days ago where someone had written that Beck's ego was bruised when he got beat up last year. I think that is total crap and if he did lose something by getting knocked around then he isn't worth keeping, because the Mannings took their lumps for an entire season and still managed to re-group and win Super Bowls. Peyton and Eli have totally different personalities so if they can do then that is the type of personality it takes to succeed and hopefully Henne has it. But Henne needs to be put into a position where he is facing a real pass rush and real game situation so we can see if he will sink or swim. This season isn't going anywhere. So we need to gameplan how quickly Henne can take over. Even Cutler was thrown into the fire after only 6 games. So that is the breakpoint for me. 6 games until Henne atleast sees significant action, if he is not the starting QB.

Armondo don't try to sugarcoat this. Anyone who knows football can see that as long as Penny is the QB Ginn will not be the weapon that he can be. It's about time someone told the truth about the problem with Penny instead of bashing Ginn. Eric made the same comment that i told someone while watching the Eagles. Desean Jackson isn't running any precision routes, he's using his speed to outrun db's but the BIG difference is that he has a QB that can get him the ball downfield. Penny doesn't even look downfield because he knows that he can't make the throws. Take away our TE's and we're done. Get Penny outta here and play Henne. Stop saying that Cam ruined Beck, ever since the first preseason game you could see a big difference between Beck and Henne. I believe Beck was a systems guy at BYU anyway they have a QB now who is throwing for a bunch of yards, plus who do they play against.

Armando, it's all about timing. Pennington doesn't have to hit Ginn 60 yards down the field. He can throw it 25-35 yards. Laveranues Coles and Santana Moss were to be able to make big plays with Pennington and they're speed guys.

This article is a bit of a reach.

This article is a bit of a reach.

Posted by: Mr. Bungle | September 19, 2008 at 12:59 PM

Signing Penny(ington) was the reach, and a horrible one at that. Imagine if Penny hadn't been so full of himself and signed with NE or Minne. He would have a chance to pilot a winning team. He wanted a chance to stick to the Jets and is now paying for it.

Hey FiredanhenningNOW - THANK YOU - very wellsaid!!!!
Henning obviously can't adjust his scheme to fit the talent levels he has now. We need wins - NOW, Dan!


It is simple, Henne can make those types of passes. Like you said Mando, Pennington's throws hang in the air. We are not going to win games with a QB that has noodle arms. I believe Henne gives us the best chance to win a game with Ronnie and Ricky taking most of the plays and taking shots down the field to Ginn. Pennington does not fit in our system.

They should make him line up 10 yards furthure back from the Line. That way he won't outrun Chad's Noodle arm.

I wish people would stop saying that Chad Henne played against a prevent defense. Go back and look at the game! The Cardinals were blitzing, stunting doing whatever they could to get to Chad Henne. They were not in a prevent defense. Go look at the tape....

The problem is opposing teams know that Penny cant throw the deep ball with any zip so they dont need to respect it so they jam 8 in the box which restricts our running game yardage forcing us to throw and takes away a play action pass which could release Ginn deep. Having Henne opens up this offense completely except for the fact that I think its still too soon unless Penny gets injured which would be a little like Marino in 83. I still think Penny is the best option for know but how the coaches sort it is what they get paid for.

I think Parcells keeps the wraps on Henne through this season. Truth be told I and most of the guys on here would love to see him in there sooner, but give Bill the nod for wisdom on this. Like a professional, Ginn just needs to keep his head in the games this season even though his body might not be. The time for Ginn, Henne, Ronnie and the rest of the team is coming soon.

Unlike past years, win or lose this season I can smile Sunday nights knowing we have a future qb and what looks like a solid personnel department to bring in talent. This season is about biting your tongue, paying dues and biding time as the balance of power in the leaugue begins one of those gradual shifts that you see every decade or so.

Injuries aside and looking at us RELATIVE to the rest of the teams in the league in terms of where we are positioned for the next 5 years, I like our chances. Just put on your poker face and be ready when things click. I truly haven't felt hope for a future here since '83. Whatever the outcome, I am going to enjoy it in the here and now. And maybe .. just maybe ... for a decade of Sundays to come.

they should be lining up Ginn and Hagan with Bess in the slot with a lot of motion. Sub in Wilford for situational red zone and short yardage/running plays. And use Camarillo to give the 'streakers' a breather.

Every play either Ginn or Bess needs to just fly straight down field weather the pass goes to them or not. First hopefully it exposes weak corner's but it also hopefully results in tired CB's and a few interference calls.

Plus maybe it keeps the opposition from jamming the box with 8 or 9 to stuff our backs.

Great line of thought Armando. Ginn and Pennington are just mismatched in style.

Building on LP's suggestion about the two QB system, couldn't we use Henne in long yardage situations?

Pennington can do the job when we have three downs to go but his arm is a serious disadvantage at 3rd and 10. The D then pretty much only has to guard against routes going from 8 to 20 yards deep. With Henne they'll have to defend against longer throws, which will help open up the medium-range options.

By similar logic, we could bring Henne in not only when the game is out of reach but also when we need some serious catch-up. Say we are two TD's down at the start of the 4th quarter. The game isn't lost but we'd be better off with at least the threat of some serious gunslinging.

Parcells daddy, you have no idea what you're talking about. Pennington came to the Dolphins for a chance to start. He didn't know he'd have a chance to start in New England because Brady hadn't gone down yet and Minnesota didn't show any interest in him.

Bungle: Coles hasn't really been a speed guy for a couple of years now.

And Santana Moss last played for the Jets in 2004, the year in which Pennington first injured his rotator cuff, was forced to miss several games because of the injury, and lost some of his arm strength. Interesting that Moss's stats dropped in 2004 after a fine 2003 season and then they rebounded in 2005, which was his first year in Washington.

So you are proving my point.

chad pennington throws like a girl.

Mando, you're on point with this one, everyone should be able to see it. But I think I agree with firedanhenning now and NuffSaid. How 'bout this, first play on offense, Dolphins go deep (or as deep as Pennington feels comfortable) just to open the defense up some. Then maybe we can get Ricky and Ronnie into it. I don't remember many long balls when Norv Turner was Coordinator, all I remember was Ricky, Ricky, Ricky. Give the damn RB's a chance, they are the best thing on our team right now. Down 17-0, oh well, we aren't gonna win many games ANYWAY, so let's at least develop our O-Line for the run scheme we hope to employ in the future. I'm not a fan of Henning, I hope we can get some new blood next year.

Armando, I have no idea how I'm proving your point. Are you telling me that you haven't seen Pennington connect with Coles and Moss on big plays? Not because Pennington was throwing the ball 50 yards in the air but because they had their timing down.

I'm not saying Pennington can throw the ball 50-60 yards, I'm challenging your point about whether or not Pennington and Ginn can work together. I say absolutely! From what I've seen from Ginn his most productive plays have been quick slants and quick outs, not really anything too deep. Another play we might try some day with Ginn are some screens.

Ginn has only caught one deep ball that I can remember and that was the Bills game last year from Lemon. A 54 yarder something.

After two games, it's hard to detect a trend, but it seems to me Henning has designed a game plan that doesn't fit the personnel. It appears he created his offense months ago before Pennington was even in the picture, when he expected to have an offense run by Beck, Henne or McChainsaw. All three of these QBs would have been capable of throwing the long ball to Ginn and Bess. It is becoming clear that Penny, while having all the edge on experience, is the wrong type of QB for the team that the Trifecta has put together. Which begs the question: Why the heck did they pick him up? Why hasn't Henning gone back to the drawing board and tailored a game plan for Penny?

If Pennyballs remains in the line-up, we loose. Even my grand-mama could be a def coordinater against the fish. Noodle arm can't throw and the Dolphins like to run . 8 IN THE BOX !

Am I the only one that remembers how Chad & Laveranues Coles lit the Fins up time and again in prior seasons? Take a look at Coles' stats when he was w/ Chad--2006 12 catches for 20+ yds & 3 over 40; & 2002 19 catches over 20 yds & 2 over 40 yds. I know that there were some injuries in there by chad but in his "comeback player of the year award" year (2006) he made long pass plays & Coles had over 1,000 yds receiving. And Coles is Ginn's size, too. There's no reason they can't get this fixed

Bungle, let's see if I can explain it another way. Forget Coles, because your point about him being a speed guy is wrong. He has not been for several years now.

As to Moss -- He and Pennington had a great year together in 2003. Pennington's arm was sound then. In 2004, Pennington injured his rotator cuff. Moss's statistics dropped.

In 2005 when Pennington had the first of two shoulder surgeries, Moss was no longer on the team. Moss did have a great year for Washington, however, which suggests the decline the year before was more about the QB than the WR.

The point is Moss-Pennington were fine when Pennington's arm strength was good. But when Pennington suffered his first injury, the rec. stats suffered. And they never played together after that so your point that Pennington never affected Moss cannot be right since they didn't play together after Pennington had his shoulder surgeries.

Chad Henne

I kinda feel stupid but this post wrapped everything up for me. I am not sure if Henne is ready but he definitely possesses the strength to incorporate the deep ball. I think it is really important that Ginn does not lose his confidence. I would be more concerned if he dropped passes thrown his way all the time but the truth is Pennington never really throws too him. I can't believe that Ginn is never open. Pennington will be more successful if the running game gets going but otherwise he is really useless.

parcells daddy is 100% right..All this talk about rushing the Qb in is BULL. If they arent Mentally Tough enough to handle hands on development then do you really think they have what it takes to be a good QB. Flacco and Ryan allready have a more wins than we do and dont tell me they have great offenses around them. Their teams are capable just like ours. Flacco was projected under Henne until the last 2 weeks before the draft.. what makes him so much better?


I love to read your stuff.

But forgive me if I think you're missing the picture here. Pennington did great when he and Coles played together and Coles might be as fast as Ginn if that's possible.

Pennington's mediocre arm strength will work fine with Ginn, but it will require a better sense of timing than a kid like Henne would need who can get the ball somewhere a lot quicker.

Patience, they haven't had a chance yet. Bigger issue is if that line doesn't block, Chad will have to check down all the time anyway and their failure to open running lanes takes the teeth out of the play-action which is where they should be killing people with a speed receiver. Now it can't be open. Run a little and get some timing and we'll see if we have the same problems.

Hello everyone...

Just an idea... but wouldn't it be a good idea if Sparano put Henne for a series during the first half of games? It has been done before to groom other Quarterbacks.

First it would give him precious playing experience when it counts, second it would be a nice change of rhythm, perhaps defenses would backup a little bit.

And of course the whole point is that potentially Ginn could get the chance to catch some needed bombs.

Armando, forget Pennington for now. Let's talk about Ginn. We have yet to see that Ginn prefers running 9 routes. That may be what we're doing with him but that's not what he has been successful doing so far in his career. Those quick slants over the middle in the 5-15 range is where most of his catches have come from. Why can't Pennington execute those plays?

Coles is pretty fast Armando. I don't know what makes you say he's not the last few years. The guy can run.

Chris Marksberry, we see it the same way but Armando is going to say that was when Chad's arm was sound.

But I disagree about the OL, they have given Pennington time to go down the field. He just hasn't been very accurate doing so. He's taken some shots and I don't mean just deep balls, but 20-25 yard attempts that have fallen incomplete or were defended.

Mr Bungle you are stealing my ideas again, i.e. WR screens to Ginn. And its funny how many people are coming around to the idea of having dual QBs in each game. When I suggested that two weeks ago I got laughed at.

Come on people, you should have just voted me in as OC when you had the chance.

Huh? What do you mean it doesn't work that way?

well said armando, i think henne and ginn should work together after practice everyday for next year

Why don't you boys come over to my house for some Campbells Chunky Soup. I will make losing feel better.

Good Analysis. Henne is the anwser. He makes good quick decision, tight throws and looks very comfortable. Arizona was not playing prevent defense during the last series I watched that series again and teh corner were playing 5 yards off the ball. In any case if Pennington does not fair well this sunday I think it will be time to usher in the Henne era. Let's see.

I think Ginn should go work with Jerry Rice on his days off.

I also wanted to agree that Arizona was NOT playing prevent defense, they were blitzing, which meant they were playing man. Let's be realistic, if they had been playing prevent, we wouldn't have taken 5 minutes to run our 2 minute offense down the field. We had to work for it.

There are only two qbs on the roster that can make the deep post throw to Ginn and their names are Beck and Henne. Beck is probably more accurate than Henne with the deep ball but Henne is the flavor of the month for the trifecta. And BTW dreday, Beck got his numbers at BYU beating teams like Notre Dame, Oregon, TCU just to name a few. If the phins don't develop Henne and Beck at the same time they will be sorry.

Wow..Talk about hitting the nail on the head. Pennington would have been much better with Chris Chambers on the team but I am not complaining too much about that trade because it got us Henne. You would think Wilford and Hagan would benefit from Pennington but they have yet to step up.

Tinshaker, I don't like the two QB idea at all. Show me an NFL team that has done that successfully?

No doubt Henne could throw a better bomb but the cold truth is that Ginn's skills have not and probably will not translate to the NFL.

The funny thing is everybody was worried about his hands and route running. The hands look great (as good as anybody on the team certainly) and the route-running is better than last year.

It's his supposed strengths - speed and elusiveness - that seem to fall short. I hope I am proved wrong on this by year's end but from what I have seen, the kid can't play with the big boys. He may be world-class fast in a straightline but he takes too long to get going and his moves ain't that good.

That limits him on returns as well. He busts one once in awhile and can gobble yards on kickoffs if he gets through the first line of defenders clean but too often he goes down with a touch, way too easily. On punts, defenders are usually on him too quickly for his motor to get going and he doesn't have the juke to make them miss.

I also question his guts because he plays in a way that suggests he's worried about taking hits but that may be a mistaken impression.

Oh Great! another losing quarterback - i understand that The TunaTrio did good jumping
on Pennington when he was available but what good is a QB who can't throw the ball deep - no
defense will ever have to worry about deep coverage against us!

Mr Bungle, I don't even know if anyone has tried it in the NFL, but my point was to 'experiment' with it. Hey, if you're going to move Matt Roth to LB, put J Allen at CB, and put Wilford on ST (boy was that a joke), then what's so far-fetched about using a two QB system to 'try and feel things out...sometimes...that way'?

Pennington had a good enough arm to get it to Randy Moss at Marshall Univ.

We are just going to have to wait and let this
Penn/Ginn chemistry run its course. I think personally Pennington trusting Ginn's route
running is whats holding it up! Its not like
he's gettin double teamed...

ray, beck never beat notre dame. in fact beck was 1-7 versus ranked teams at BYU.

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