The Dolphins quarterback spot puzzles me a little bit.
Think about it: The team has a Pro Bowl caliber veteran in Chad Pennington that is unsigned beyond this year and no effort has been made to get the guy a new contract.
Well, that makes sense because the Dolphins want to transfer to Chad Henne by next season, you might say.
Problem is Henne is terribly unproven and even as he's had more work this offseason and preseason than any other QB on the team, he's been sometimes good (versus Carolina) sometimes bad (versus Tampa Bay), sometimes somewhere in between (versus Jacksonville). There's a word for that: Inconsistent.
The Tampa game in which Henne had a 16.1 quarterback rating was eye-opening. And coach Tony Sparano believes much of the problem is on Henne.
“Well, I mean, if you overthrow a ball, I think it’s on you, you know, as a quarterback," Sparano said. "No way around that. There were maybe one or two read things I think that could have been done differently, and then there was some other help, you know. So, meaning: other guys not doing maybe what they should be doing on a play that, that the quarterback takes either the fault for or gets credit for, one way or the other. So, I would say that in that game, you know, Chad was responsible for some of that, and some of the other people were. I mean, that’s an honest answer.”
As to Pat White, well, don't even get me started on Pat White. White is simply not an NFL game-caliber QB right now. He has trouble getting the center snap, he has trouble exploding on his drop back, he's thinking too much about his footwork -- whether it's a three or five-step drop. And we haven't even started to discuss him recognizing coverages, setting up protections and then, finally, throwing an accurate pass downfield.
Let me put it this way: If the Dolphins suffer injuries to their No. 1 and No. 2 QB in the regular-season opener that would force them to play another QB in week 2, they would have to sign a veteran QB and that guy, after one week, would have as much a chance of succeeding as White in the next game.
I am not saying Pat White is a bust, so don't put words in my mouth. I am not saying Pat White cannot improve. I'm simply making the point that Pat White has a looooong way to go and much work to do.
That is the reason the Dolphins have been reticent about using White in the wildcat package. They're so busy trying to bring him up to speed on being able to play quarterback in the base offense, they don't want to overload him with extra stuff.
So where does this leave us?
It leaves the Dolphins in the very good hands of Chad Pennington. It leaves the Dolphins hoping Pennington stays healthy. It leaves them needing to do more things -- in practice and perhaps even in regular-season games -- to get Henne to play.
It leaves the grand plans for WildPat on the shelf for the time being. Oh, the Dolphins will use Wildcat, no doubt about that. But Ronnie Brown remains the triggerman for that package right now, with two weeks left before the start of the regular season.