« Jake Long struggles as challenging season awaits | Main | Dolphins get day at the movies -- UPDATED »

A look at the Dolphins' curious QB situation

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.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference A look at the Dolphins' curious QB situation:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Shutup ct fin fan. You are just like the people that said Ryan leaf was a star after the preseason because he threw for three hundred yards. Chad henne is fine. Put him in the game in regular season play, give him some actual PT, and it will make all of you doubters FINALLY SHUTUP! gawd, if green bay had the attitude I've seen from our dolphans lately, then Aaron Rodgers would have had beer bottles thrown at him from the word go. Just. Shut. Up.

Wow the season hasn't even started , what happen if new england lose Brady for the season or maybe the colts lose Peyton , Come on Mando you are better than this

I'm going to say this one last time, if penny is our starting qb, and he throws and plays the exact same way as last year, we will not make the playoffs this year. NO WAY. 15 points a game or whatever will not get it done.

Second string Quaterbacks do not win in this league period

Before anyone else rips on Chad henne, I was there at the first preseason game, and it started pouring the moment before he threw his int. And part of it was because the receiver gave up because of the rain on the route. But bless henne, he was still playing balls out, and the poor sob hasn't touched a dry ball yet in the preseason.

maybe finheavenblows can blow dry Henne's balls since he is so passionate guy.

The trifecta claims they want competition at every position, yet they have anointed Henne as the future. Sounds like no competition to me. Or have they been just saying he's the future which pushes Pennington and gives him competition. Either way, Henne is not looking so hot, especially after Tampa. We'll know before the year is up what the Trifecta's plan actually is.

Let's see...who to bash? An underachieving Dolphins player or Armando? I will say, I wasn't thrilled with the play of the secondary against Tampa, but aside from that... all the negativity seems unnecessary. Long blew a couple of plays. Henne went 2 for 8 with a pick. Ginn only had one catch. I think the Dolphins' starters this preseason proved that they're fairly strong and still have some work to do. Is that really a surprise to anyone? As for the QB's, Penny is still the best option but the Sparano quote that jumped out at me the last couple of weeks is that the coaches have confidence that Henne could run the same (entire) offense that Penny runs. The only potential drop off would be in execution, and my guess is that Henne would be fine after a few bumps in the road. The kid is good. We'll only know if he's great when they give him the reins for real (not just simulated pre-season stuff). I do agree with Armando that if Penny goes down they should sign a veteran QB to back up Henne. Let's cross that bridge when we come to it. Hopefully we won't have to.

I am the smartest poster on here. All I have to do is misrepresent, misquote and mistake everything everybody says and turn it into a controversy among fans and reporters.

Hey do you like the dolphins? I know you are a so called sports writer, but report something about the dolphins and not only your personal opinions about the Dolphins. Go interview somebody, tells us what's happening during practice, let us know if the starters are going to play in New Orleans. We all have enough opinions about the Dolphins( good or bad) give us some info.

Nuts! Good article. Excellent analysis.

finhaven is the smartest poster here, me kno this true, he very good at what he does

Gary Stevens it is people like you that will drive Armando from here. He is a very valuable resource to us true fans, you jerk. Leave him alone

Henne is not the QB of the future! How many good rookies must we see perform well in both pre -season and the regular season before we realise this Henne character is a Bust.

Mando, You continue to attack the skills and production of Pat White. I dont get it? Did you not watch the games that Henne has played. Do you think that with 2 preseasons behind Henne that Pat White will not be the better option at # 2 next year, behind Chad Pennington. You need to get over your HATE for Pat White. Give him the same shot that you have given Henne for the last 1+ year.

If you're talking about the sideline pass that got called back for the penalty the ball was underthrown, That is Hartline was facing penny instead of the end zone when he caught it.

The ball that Henne threw to Camarillo, that counted as a completed 50 yarded was a ball thrown into coverage that the receiver made a play on.

That's what seperates top qb's & receivers: they can make a play when it's hard. Not just when the defender falls down.

When working with first team 2 weeks ago Henne moved the offense like Hitler through Poland. That's why CBS labeled him the player of the game.

Not really sure your points, Armando. There isn't a team in the league who wouldn't be in a quandry if there top two QB's went down. Look, I'm not expecting huge things from the Dolphins this year. It's very difficult to take that next step. It's easier to go from 1-15 to 11-5 than it is to go from 11-5 and win the Super Bowl. Teams will be gunning for the Dolphins this year, EVERY week!! They aren't going to surprise anyone this season. I'm pretty comfortable with Pennington and the flexibility to bring him back next year or cut him loose if he gets injured or shows he can't do it. Henne still has a bright future....he just has a lot to learn. White was drafted for a reason and I think he will be effective after a little more time.

C'mon Mando are you serious about Henne not the future? Have you touched on Mark Sanchez? Is he the future for the Jets? Exactly, so you can't tell me Henne isn't the future. Look everyone is just Wigging out on one game. How many games has Brady, Manning, or McNabb has had? and you want to dump Henne after one PRESEASON game. Why don't you write something more reasonable, like how the Offensive line is gelling together. Let's write about facts not predictions or reaching for a story after one performance. Now if Henne looked like he did against Tampa the other previous games he's played in, THEN I'd be worried. It was only one game, and we are not following the scripts of other Regimes that have failed here. TRIFECTA has a plan with Henne. And I'm sorry he didn't start right away (i.e.~Flacco, Ryan) but its better than putting him out there early to Fail than succeed. PLUS he has a great Teacher in Chad Pennington, so next year he will know how to prepare, coach, and get in sync with the team. To write him off now would screw up what THIS Regime (which I think is best staff we've had in Miami in a long time) has planned. If they screw up, they'll let us know, but at least they won't do anything that will make you scratch your head like in past regimes. Just Chill and unfortunately, will be a wait and see on Henne, but to write him off after one game is Ludicrous. GO DOLPHINS!!

I'm reading alot of "what if" stories lately. They haven't even had final cuts yet and I'm now reading that the quarterback situation is in a tizzy. Henne was competing for the starting job before they signed Pennington. Now he's no good? How refreshing is this? White has yet to do anything and he's being labeled looooong shot? Oh wait, my bad, it says he has a loooooong way to go. Seems no more than a month ago, the stories were about who should be the starter. Now, we have one starter and two players with alot of work to do. Let's not worry about the "what if's" until they happen. Then my guess would be Henne plays better than expected.
Do a story on Turner. I haven't seen anything about him since mini camp when he was.........."Turner the burner". How did that work out?


I usually defend you but this blog posting was absolutely ridicules...

First - Henne is playing in the PRE SEASON - as a rookie (might as well be). Of course he's going to be inconsistent. Hell - Tom Brady was inconsistent his first half a dozen games as a starter. This tells - absolutely nothing.

Second - name a team that can win with their THIRD string QB? One team - I'll wait.... NO TEAM has that kind of depth... The Patriots won with Matt Cassels last year but what happened to their 3rd string QB? Thats what I thought... unemployed.

This is crazy... are we really grasping for straws this badly that we're writing crap like this? I expected better... Henne will be fine and I trust the Trifecta's judgement (at least overall)

It leaves them needing to draft a QB, let's not get starry eyed. Henne will be average, and Pat White is unfathomable as a starter.

The Dolphins QB woes continue.


How can you judge Henne on how he plays in the preseason??? It only matters when the game counts. Henne will have a great career once Sparano gives him the keys to the offense

Pat White is the future, just wait and see... words will be eaten and enjoyed.

White was a freshman in college when QBs #1 and #2 got hurt and he had to step in ("not ready"). Sure, he looked green for a few series, and then the lights came on and the rest was history. The man is a winner, pure and simple.


You guys have probably never seen this video, just watch and opinions will change:


CT PHIN Fan, This is only henne's 2nd camp ! not his third.

For most teams that lose their 1 and 2 QBs, it would likely doom their season.
Remember when the Dolphins lost Marino? Scott Mitchell was the 3rd QB (I think Secules was #2). We also had Doug Pederson that year. Remember Shula couldn't remember his name when he had to call him up after Mitchell got hurt? Somehow, I think we ended up with Steve DeBerg late in the year. Bottom line: there was chaos at the QB spot and we didn't make the playoffs.

Frank , i agrre with on clint sintim. That's who i wanted miami to pick when they went pat white.

Mando usually like the articles but whats with you being all negative about the team lately- Jake long isn't good enough b/c of preseason play-he went to the probowl last year in rookie season. Kiper keep talking its easy to say wuld should of takn Ryan when your not sitting in our position. what position do you see more busts at left tackle or quarterback not even close. Plus its all about the situation you are given if we took ryan he would of been playn with an offense that wouldnt of been able to protect him or run the ball. The whole lets smash are thrid quarterback is rediculous----Mando who is winning games with thier 3rd string QB----NO-ONE----Pat white will be used in the wildcat and you will see it in ATLanta. Making him learn the base offense is harder then makn him learn the spread which he already knows...they are tryn to make him a all around QB----Dont read into preseason that hard.....its the time where you try new things and see what works----plus gain from ur mistakes----Wilson and Bell will be a scary combo once they work together for a while----

you wanna bash someone tell JUSTIN SMILEY to start earning some of the money he is making and allow us to run inside to we can win 10 games.........!!!!!

NJ, whats up man? You are not in blue today.

The way I see it is Penne will be fine
and Henne needs some more time.

Here's a couple of facts: Henne is not a bust yet. But he's getting closer all the time. We will know by the end of the season.

White will NEVER be a starting NFL QB.

Conclusion: Keep looking, Parcells knows Henne was a mistake.

NJ uses the word I too many times , always never fail to point out that he's wright as the case in 4;21 pm .

is this guy NJ PHIN has a job ?

Joe, Good highlite reel, I like the potential of White in some of the packages that Miami will have for him in due time.

I think Henne is still an unknown commodity and can't be judged properly until he gets to start at least 4-5 games.
Since he was drafted in the 2nd round with a plan to make him our future then I really hope he rises to the top when called upon in the regular season.

I will be pulling for him to succeed.
Here is a very funny video/song against Henne from a Ohio St. friendly bar band...lol.
Maybe we should play it on the jumbo tron to remind Henne what his motivation is :)


GetterDone Phins and Go Henne!

Sooo, Miami's third string QB would struggle id pressed into a starting role? YAWN. Miam and about 28 other teams you clown.

If Pat White is a danger to throw the ball in the Wildcat, isn't it more of a wishbone then? He can run, pitch or throw.
I watched the TB game, Smith at CB looks like a budding star.
How would you like to have your QB coming off a major injury with Bobby Hoying as the backup?

Haha, GetterDone. Great clip. So basically we have:

Pat White highlights:

Chad Henne highlights:

I supposed White did it with mirrors in the college ranks, eh? The kids got it. But it may take a little longer than 2 months. Nothing like nothing to write about huh Salguero? By the way, didn't you say Vern Carey couldn't take care of business also?

Armando, I've noticed that you are a Pat White hater. I dont know if we've been watching different preseason games but when White has been in at quarter back, he really has not looked THAT bad. Most of his throws were on the money and his receivers made him look bad. His drop back is slower then the others but did not look slow enough to be a problem. He has problems reading coverages? The kid started 4 years and made WV a household name. After seeing what I've seen out of chad Henne this preseason playing against second and third string talent, I honestly can say I would rather see White pulling the trigger. If you look back on Henne's college career, he NEVER won a big game. He's had a year to learn the offense and quite honestly still looks lost. TD pass to Wilford was a joke, and his dump pass to the fullback for a TD was too easy. Henne is a sitting duck in the pocket. He looks like a slower version of the 42 year old Vinne Testeverde. You need to get off your Henne fixation and realize that he isn't much further, gametime wise, then White.

Here are some good highlights of Henne against the Gators in the 2008 Capital One Bowl.
He had over 370yds passing 3td's & 2int's.
Note most of his passing was from the shotgun. The game was a shootout that Michigan won 41-35.
Some great catches by Manningham.

the best writer around to read deep and wonderful articles .ARMANDO is one of kind and dolphin nation don't deserve him.

I have been one of the guys that has stood behind the Henne plan, but this article has reaffirmed what a lot of us have been thinking for sometime. I watch each game for something more then a ten yard pass and rarely ever see it. I confess that I had a lot more confidence in Fielder then I do in Henne! I also agree that our future QB has no buissness riding the bench for three camps! A very good QB is just not going to be on the bench that long or at least in this, his third preseason he should be putting the heat on Pennington but it seems to me he may not even be putting the heat on Ronnie Brown!

For a moment though think about what the Dolphins could do........

They could......trade a few QBs


They could......trade a few RBs


They could......trade a few Picks

and get any QB in the Draft they want!

I don't buy that Henne is the future any longer, he just doesn't look that much improved over last year.

I could be wrong though, he did throw a lot of TDS in Collage and he is a big guy.

However, I don't think we need to worry because some of the best personnel guys in football will have a lot of options at there disposal when the time comes!

There's few things that I'm absolutely certain of. And one of them is that if Henne was ready to go now... he'd be our quarterback RIGHT NOW! I assume that the 3 year rebuilding plan is just that.l And if Henne was all that, that they'd look for any reason at all to get him in the line up this year... for some valuable seasoning for next year's run for the division/conference/and dare I say it?!?!...

This Dolphin's brass WON'T waste time or money on players that won't pan out for them unless they're bound by contract to do so (like wilford's issue contract last year that they finally ate this year). sure they've made mistakes.. like every other team in the league but I don't think that they're about to make "political" decisions either (see slice, chop & whack - or - abrupt dismissal of taylor, mcnown and feely last year). The Tuna has made it clear that he wants the best 53 athletes he can find and the best 11 will be on the field at all times.

IT'S THIS EPIPHANY THAT WORRIES ME... if Henne was anywhere close to ready to step in... he would have by now. But the sad and obvious fact of the matter concerning who our #1 QB is - is that Henne's not even made it a tough decision. And I'd hoped that by game 4 of his second preseason... that he would have by now.

It's no surprise that Wild-Cat-Pat isn't ready yet. But the optimist in me hoped he would be. At least for the Wild-Cat set. So I wonder out loud how smart it was of the Fins' Brass to INSIST that White be a drop back passer FIRST before they even THINKING about the Wild Cat. Now... if they'd given him 15 plays to learn inside and out... and spoon fed him the playbook over the next 2 years that we'd get VALUE value out of THIS year's draft picks right away. If we could use him for 5-8 plays a game... and more if he's as effective - that would be a great thing!. But until he's declared a bust... I will continue to LOVE for it's bravery and can't wait to see it in motion.

So what's the upshot with our QB situation?? we MIGHT be brilliant!?... or we might have 2 out of 3 QB busts. BRING BACK DANNY BOY!


stupid people Chad will be fine I watched him for four years he's not one of thoughs cry baby Florida qbs we play real football up here drop back pass run fight spread offense is another word for untalented

Mando like the gloom and doom. I always suspect he for pats fan secretly.

Mando, I do believe you're puzzled every morning when you pick up your socks........'This one here, or this one there?'
I took a look at the back up QB's at most teams, and we're no worse off than the majority. Look at New England, if Brady goes down (if he hasn't already), d'ya think they'll be looking to sign someone in a hurry? Other than the likes of Charlie Batch in Pittsburgh, there's not much quality out there.

Robert Evans, who is a cry baby florida qb? Seems like the teach real good english "up there". "thoughs" was my personal favorite.

Amused your mother was a bust too.

Finheavenblows just like I said opinions are good, but if Mando is a sports writer, write some facts and some happenings in camp and not only his opinions of the Dolfins. If Mando is any good he will know how to keep his job.

You must be related......

Carlito, you point well taken but you have to agree that armando writes w/ deep understanding of dolphin fans and their needs in time of sorrow and time of joy.

Armando El Stupido,That leaves us in this position.... Get a job at subway. You can contribute to Jared's weight loss, and stop torturing us with your painful reporting.

I disagree.

The Dolphins need to STOP messing with their QB'S and winning footbal games with the one they have and sign him for next year, they are obviously far away from another qb, were going to end up with another Feely years, LOSING LOSING LOSING, and I think fin fans are not going to take that BS. Chad is the Man and I didn't see the other QB's do anything that the High School qb's Do.
Pray that we get Tebo or Were sunk...Maybe that's what their going to do is Blow this season so they can get the #1 pick. Man it's so hard to be a Dolphin Fan and have so many losing seasons....Quit messing with the Quarter Backs...Henne was not impressive AT ALL, and white needs to take tips from High School players...Oh why am I a Dolphin Fan?????

The answer is, that you are not a Dolphin fan!
Go back to your Gameboy :)

Pat White probably won't be operating the Wildcat. He will be working most likely out of a spread formation. Technically the Wildcat is where the running-back lines up under center and the QB lines up wide. That's not what White will be doing.

That's why a lot of commentators claimed that White might be used as a WR in the wildcat. That forces your opponent to line up a defender opposite the QB/WR, thus creating a seam to expose the opposition. If the opposing D decides to line up a linebacker opposite your QB/WR, that will really create gap control problems for them. Put a DB there, and that opens up the aerial attack for your offense.

There's a lot of different ways to milk this, but you really need the personnel to get extra creative.

I personally think, given the huge project that he is, that Pat White was taken way too high in the draft. The prospect of using an atletic QB like White in the spread offense, which is the latest trend in the NFL, caused him to be drafted in the upper half of the 2nd round, but any other year, he would have been a 5th rounder.

If Pennington continues to be Pennington, I think his play alone will warrant the knod for at least one more year, a'la Drew Bledsoe, Romo,and the Tuna in Dallas? Parcells has turned QB issues into Superbowl rings before. Simms, Hostetler, Pennington, Henne.....blah blah blah. Just freakin win baby!!!!

Wow, bumbest blog I have ever read. Henne would be just fine starting game one. As good as penny? Probably not, but the kid has got to learn in real game situations. He's had a year to learn the offense. So now it's he either has it, or he doesn't. Dolphins are set at the QB position. More than the bills, the jets, and even the pats if Brady goes down again.

Dumbest*. LOL

Mando - face it, you are incapable of writing anything positive about Pat White. And there are many Dolphin fans ready to dismiss him based upon your comments. He has been nothing but a winner anywhere he's played and the same will be true in Miami, once he's comfortable in the plan for his talents. The Brass in Miami have been smart in not displaying for the world the way in which they plan to use Pat White. Once the regular season begins, you will all see WHY he was drafted with the 2nd pick. Bill Parcels knows what he is doing or don't you people get that?

Why are people acting as if we need to resign Pennington? The guy is accurate cause he passes to guys 5 yards away. Pennington will never take us where we want to go, he a backup.

Matt Ryan is ancient history, we should try to get Tavarris Jackson to run our wildcat offense.

The comments to this entry are closed.