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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.


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Pat White is a gamer, dont worry about the kid, he'll be fine...Henne on the other hand worries me some...I had hoped he would have been much more consistent, to this point.

and I also think there's more wildcat in the back pocket than we know about at this point.

Ty, your comment about Henne could have been said about Aaron Rodgers when he was a rookie/first year during training camp/preseason. You guys need to calm down and trust in what the fins FO is doing. The only thing I look at that's worth anything from Henne was is drive VS Arizona. He looked just fine then.

should tom brady go down...yadda yadda yadda...should peyton manning go down yadda yadda yadda...the list goes on and on.

but hows this? should jerod meyo go down! Junior seau to the rescue once again!!!LOL

I think people are overreacting to this whole ordeal. I mean god, at least he didnt do what dirty sanchez did vs. baltimore.

tampa through some stuff at him which would explain a DL intercepting the pass over the middle.

the thing is just like sparano said, he needs to bounce back. all the great ones do and all the great ones have had bad games. even the great tom brady! remember 21-0 in miami? of course you dont because he bounced back. give the dude some slack. I mean, i know you need something to write about but its a game of chess most of the time.

the entire team was sleap walking through that game. why dont you write about that? 3 games in 11 days. Or do you not write objectively?

"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."

This statement is true for all 32 teams in the league. No one playing with there 3rd QB has much of a chance for a win. That is why it is usually a development guy. Come on now Chicken Little, the sky is not exactly falling here.

Miami is not the only team in the league that is facing similar problems, if you want to call having a very solid pro with many years to play still in the tank a problem. With few exceptions, teams are thin at the QB position. Even in New England, where every talking head in the nation has anointed the Patsy's with the division win, Brady is pretty much alone. Should Brady go down, the Patsy's would certainly suffer greatly and their odds of a division rout would drop drastically. Miami needs to get Pennington a solid 3 to 5 year contract and allow him to play and compete yearly for his position yearly just as every other QB must. I must also be honest in saying Henne may not be what we hope. Its 2 years into his career and I am not getting that trusting feeling I have seen with former starters early on in their NFL stay. Time will tell for certain. But keeping a sharp eye come draft season may not be a half bad idea.



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You guys are being ridiculous and impatient. We have an MVP caliber QB starting for Miami this year. Yes his noodle arm this, yes his wr's suck, yes hes never been healthy, bla bla bla....... HE MAKES IT WORK! period. If he goes down? Henne is the man we've been grooming for 15 months now. well, you send him to the wolves and unleash ginn, and see what happens. If it works out, we found our new Marino, If it doesnt? we have a bad year... thats what happened in Cincy right, palmer went down, fitzpatrick sucked..... IF BOTH GO DOWN, well then u have to sign another qb for depth REGARDLESS, maybe Testeverde at age 50, who the hell knows, ITS an UNLIKELY and UNFORTUNATE circumstance.... Pennington and Fiedler went down, the Jets season washed up pretty much 3 years ago, big deal..... White is being trained to be the #3 qb in case this happens....... oh well he should be utilized to accentuate his skill set. Well thats good and dandy, but if he's having a hard time handling the snap and getting his footwork right, HOW THE HELL IS HE GONNA HAND THE BALL OFF TO R & R???? if your 1 and 2 qbs go down, you become a 1 dimensional team. Hes gotta figure out how to play QB cause he is the emergency qb period. THEN he can work on the wildcat packages.......... every blogger here, your patience is pathetic. One taste of the playoffs and now its win now, and u cant help us if you dont win now..... relax, simmer down, take some depressants, and let 2009 play out as it will..... the Trifecta is doing just that, and i am sure Parcells is planning out 2010 and 2011 as we speak, while all the warm weather fans are focused on ONLY 2009. RELAX

You and every other fish wrap writer in this town, 'Mando, accepted the pre-season baloney, coming from inside sources, about the organization preferring Henne over Penne ASAP. This was a ruse to placate Henne, which has worked perfectly considering his underperformance in the exhibition games. (Has anyone figured out that NOBODY would outperform Pennington at QB for this team in camp?)

Pennington is Parcells dream QB--and he's younger than Vinny Testaverde! Pennington will be the Dolphins base-offense QB until he is injured or turns 45, whichever comes first.

Pat White was drafted as a spread QB or possible Wildcat participant. Anyone can tell he's not a prototypical dropback passer and never will be. He does, however, have to learn the base offense first for a variety of reasons.

Sparano tells the media, I repeat, tells you that he's going to put together a Pat White Spread Package to play to his strengths. You report it and then forget it.

Are we going to now abandon the surprise-unveiling technique used last year against the likes of the Patriots and start showing our hand in meaningless pre-season games like the Eagles and Vikings are doing now?

Absolutely not, because we already have game experience in the Wildcat, and the Pat Package is coming--if we are to believe the coach. If the Pat Package does not appear, if a new-wrinkle Wildcat does not surface, we're going 6-10 against this schedule.

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