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Tackling the Dolphins QBs - with '07 moment

Of the reams of emails I get, the three subjects most often covered in those cybernotes are on the Dolphins quarterbacks, on Jason Taylor, and on how much I stink at this, that or the other thing.

The topic here excuses the latter two topics from the conversation and takes a marksman's aim at the quarterbacks.

Firstly, Dolphins quarterbacks have been pretty inconsistent during this training camp. What did you expect? Midseason form?

I would say the Dolphins have the right idea in that Chad Pennington is the starter, as he's been the most effective QB in camp, while Chad Henne is clearly miles ahead of Pat White, so they come in at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.

But here are some notes I've jotted that I want to share:

Although the Dolphins talk about these guys continuing to compete, the competition is over. Anyone with eyes can see that. Looking at how the staff has broken down practice repetitions, I find it hard to believe Henne can surpass Pennington or White can surpass Henne. The fact is, in team-related drills, Pennington has gotten practically all the work with the starters, Henne gets all of the work with the reserves and about 5 percent with starters, and White has gotten practically all the remaining work with the bottom-of-the roster guys.

Yes, Henne is likely to get as much, if not more, playing time in the preseason. But we all know that's to get him ready in case Pennington gets hurt. As for White, he's going to be involved in a package of plays the team will set for him for the regular season. Pass Henne as Jeff Ireland originally suggested he's be allowed to do? Not happening.

Secondly, there has been much criticism of White this offseason and again early in camp because he obviously does not have the strongest arm or most impressive build in the world. The Dolphins talk of changing the bodies of players. They need to change White's body because he resembles my 12-year-old nephew, all scrawny and wiry and looking like a 220-pound safety could tackle him into next week if given the chance.

Having said all that, White, I believe he is already better than John Beck.

Let me repeat that. White is already better than John Beck.

He has better control of the huddle. He is more mobile than Beck. And, seemingly, more courageous than Beck in that he attacks the defense rather than letting the defense attack him. White is more apt to throw down the field than Beck, who became frustratingly timid with checkdown passes.

Yes, Beck has a better arm and probably always will. But what good is a strong arm if you only use it for 5-yard dump passes? Yes, Beck is built bigger and stronger than White. But what good is a bigger body, if Beck rarely put that body in motion by leaving the pocket.?

I would say there is a 60-40 chance White earns playing time in some Pat Package this year. And I'd say he will be more effective in that package than Beck ever was in his rookie year. That package will include passes but also be a lot about running the football, and if you don't believe that check out the video.

Finally, there is no doubt that Henne has a much better arm than Pennington. Everyone says it because, well, it's true. But Pennington's experience, vision and almost obssessive devotion to learning the defense, learning his receivers, and recognizing situations keeps him ahead of Henne.

And the gap isn't likely to narrow because while Henne works hard, Pennington works hard longer. And for now, that's good enough to keep the gap between them a noticeable one. By the way, check out my column on Pennington in today's Miami Herald. It shows you why the Dolphins can put Pennington in his current uncomfortable situation and he doesn't wilt.

Today's Classic Training Camp Moment takes us back to the bad ol' days of 2007. On Aug. 31, 2007 the Dolphins gave us a clear indication what life was going to be like under new coach Cam Cameron.

That evening, the Dolphins wrapped up their final preseason game but, in his infinite wisdom, Cameron made the decision not to coach his team against the Saints only days before the start of the regular-season.

Before the game, Cameron decided it might be a good idea to hand the team over to defensive coordinator Dom Capers so he could work as the head coach and be ready to step in should Cameron somehow need to be absent at some future time. Tight end coach Mike Mularkey was called up o call plays as the offensive coordinator and linebacker coach George Edwards was told to run the defense as the defensive coordinator.

Cameron's role would be to merely observe and grade his players and coaches as well as give his team a good run-through in case he ever was unavailable.

“It gives me a chance not only to watch our staff, but also gives me a chance to evaluate these guys tonight,” Cameron said during a halftime television interview.

A couple of problems: A coach can't evaluate by using tape of the game?

Also, Capers, who served stints as a head coach in Carolina and Houston, didn't really need to practice being a head coach. In fact, it was Cameron who desperately needed the training.

Mularkey had been a play-caller in several NFL stops, including Miami, and really didn't need the work, either.

And, to top it all off, after telling his staff, players, media department and a TV reporter at halftime that he wasn't coaching, he denied it in his post-game press conference! Despite not wearing a headset the entire game and not being the man who talked with the refs about calls (Capers did that), Cameron tried to act like the media was crazy to believe he had not coached the team.

"Everyone knows I'm the head coach of the Miami Dolphins," he insisted. "Tonight, last night, tomorrow."

Cameron was no longer the head coach six months later.


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Whoever said you stink at this never reads Cote or Lebetard.

Keep up the good work!

Matt in NC

Mando, you are the man!

We stink, though.


I say you pay Penny as a starter for another two years and keep the QB trio in tact.

I am as much a fan of Pennington as the next Dolphin fan is now, but I am still anxious to see if he will follow last season's success with more success this year without injury or other setbacks. While I am hoping for the best, I am also really eager to see Henne under center as the starter.

By the way, Armando, I too commend you on the job you have been doing with this blog.

I read your column, Mando, and everytime I hear Pennington talk, I gain more respect for him. Any other QB would be complaining about his status after proving himself for so long.

That makes him special in my book.

God bless, Chad Pennington.

Chad Pennington is a real class act and deserves to get the starter nod after last year and how he worked and prepared for this year. Chad Henne is obviously the future and until he outworks Pennington or Pennington is injured, he will get the valuable time in learning this system as well as gaining more knowledge of NFL defenses. Pat White will be effective in the role he is given and I agree with you 100 percent about the state of the QB position for now.

I think we have good problems here. I'm almost certain that we will see Pat White break a long run this season at a critical moment and I believe he will also hit someone deep with a scoring strike. His speed will force defenders to linger towards the box and if they don't I believe he will scramble very well. That said, kudos to you and your QB position insight in this one.

As for people who hate on you, I am not one of them, though I do disagree with what I think are sometimes, 'against the grain' opinions or when I think you are overly negative. I know the Phins are coming off a rough stretch and that probably enabled that. But fans need a nice dose of positivity to stay motivated. Or else they just follow you down the Path of Doom. I haven't seen any of that from you this off-season, and I do read your blog so you must be doing something right. :) I do love me some 'Omar' though, as I have to give him credit for his hard work and insights into trench warfare that others seem to mostly ignore. Later Armando.

Compared to Cote, you are a Hall of Famer.

Has the team ever addressed what they're going to do about the 3rd QB rule yet? Will they just let PW do his ting and if Penny gets hurt, go with Henne without PW the rest of the game?

Pat White didn't have the coaching expertise at WVU that he has now with the Dolphins. Since arriving in Miami, he's had to adjust his throwing motion and it's obviously taking him some time to get comfortable. If Dolphin fans will be patient, this will work itself out and his accuracy will improve. But even if he never takes a snap at quarterback, Pat White will do some amazing things on the football field and the Dolphins organization deserves credit for recognizing his talent. Believe me, he will bring a type of excitement to Miami that will fill seats and build confidence. Dolphin fans will realize this and remember the first time they see him in the open field, turning on the speed and eluding tacklers. The future is bright in Miami.

I still don't get using a pick that high on Pat White. It's obvious Pennington's starting this year and Henne's marked as the starter for the future. 2nd round picks should be used for building the foundation of your team (like Merling, Henne, and Sean Smith). 2nd round picks should be guys that are going to be starters, not guys that will max out at 12 plays.

In Beck's defense, he had absolutely no weapons to throw to. Marty Booker had completely given up and wasn't even trying. Chambers was traded. The check-downs were an effective part of the Cameron offense that had Ronnie leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage. You got a choice between jamming a ball to Hagan into double coverage or checking down to Ronnie, you check down to Ronnie.

I still don't think they draft Pat to be a starting QB. They drafted him to run the Wildcat. I also heard a rumor that they drafted him because they believed that the Cheatriots were going draft him as a wildcat QB. I hope that's not true. Those kind of decisions are Wannstedt terriroty.

Don't mess with John Beck. We'll take you for a ride on one of our bicycles and you'll never be heard from again.

Pat White is a BUST, and always will be. He will never be an NFL QB. Whoever drafted him should be fired, no matter who that is.

So Pat White hasn't played a game yet and he's a bust? So Bill Parcells drafts Pat White and he should be fired?

If that is not the most retarded comment on any Dolphins blog at any time, I don't know which would be.

Sir, please kill yourself imediately and put both us and yourself out of your misery.

By the way, Armando, I got your tweet yesterday David Martin being ill and how he had not gone awol.

I am assuming that was to correct the screwup by Omar Kelly who reported Martin AWOL and having groin and hernia problems. What a tool.

Armando, is obviously very good at what he does. He gets inside info from a regime that is more secretive than the Russian KGB. If you dont think he's a great beat writer, you just dont know enough about the NFL to have an opinion.

However, there is no reason to rip on other beat writers for any reason whatsoever. They are human beings just trying to do their jobs and support their families.

Omar Kelly grew up as a pretty poor guy, selling stadium consessions at Joe Robbie Stadium. He worked his way up and now has a very respectable job as a (very good) beat writer for an NFL team. He is married and has kids. And he's a good guy. Why would you rip a guy like that?

I am not some yuppy tree hugger, or a priest, nor do I know Omar Kelly on a personal level. Nor does it make a real difference whether you take shots at him or not. I just dont get the hatred.


How do you figure Pat White is a bust? What info do you have to back this up? I don't get you.


"If that is not the most retarded comment on any Dolphins blog at any time, "

You have not read any of Justin's posts lately. His might take the cake. I'm just saying.

LMFAO@ACE. I second that. Run ! , Forrest/justin Run !

By the end of the 1st qtr of the first game Pat White will be a permanent starter and our most valuable offensive player.

Dear Mr. FLPD

"If that is not the most retarded comment on any Dolphins blog at any time, I don't know which would be."

Have any of my posts cracked your top ten list ?

Soiled :)

Excellent first week of camp for the 'Fins.They appear to be a lot stronger than last year's division championship team:
1.Jason Taylor appears ready for a return to dominance.
2.The heavy competition at WR and CB will result in major improvement at these 2 key positions,regardless of whoever comes out on top.
3.The leadership shown by NFL completion pct. leader Chad Pennington with his extra-curricular meetings is way above and beyond the call of duty.

Mando is a great reporter, just a crappy writer.

Man i cant wait to see us take on other teams,preseason of course,that should let us know who's a player or not.The best thing about these gms is the fact our sets will and should be basic since we play all four during the season. If flutie was big enough anybody can play,and as long as white play for the phins he's my guy. Henne is my guy but what has he done in college or the nfl to say he's the next great. At least white proved it in college and will push henne to get better if he is to be starter of the future! Go dolphins go dolphins go!!

what about the cecil "diesel" collins factor?

My favorite part of the video was seeing Pat run one in against Pitt, then the shot of Wannstedt making one of those 'how he do dat" faces.

I agree with you about Pennington. It will be interesting to see if he is re-signed at the end of this season.

I don't know anything about Pat White. We will see what happens. Sometimes those wirey guys play like they have another 40 lbs on the frame.

It is true, I was born a pore black child. And now I'm a middle class black man. And during that time when I growed up and out I still didn't learn gramma or how to get facts straight.

Chad P is one cool cat. Barring injury he should do well for us. I cannot forget in years past all of the INTs that our past QBs have given up.


You stated the following about JUSTIN "You're funny like a clown. LMAO !" When you said this I got a visual of Homey the Clown from In Living Color. If you recall this character was always mad about whitey and the man holding him down. LMFAO(2x)

Wow we have another quitter leave camp, at this rate 53 will decide itself not coaches. Do they realize nobody will take a chance on a quitter, so their careers are over! Its a damn shame

I hope you think Pat White is going to play this year when you write, "there is a 60-40 chance White earns playing time in some Pat Package this year."

Hopefully the 60 part was on the side of Pat running the Wildcat or some updated Pat Package.

The reason? Take a look at the schedule. As good as the rooks--especially receivers and DBs--(and Jason Taylor) have looked in training camp, try to find six wins on that schedule. It's hard.

Diversion and trickery, just as they were last year, will be pivotal. We might be able to go toe to toe with anyone by next year, but our game-changer last year was the Wildcat, and we better have the Pat Package to go to this year, or else it could be a lot of close losses and a losing record.

I'd rather strive valiantly, with daring, with Pat White and his pending package than to just get beat by better teams, like we did with the Ravens last year, twice. The old saying "fake it until you can make it" applies here.

ACE . LOL ! YEAH , Also remember joe pesci in goodfellas . " I'm a clown , i amuse you. How am i funny "

NJ PHON FAN starting to sound like the devil

C...do you mean because he speaks the truth like I do?

NJ, Q for you.

What were you and NY SCOTT arguing about earlier this afternoon in the last blog?

you speak the truth alright. you guys are haters

ACE . What are you talking about. ? That wasn't me. I was out this late afternoon -early evening. If have anything to say , i say it myself.

ace, do you like to eat zucchini?

C I love you, I really do love you


My bad, cannot help the investigative side of me....it just takes over sometimes.

lol...ace playing 007 my azzzzz

C I love you because you are the one I aspire to be, really

lol...ace playing funny

good night ace, talk to you soon to resume our none sense crap talk .

Ace . I mean 007 LOL !. it's all good.


Would you believe me if I told you I work for the Federal Govt?

Ace. I thought it was the British secret service.

Armando, thar's no such thing as reams of e-mail; do you mean e-mail reams? I assume that you assume that Allen Iverson's size is why he never drove into the lane with the big boys, and could not get the ball to the basket from 3 point range, and was not Mr. Football in high school for his state. In fact, if you were the only witness, you Probably WOULD believe those things about Iverson, just as you believe that Pat White's sailing the ball sometimes, rather than underthrowing it, somehow means he has a weak arm, because, well, LOOK at his arm. Jeez, and you probably figure Mark Breland's opponents knocked themselves out. Too many sportswriters seem like they must never have excelled at ANY sport, or even so much as played with anyone who did, given some of the things they spout.

Re: The Pat White video - I love that shot of a defeated Dave Wannstedt.

TONY ROMO was an undrafted player when he came out of college. Bill parcels saw something in him special and kept him around on the practice squad at first, and then moved him up to third string quarterback by year 3. now he is considered one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the league. Pat white's college resume is beyond outstanding. i remember 49er fans crying about drafting Jerry rice, and crying even more about reports of him looking below average in camp. I remember Alex smith getting a standing ovation by the coaches at the NFL combine because of his outstanding performance. They had never seen anything like it. Has not translated to the field. JUST A FEW PRACTICE HIGHLIGHT MOMENTS. Take that ARMANDO!!


You're doing a great job. Thanks for the Pat White video and the personal insights. Still loving the Clssic Trainging Camp Moments.

Hey, I just heard that Beck is doing great in ravens camp. You suck Armando. You've been against Beck from the beginning.

ACE --- Would you believe it if i told you i worked for the Federal Govt??? What is your G rating??? Phins 27 Atlanta 13.

Yeah, that was about the time when I thought Cam might turn out to be crap. I think what he was really doing was observing how a game should be managed. Unfortunately, the lesson was not learned. I cant argue against the fact that he is a good OC but he was an awful HC.

With the depth at Quarterback, I predict an undefeated season.....preseason that is

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