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Henne to become as good as Ryan, Flacco?

You might not remember what happened last Oct. 16 because it was a blip on the radar screen during a time the Dolphins were bombarding us with good news and a playoff run and a great turnaround season.

On that October day last year, Dolphins offensive coordinator Dan Henning was asked about the rookie QBs -- Matt Ryan in Atlanta and Joe Flacco in Baltimore -- making a sudden and surprising impact on the NFL.

And Henning said this: "We think Chad Henne can play just as well as [Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco] can. I'll tell you that right now. I think when he gets his opportunity he will play well. Every time we've given him an opportunity, he has played well. We also like Chad Pennington. So I think the quarterback situation here as it stands right now is better than it was Feb. 1st. I'll tell you that right now."

Well, Chad Pennington is out of the lineup for the Dolphins and so Henne's opportunity has come. So, by Henning's reckoning, we should expect the quarterback with all of 17 NFL completions to play well.

But who are we kidding?

Asking Henne to play as well as Ryan and Flacco did last year is plainly unfair and illogical because, well, a gun cannot fire unless it's loaded with bullets. And the Dolphins offense, particularly the passing game, is a popgun firing blanks.

Think about this for a second. Flacco last season could throw the ball to Derrick Mason, who has seven 1,000-yard receiving seasons in his career. He could throw the ball to Todd Heap, who is a perennial Pro Bowl-caliber tight end. And he could rely on a defense that not only erased a lot of his mistakes, but scored points to help him out.

Ryan? He could throw the ball to Roddy White, who is better than any receiver on Miami's roster. He could throw the ball to Michael Jenkins, who is better than any receiver on Miami's roster. He could throw the ball to Jerious Norwood, who caught 36 passes a season ago. And now he's got future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez to throw to, also!

And I didn't even mention the fact the Atlanta running game that supported Ryan during his rookie season was No. 2 in the NFL.

So while Flacco and Ryan were good and did improve as rookies, they had tons and tons and tons of help doing it.

What help is Henne likely to get?

Well, Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are playing very well, as both are running downhill with confidence and desire and aggression. But that is where it stops for Miami's offense now.

Tight end Athony Fasano, a revelation in 2008, is MIA in 2009. He has three catches this season and that is good only because his catches outnumber his two lost fumbles after two of those catches.

Alleged No. 1 receiver Ted Ginn Jr. has been inconsistent, often ineffective, rarely dominant and never elite since being drafted No. 9 overall in 2007. He is coming off two games in which he dropped two touchdown potential touchdown passes versus Indianapolis, including the possible game-winner. And then he responded to that adversity by catching zero passes despite being targetted six times versus San Diego.

In that San Diego game, Henne misfired on several passes to Ginn. That was on Henne. But Ginn dropped two of those nonetheless catchable attempts. One hit him in the chest, the other on the hands. On another throw, Ginn ran the ugliest, most rounded off out-route I've seen in a long time by an NFL wide receiver. He just kind of looped off the route and, not surprisingly, he wasn't open when the ball came his way.

I know many fans believe Henne will bring out the best in Ginn because the new quarterback's arm can finally make use of Ginn's appreciable trait -- straight line speed.

But I would tell you that rare is the effective WR-QB combination where only one or the other player is playing to par. If you guys are hoping Ginn will suddenly start to light it up simply because Henne is in there, you are mistaken. Ginn has to get much, much, much better to begin being a viable consistent threat for Henne.

Ginn will not instantly get better because he's hitching a ride on Henne's coattails. He's got to do the work to get his job done.

Henne will, of course, have other options in the passing game. But those players are also limited to one degree or another.

Davone Bess is a solid complementary player who might catch a ton of passes but also might never break one because he lacks break-away speed.

Greg Camarillo is a solid complementary player who might catch a ton of passes also, but let's be frank, he wouldn't start on three-quarters of the NFL's teams.

Brian Hartline is a rookie and he's still learning. Patrick Turner is a rookie and he can't get active on Sundays.

So how, exactly, can we expect Henne to be as good as Flacco and Ryan if the players around him aren't in the same conversation with the players around Flacco and Ryan?

Tell me. I want to know. And yes, I will be asking this of Henning on Thursday.


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When Ginn pulled up on that first TD chance I knew it was over for him.

No heart...nothing but a Tin Man collecting a paycheck.

Hey rob why so much love for ginn. He is not a #1 maybe not even a 2. Bess has out played him the last 2 seasons. When you are drafted 9th overall by the 3rd season you shouldn't be dropping not one but two passes in the end zone. I don't care if Jesus himself was are QB ginn still drops those passes. So he can go and light it up as you say somewhere else

Henne? Time will tell. The real problem is coaching and front office.

Sparano's still green as a HC and his coordinators are not doing him any favors. Henning, Pasqualoni and Boneamego need to go.

Professional football is a buisness and like any buisness, you can get away with blaming the "employees" for only so long.

Second Round picks currently on Miami's Roster:
1) Pat white: who has looked poised while in games
2) Chad Henne who has a strong Arm or so says everyone and their mother .

We better have a starting QB among them or we basically threw away two 2nd round picks

Oh yeah, great article Mando. Finally someone with some clout telling it like it is. This team is not lost just yet. We need just ONE good game to get us back on track.

The Buf game is our best chance to break Henne out right and win one for the Shula.

Second Round picks currently on Miami's Roster:
1) Pat white: who has looked poised while in games
2) Chad Henne who has a strong Arm or so says everyone and their mother keeps saying.

We better have a starting QB among them or we basically threw away two 2nd round picks

good post, thanks....level headed clarity.....how refreshing.....

I'm with you, man. Ted Ginn was a wasteful pick back in '07, and he's showing it now. He never gets yards after a catch. He's afraid to catch the ball, much less run with it. You're exactly right: he coulda caught the winning pass against Indy. If that was Hartline, Bess, or Camarillo, they would've caught it. He shoulda caught two passes from Henne last Sunday, too. I say it's time to pull a Jimmie Johnson on him, and just can him. No matter how much we paid for him, he's worthless to us. Now that we've lost Pennington, let's just activate Patrick Turner and go with it. We also need to run a 3-4 defense, instead of a 5-2 defense. We're getting our butts kicked on defense every week, and the new guys in the secondary need help from the linebackers. It's obvious we can't put enough pressure on the QB with seven pass rushers, so they need to step it up on coverage. And maybe we should take a chance on Derrick Brooks? He may be old, but he sure knew how to cover receivers - something our LBs know nothing about.
Whaddya think?

Dan McManus...a NY native who loves the Phins and hates the Bills!

Second Round picks currently on Miami's Roster:
1) Pat white: who has looked poised while in games
2) Chad Henne who has a strong Arm or so says everyone and their mother.

We better have a starting QB among them or we basically threw away two 2nd round picks

Posted by: israelzion

mcmanus, the d held the chargers to 16 points....what game did you watch? turnovers lost that game...ie fumble into endzone, henne pik 6.

so now we throw away another draft pick on a back up QB! what the hel- have we become??????
more back up QB's

1) Pat white: who has looked poised while in games
2) Chad Henne who has a strong Arm or so says everyone and their mother .

We better have a starting QB among them or we basically threw away two 2nd round picks.

people, the first 3 opponents for the fins are likely going to be 3 of the 4 teams in the conference championships this year....relax, this team is being built the right way....they are not trying to do it overnight! trade ginn, trade for boldin, henne is a bust, the o-line is a bust....you just sound stupid. notice i left out ginn?

1)John Beck:2006 Second round pick QB
2)Chad the future? Henne Second round pick QB
3)Pat White sharp looking kid but young second round pick QB
4) Now thigpen 7th round pick

If i was a mathematician and you asked me what the odds were that one of these QB's was our next starting QB i would say 25% chance but i am not a mathematician and i hope one of them sticks or at least thats what the Tuna is thinking..

zion, i would say henne is 50/50.....

I am just saying enough with the second round pick QB's already, how about a first round QB and receivers with the second round just a thought..

Something tells me we're going to be regretting not drafting Matt Ryan for quite a while. Still not sure why we passed on him. While it's true drafting the QB position is high risk, it is also high reward if you are right. Drafting an O tackle is low risk but also low reward in regards to game changing plays. Anyone who watched ACC football, could tell Ryan was the real deal. He made a mediocre BC team competitive overnight.

I might be wrong but I just don't get the impression that Henne has got the judgement and decision making ability required to be a successful NFL QB. Michigan blew a lot of games when he was there because of dumb mistakes. That play against San Diego the other day when he passed the ball when he was 5 yards past the line of scrimmage was ridiculous. That looked like something you'd see from a jv qb. And it doesn't look like we're going to get anyone in the next draft either. The only 1st round talents are Bradford who will be gone after the first pick and possibly Clausen if he comes out of school. Personally, I'm not sold on Clausen yet. He looks a lot better so far this year than his first two years, but who knows. Let's see how the rest of his season shapes up. The wild card might be the kid from Houston, but you never know what to expect from guys coming out of that type of system (Alex Smith). Maybe we just draft Tebow and a couple more running backs and go to a permanent Wildcat offense at this point.

bill, maybe we should let henne make his 1ST NFL START before we critique him, eh.

ginn and henne are going to show yall wats up this sunday i think that ginn had a bunch of bad plays but randy moss was like dat when he had no strong arm qb lets give henne the chance and see wat u do things happen for a reason lets just give the man a chance u never know about something until u see it perform when they have the rite time to henne has been in this system already and i think mr. ginn we become a big time player now that henne with cannon can get it to him deep

Mark my words Chad Henne will become the quarterback we Dolfans all expect. Armando you suck as a journalist. I told you Ginn was crap last year. yeah he showed some flashes. Now your on this Tyler Thigpen kick. I agree with midwestmex Ginn is a good kickoff return man, nothing more nothing less. I will say this on his behalf. I would rather have him than Quinn. Bess and Hartline will be Henne's favorite targets. The season is not dead yet but Mando your writing has been for a long time. Damn it Mando write something That true Dolfans can absorb. TYLER THIGPEN!!!! HE's a third stringer for a reason MANDO.

If Ginn couldn't handle Penningtons passes, how is he gonna handle the ropes that Hennes gonna be throwing? "just wait to you see him return punts" Cam Cameron. lol remember that?Ginn is too scared to get hit to ever be a good reciever.

well we will see but maybe everybody else can become better now that we have somebody to get them the ball with out waiting for it or running a fifteen yard route hoping the ball makes it that far!It doesn't really matter though our defense is terrible!lb's and saftey's is our problem so score all we want. defense just lay over anyway!truth is the truth!

Ginn is a goner. I feel the Dolphins only keep throwing to him to try to sucker some other team out of a draft pick for him. Maybe they can trade him to the Ravens. Life is so unfair. Can we sue Cam Cameron? I don't see anything in Henne. That feeling and a nickel will get me a piece of bubble gum but I just don't see it. Fasano gets more attention because Miami's 1 receiver would not even make any other team's roster. There is 0 respect for Miami's vertical game. LOL... imagine how much better the running game would be if Miami had a vertical passing game. Sheesh... HEY Stoops... don't play Bradford anymore... Miami might have a shot at him in the draft!!!

Henne will be fine!We know you have a crush on ryan.Now you get to see what a real man can do!hulio i mean arnando!

hope he punches you in the face arnando! you one hit taco!

"a popgun firing blanks."

My wife says that every night.

Just want to say Cheers...Us Fin fans need a drink!

We just lost the heart and soul of the Miami Dolphins...Chad P will be missed not only as our QB, but as our leader. Chad P always played with heart and effort.It didn't matter to him if he busted his nose or arm...the guy put it all out on the field every game.As a Miami Fan that's all I could ask for.Thanks for the great season last year Chad P...we couldn't of done it without you.You will always be a Miami Dolphin.I will hang the number 10 Chad P. jersey up with some of the other real Miami greats.I wish nothing but the best to Chad P.

I don't know how Henne is going to do...I really have my doubts.The kid has never done anyhthing to show us he's ready to be a great QB...look at his INT for a TD!!!However, I still want to give him a chance to show us that he deserves to wear that Miami Jersey.

Man what a sad week...much love to all my fellow fin fans.

The 0-3 start is a blessing in disguise.

The smoke and mirrors BS of winning with "smart, good leader, no-talent types" is over. Enough of Jay Fiedler, I know Ted Ginn's dad crap. HENNE, TURNER, HARTLINE NOW! Big, fast talented players win games. By the way, Thigpen is athletic as hell, and threw 18 TD's with only 12 INT's in only his second year, for one of the worst teams ever.

'...So how, exactly, can we expect Henne to be as good as Flacco and Ryan if the players around him aren't in the same conversation with the players around Flacco and Ryan? Tell me. I want to know.'

Well Armando, for starters, BEFORE you need worry about WHO Henne is going to throw the ball to, he has to LEARN to read defensive coverage schemes FIRST!

And from what I've seen first hand, I don't think Henne will EVER be able to do that! You either have the ability or you don't.

And Henne does NOT have it....

Why would Mark Duper call up to 560AM this morning to state that it is the fault of the orginization that there is know one to teach Ginn how to run routes? They don't even run timing routes! Duper then said that he would not mind working with Ginn. I hope the orginization let's this happen.

I couldn't give a crap about what type of routes Ginn is running. He can't catch so what does it matter? Seriously, how many times does this douche have to drop a pass before everyone stops drinking the punch and see what a complete and total bust he is. He had some moments last year and realistically if he didn't make the plays he did in some of those games (Buf, KC, Sea, NYJ, Oak) I don't think the Dolphins make the playoffs. But is it good enough to be good or great one week and then vanish for a month?

Henne has his work cut out for him. I wish him all the best and hopefully the RB and RW will continue to provide relief in the running game. I just hope this stable of crap at WR doesn't run Henne out of the league. Needless to say if he does well with this group he is the real deal.

Armando i think u don't need great receivers. if the QB is gonna be good his gonna be good reguardless. I think the most important thing is the way u groom him. I just hope they help him gain confidence the right way, cause his got the tools to succeed.

wat i can't beleive is the way the defence is playing with no heart, i thought this defence was gonna be lights out this year. They need to man up, and that playing calling is killing me.

believe it or not i think the only thing wrong with ginn is that his a scarycat. ginn tell your self its now or never, and proof this doughter wrong.

When are you all going to wake up and see that Ginn sucks. If he is ever going to be good then let it be with another team at there expense, DROP HIS ASS already. We went thru the offseason without trading for a legit receiver and now we pay for it all season. I just hope with Henne starting now maybe a miracle can happen between Henne and Ginn but i dought it.

I wonder if that 3 second buzzer that was so brilliant in training camps is hurting this team.

I was at the Indy game and counted off during pass plays. Penne got that ball out within 3s almost every play. The receivers going downfield needed 2-3 seconds just to get past the press into the 2nd level. They were just breaking open and Penne would be looking for the checkdown.

Furthermore, how can an oline learn to sustain blocks if they are being whistled off at 3s?

One thing I did like from Henne. He stood tall in that pocket and stepped into the heart of the line to pass. He didn't look timid to stand in there. The great passers all step forward into pockets and let it develop around them. I'm not saying he is or will be great, but at least he wasn't dancing and fumbling like Beck.

Posted by: doug | September 29, 2009 at 09:54 AM

I think Henning's comments are be taken out of context here. He believes Henne can play the quarterback position as good as Ryan and Flacco - Henning is a smart guy I think he realizes that his receiving corps is not as good as those at atlanta and Balt. The comparison is ability not numbers put up - unfortunately we judge on numbers. If Henne is good we will know soon. Fin fan for life.

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