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Miami's curious offense? Dan Henning responds

If you read the headline and it doesn't make sense, that's probably because you haven't read the initial post on the topic, just below this one.

Please do that now. If you don't want to and just want the synopsis so you can get right into Dan Henning's response then here it is: I posted that it doesn't make sense to spread the ball around to eight or so guys on offense when only two or three -- Ronnie Brown, Chad Pennington, Ricky Williams, Ted Ginn Jr. -- are truly dangerous playmakers.

I wrote the Dolphins should find a way to feed their best offensive players, even at the expense of other so-called weapons like Davone Bess and Anthony Fasano. I'm not saying shut down Bess and Fasano, but let's get our priorities straight.

And I wrote the Dolphins should be more stubborn in doing what they do well -- which hasn't been a lot from what we've seen the past two meaningful games vs. Baltimore and Atlanta. If you're going to lose, go down doing what you do best, not that thing you do third of fourth best.

Well, the timing of the post is good because on Thursdays the Dolphins coordinators speak to the media. So I and other reporters asked Henning about these issues.

On the subject of letting the defense dictate to his offense, more commonly known as taking what the defense gives you this is what Henning believes:

"I think anybody ... you better have a very, very good [offense] to think you're going to go out and impose your will on the opposition. People are too good in this league. There are too many resources with tape and video to be able to know what you're doing and how to stop it. If you have a great running game, they can stop a great running game. I mean, we stopped last week a very good running game in Atlanta. I don't know if they were No. 1 or No. 2 but we stopped them. We only gave them 68 yards.

"In the meantime Atlanta said, 'Well, if you're going to stop that, we'll take this.' And I think everybody has to have that package that way. If you don't, you're going to be stubborn and you're going to lose some games you should win. And you're going to win some games you should win automatically. I believe you have to have packages where you have certain plays you like based on your personnel and then you have counters to those plays -- whether they be reverses, counter traps, counter plays from the particular play your featuring. Then you see what they do and how they're trying to stop your featured players and build into them. What happens is sometimes those counter plays do better than your basic plays. That don't make any difference as somewhere along, you move the football. Because they're trying to take that away, they give you the big one. Last year, that's what happened to us a number of times with the Wildcat operation and even in some other areas where we would run some reverses with Teddy and so forth.

"Then all of the sudden, people say, 'Why don't you do that more? Why don't you make the trick play your base?' Well, the trick play don't work unless you got something to make them stop some strong part of your offense over here."

Salguero response: So your offense can only do one thing well? Why can't you run the ball with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams and throw the ball well on a number of varied routes to Ginn?

On the subject of getting the ball more to Brown and Williams, the topic that really, really bugs me most:

"Now, you didn't include Pat Cobbs in there," Henning said. "We have those three backs. We have a tight end everyone wants to get the ball to and last year we had David Martin on top of that. Then we have Bess, and Camarillo and Teddy. And if you get 60 snaps a game and you're ahead in the game, let's say you're ahead in the game, the last 15 snaps will be runs, they're not going to be passes. So the first 45 have to split up between about eight guys. OK?

"You put eight into 45, what are we going to get here? How many carries are we going to get? If you're running the ball well and you're ahead, Ronnie and Ricky are going to get a lot of balls. If you get behind in the game -- like we only had 12 snaps with 22 minutes gone in the game -- you have to determine what do we want to do. We have a couple of things in the Wildcat. We have a couple of things with Pat White. We have a couple of things we haven't even explored yet with Chad Pennington. Well, my intentions are usually to try to leave the ball in the hands of Pennington and try and get the game back in synch and utilize Pat White and the Wildcat in the featured places we like to use them ...

"...That's the way the game's played. You feel fortunate, I feel fortunate, I've never been on a team with three backs as good as these three. Now I've been on a team with maybe a back -- I remember William Andrews when I had him with Atlanta and he's the best back I've ever coached and I was with John Riggins -- but three  guys that can do what these three guys can do, run, catch and block, we're fortunate to have them. At the end of the year if between the three of them we have 2,000 yards, I'll be happy. Now last year we had [1,623 yards rushing] with those guys. And we had 60-something catches between David and Fasano and that was a good blend. Then we had three receivers who caught almost 55 a piece -- Teddy, [Camarillo] and Bess. So we spread it around pretty good.

"So I'll say this to you and you asked my philosophy: If you've got a stud, I learned this from Hayden Fry 37 years ago. He gave a talk on the FTS offense. that was the heading for his talk. And I looked at it and said, 'What the hell is the FTS?' He said the FTS is Feed The Stud. He was at SMU, he had one good player. So he played him at quarterback, at receiver, he played him at running back ... If you have a stud, you better get him the ball."

Salguero response: Patrick Cobbs is a nice player, but please don't equate him with Brown and Williams. Don't insult us that way. Also, Miami studs are Ronnie and Ricky, are they not? So why are we talking about throwing to Bess or Fasano in the same sentence?

And does the stud change game to game?

"No, on this team I feel we have a blend of tremendous talent," Henning said. "Now stud, that's a word you go to when you say, 'I have this guy but I don't have a lot of other auxiliary pieces. So I'm going to feed this guy,' you know what I mean? There were times in Carolina we'd feed Steve Smith because he was the stud. In 2004 we got every one of our running backs hurt. Well Steve Smith was hurt also so we fed Muhsin Muhammad and that was the best year he ever had. We fed him because we didn't have a lot of other things going.

"Feed the stud is I got this outstanding talent and I have a blend of people around him and I don't have a lot of other auxiliary pieces. I'm getting the ball to that guy somehow in the course of the game. Right now I think they're all studs."

Salguero response: Cannot disagree more. They are not all studs. Dolphins don't have any studs if you define them the way Henning does. They have several supremely talented players, such as Brown and Williams. But everyone else is an auxiliary player. Why confuse the issue?

The Dolphins don't have eight players that scare a defense. They have Pennington, they have Williams, Brown, and they have Ginn. Get those guys the ball more. Don't ignore the other guys, but don't led Bess catch seven passes while Ginn gets only three.

Prioritize the ball distribution based on who your most talented and dangerous players are. Then feed them. Figure it out.

Your thoughts? 

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I think you said it best when you said "I am not a football coach. I never played the game beyond pickup games of touch. So I am certainly no Xs and Os expert."

Compared to Dan Henning you're not even a neophyte.

I agree with you Armando. I'm getting fed up with this crap myself.

Chad Henne is not the answere or the future. If Tony and company thought he was and had the so called IT he would start period. Anybody that watches Henne play can see he does not have IT. A ringing endorsement of this was the pecking order for the Atlanta game. Pat White has been in the system for a few months, when was Henne drafted? We are better off closing our eyes, clicking our heels and wishing we can do a do over. Instead of the robotman Culpepper we grabbed Drew Brees.............We have to stick with who brought us to the dance for now and that is Penny with a sprinkle of White.

By the way!Why in the heck is are first play of the game a boring off tackle play with ronnie brown followed by another.I see a lot of wasted plays.It's like we run when we should pass and pass when we should run?Open up with a fake to ronnie and a deep crossing pattern.It will be more productive than a sissy two yard run.At this point rickey looks lot better than ronnie easily.Ronnie is a good power runner but he don't have it all for the contract he will demand.

Dolfan abroad, good point about Ricky and Ronnie. Henning needs to identify who the “stud” is in a game -or- a season. I thought (IMO) Ricky definitely ran harder than Ronnie against Atlanta. In general Football is a metaphor for war and to win a war you force your will upon your opponent. Use your studs to enforce your will, whoever that might be.

I gotta side with the coach on this one. If you have a player that can't be stopped (for example a Marino in his prime) then you just keep giving him the ball. This team has no player with those surpassing skills. Even so, Marino lost too many games because just being able to force passes down the throat of a defense (or dominate any other single facet of the game) doesn't guarantee you will win.

You want to oversimplify a very dynamic process of action/reaction between offense and defense that is constantly evolving through the course of a single game. If you stop evolving, you make it very easy for the very smart coach on the other sideline to adjust once, at a minimum contain your "stud," and thus gain the initiative and control.

I would love if we had players who could "take over" a game, and I don't want to short the talents of Chad, Ronnie, Ricky, and Teddy (plus the Ginn family), but they can very demonstrably be stopped.

Really at this point, all I can do is trust Dan Henning. Why? Because Arm Chair QB is the easiest job in the world. Every NFL blog's comment section is full of 20/20 Hindsight commentary from every Joe Bag-O-Donuts that can watch TV and surf the web.

I wouldn't want Dan or any media outlet trying to second guess me from the outside looking in at my job that I know intimately. The man has seen every offense, defense and game situation imaginable. And even if he strays a bit...he has wealth of people around him for checks and balances with more combined years of football coaching/playing than most of us have been alive. We always rehash this same thing after every loss. If we could've had Fasano's turnover back near the Goal line and Pat White would've connected with Teddy on that Bomb over the middle, we'd all be writing about what a genius Dan is right now. What the players say about execution may sound rhetorical and robotic, but it doesn't make it any less true.

I've learned by reading posts by others that it's really tough to sound intelligent while analyzing something you see from a Bird's eye view. I'll just trust that our coaching staff knows what's best for the team, and try to enjoy the season. It's too stressful worrying about things I have no control over...or worse, critique a job I'm not qualified to do.

Oh and Mando...love ya man, but what's with writers acting like these guys answering your questions (at all) is an entitlement. Granted, maybe I'm misinterpreting, but I'm reading this right after reading some ignorant and arrogant blitherings from Janie Campbell over on NBC Miami about Chad Pennington. I came away from that saying... "Wow. You're lucky he even talks to you at all...." I wouldn't say another word to Janie if I was Chad. She twisted everything all up into some sort of pathetic cynical attempt at humor. Sorry..not saying you do that. Just saying all these guys are far from perfect, but they do deserve at least a return of respect for the time they give you.

I think we have only had two “studs “on offence in the last 3 decades and they were Dan & Ricky. They were definite game changers. They both could “enforce their will” upon their opponents. We need a new enforcer.

WHAT does stud means any way. the time for TALK has passed and this guy should get fired if dolphins goes 1-3 ....PERIOD .


PS...VERY IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THIS...IF DOLPHINS ALLOWED HIM TO TALK AND RESPOND YHAT MEANS ONLY ONE THING.....HE WILL GET FIRED IN VERY SHORT TIME AND THEY ALREADY MADE THE CALL ON HIM .....THE CLUE HERE IS THAT ANSWERED ARMANDO IN VERY SHORT TIME IN A MATTER OF HOURS .

AROUND THE LEAGUE YOU NEVER HEAR A COACH SAYING " I HAVE STUDS " AND YOU NEVER HEAR A PLAYER SAYING I AM AN " ELITE PLAYER "ONLY IN FLORIDA ....LOL LOL.....IQ ANY ONE ?

I AM STUD TOO.my brother is a stud, my cousin is stud .how a coach uses this word for all his lousy OL in a pro nfl league ?IQ ANY ONE.

I THINK I HAD ENOUGH...GOOD NIGHT STUDS .

Hey ALOCO, not interested about you and your family’s exploits at the G A Y bar “stud”

you should have more respect mando but I do agree we should pound ricky and ronnie more before we try anything else I like bess he is good player not great or anything not so sure about ginn I think he was probably a mistake i don,t think he has the heart for it remember last years playoff game anyway if we pound those 2 we could win most games and when we do play steelers or ravens we would have to come up with a little different kind of game plan anyway offense should do better this week dolphins win 27-20

Thresher,

Henne was third because the 3rd qb can't come into the game before the fourth quarter or the other 2 qb's cannot return to the field.

Ok look, I don't know how we need to get this fact into the Dolphins head, but GET TED GINN THE BALL! Stop trying to be all cool and be like "we have a fantastic roster with alot of playmakers". Face it, you don't. Act like a normal team. You have one good reciever and one decent QB. You have one good/great RB and two normal RB's. Get Ginn the ball, get and get Brown the ball. You don't give your #3 reciever the same amount, or MORE catches than ur #1 guy. And defense, LETS GET SOME MORE TURNOVERS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

Shouldn't the open receiver get the ball? Oh and a qb needs protection to throw deep.

Or was that the barn yard “stud” Baaaaaa.

My apologies to the G a y community and all the poor barn yard animals. That was uncalled for.

Zack, Please Ted (no testicular fortitude)Ginns not the ANSWER.....

I could see both sides of the question and then Dan Henning said, "Right now, I think they're all studs."

And he lost me right there because either he is crazy, senile or lying. I hope he's lying because if he's being honest, he doesn't know football and we are doomed.

Good post, Mando.

Mitch, be a man and say it to Armando's face and not a wuss and say it on his blog, biatch.

Can Ricky get 25 carries just once to see what happens?

My thoughts are that the Dolphins don't have enough playmakers and they split time too much away from the few they have.

Excellent post, Mando.

the o-line is the problem straight out.
1.if the o-line doesn't get a push on run plays then the RB get first contact behind or at the LOS,and the RB gets nothing or maybe 2 or 3 yds.

2.on pass plays the QB is harrased with liitle time to let any one down field, so you resort to dink & dunk passes ,sound familiar?

as the game goes on it starts getting tighter and tighter at the line of scrimmage and it seems like no matter what the o- does you can never get anything going,sounds familiar?

saprano is right , the o-line needs to make contact earlier and need to get a better push.
that gives the runners more room to get going and the QB & WR's more room and time to do what the need to do.

the o-line is the start of everything on off.
if the o-line is not working, the off. isn't going to work unless you have some animal like barry sanders,dan marino who can make that up by shear talent, and we don't have that on the team in that capacity now.

the o-line needs to pick up on it's game.
the amount of success we have this week will be how much the o-line picks up their game.
and we need points this week, we need over 20 points or more to win this week.
indy has a week to adjust to their weak points,just like us .
they will come out a better team than they where last week, so we need to be that much more better this week.

I agree with mando, at the end of the game our playmakers should have the most plays. Ginn Should have the most passes thrown his way. And Ronnie & Ricky should have many carries. That's like Brady forgetting Moss the whole game. Ginn ain't the best But He Is Our PlayMaker..... OURS!!!!!!

Mando, basically what you are doing here is saying Henning does not know what he is doing...Right? After one game, the third string flag football player/Sports writer knows what is going on better than Henning.


We lost because we did not man up, and we might possibly be behind some teams in talent...But don't think for a second you can dictate, or suggest a better use of what we have. You are a Joke.

AFTER I STEEL COMPUTER to INSULT u DULPHIN FANNS I LIKE EAT Wonder bread AND GOBERMENT CHEEZE SANDwhich with X-tra Mayo…. Loosers

Ginn ain't the best But He Is Our PlayMaker..... OURS!!!!!!

Posted by: Finatic | September 17, 2009 at 07:53 PM


Ha! so force it into mister lay down, and skip out out bounds at all costs eh? Damn the torpedoes!!! four interceptions ahead!!!! Moron.

Ok look, I don't know how we need to get this fact into the Dolphins head, but GET TED GINN THE BALL! Stop trying to be all cool and be like "we have a fantastic roster with alot of playmakers". Face it, you don't. Act like a normal team. You have one good reciever and one decent QB. You have one good/great RB and two normal RB's. Get Ginn the ball, get and get Brown the ball. You don't give your #3 reciever the same amount, or MORE catches than ur #1 guy. And defense, LETS GET SOME MORE TURNOVERS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

Posted by: Zack | September 17, 2009 at 07:12 PM

If Ginn is a playmaker he better show it. I would take Bess over him right now. Ginn is a BUST>

MANDO, YOU COME MY HOUSE we EAT WonderBREAD AND GOBERMENT CHEEZE SANDwhich with X-tra Mayo TOGATER! yoU NO LISEN TO theese LOOSTERS.

NOW I DONE EAT SANWICH I GIVE 500lb WIFE the BOOM BOOM, THEN I GIVE HER 2 you 4 NEW LEFT TACKLE . HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

This is really hard for me. I am behind Armando 100%. Are NFL coaches arogant or just plain stupid like the players they coach?

Couldn't agree more Armando, I think part of the problem is that Pennington is too quick to check down and I also think he's guilty of not looking toward Ginn! In my opinion Chad is so gunn shy about throwing the deep ball or semi-deep pass that he automatically looks for the easier pass thus his passer % stays high and no questions about the arm strength

They spread the ball around last year and won the division.

Let the coaches coach.

TH

So uh.. The U...

I agree with Armando for the most part. The only thing I would add is that it's the job of the QB to get the ball to the playmakers but he can't do that when he's running for his life and on his back half of the game. The only thing I'm confused about is why anyone is suprised at the way Henning runs an offense. When he was hired as the Phinc O.C. there were a bunch of us in here wondering how we were ever going to see any offensive improvement with an O.C. who is known for being vanilla. Remember, the wildcat was not introduced to the team by Henning. I believe it was David Lee? But whomever it was, if it wasn't for that idea, our offense would've been mired in short passes out of the singleback/double TE set. So lets not be too suprised at the fact that our offense is offensive.

I think what Henning is saying, but can't explicitly say, is that Miami doesn't have a stud like a Steve Smith, or an Andre Johnson, or a Randy Moss, and Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams (plus our O-line) aren't in the same class as AP and Chester Taylor and that Vikings O-line. But most importantly, Pennington is NOT a franchise QB like a Manning or a Brady. We all know that. It's why we talk so much about Henne!!
Miami has to spread the ball around because there is no go-to-guy. The guys we have are not of that class, and so the offense will either work together and manage to win some games, or it will crumble together.

Thankfully, Miami has a heck of a Defense that is only getting better!!!!!

some low life has my name ALOCO faked IN LAST 3 POSTING .

any way SHAGGY IS A PIG STUD .

ACE IS THE DEVIL

henning sounded like shaggy ...A PIZZA DELIVERY MAN or some one works IN SUB WAY the meat ball place /

ps ...the guy who faked my name he was really FUNNY .

Could'nt agree more.........Force Feed the known playmakers!!! Most good teams do it and we should follow suit.

Peace..........................

aint it funny NJ, ace, and odinseye not around????

JCREW .....have some not class but some decency .armando had tough time last week and still i am sure feel bad .

LET ME PLAY W/ YOU...Q...WHO THE MAN IN YOUR HOUSE HOLD ?

thank you X. the haters are not around

ALOCO HAD A LITLE LAMB WHOS FLEES ES WITE AS SNOW OR FOOD LION MAYONASE ANd eveRY WHERE ThaT ALOCO WENT THE LITLE LAMB was SHURE TO get BOOM BOOM LIKE HIS FAT 500LB WIFE; WERE IS MY GOBERMENT CHEEze AND wonderbread samage?

YOU LOSERS HAVE LOW IQ , BAD FANS

YOU LOSERS HAVE LOW IQ , BAD FANS

YOU LOSERS HAVE LOW IQ , BAD FANS

I definately think we need to run the ball more!!! The best defense is a strong running game!!!

Shouldn't we all wait before jumping into conclusions? yes, it is true we have lost the last 2 games in a ugly form, but I believe a lot of questions will be answered after the Colts game, if they win, everyone will be forgetting all this issues, isn't it?
If we look particularly at the these 2 last games, fumbles were the killers, haven't the fumbles occurred, it would have been very close games with high possibilities of a win..
With regards to throwing the ball to Ginn, he should make the most of his opportunities, whether he gets 3 or 20 throws! he is not making the impact he suppose to have, when he runs he seems to be scare of getting hit!!
When they win everyone seems to contribute in one way, or what? have we forgoten last year?

does anybody think nj is also ace and possbily others? Who here thinks that????

Armando,

I agree completely with what you're saying but i think you should have waited till next week to post it...look we didtn play well on offense but it wasnt because our scheme was bad (although the timing on some packages were dumb a la pat white) the offense didnt have much opportunity because our o-line sucked and forced us into 3rd and too long which in turn makes us punt...lets see how we look this week in primetime before we jump to conclusions about what is wrong with our offensive scheme

throw ginn and brown the damn ball. let ricky run for days on those screenes. throw long to keep the defense honest. run the no huddle. ronnie brown is so dangerous when he gets a pass. have a 5 wide receivers set and have pennington run a few times a game. those quick sideline passes worked all last year. i havent seen any screen passes. when a defense is getting to the quarterback, run screens, end arounds. last year the dolphins were doing the no huddle. they were fast paced. they looked like they had the defenses gasping for air. this year they look like their running in quicksand. winning fixes everything.

banana why you say haters not around??

maybe our offense was just bad because we were off...i have faith in our staff that they will figure out the things necessary for us to succceed

Armando,

I completely agree with what you're saying but i think you should have waited a week before the post...our problems on offenese were caused because our o-line sucked which made it hard to run the bsll and forced us into 3rd and too long which in turn makes us punt, i dont think there is a problem with our scheme (although the timing on some packages were off a la pat white) but lets see how our offense plays this week after all it was only week one and pleenty of other promising teams had offense issues (arizona, carolina, and to an extent atlanta because lets face it the game should have been a blow out)...im just saying lets not jump to conclusions that there is something wrong with our offense

Ha ha ha aloco or gopats you posted twice you moron. Go away your envy will be your demise....punk!!

Salguero response: Cannot disagree more. They are not all studs. Dolphins don't have any studs if you define them the way Henning does. They have several supremely talented players, such as Brown and Williams. But everyone else is an auxiliary player. Why confuse the issue?

Armando- Dan Henning left more football knowledge in the crapper this morning than you have accrued in your 15+ years as a Dolphins OBSERVER. Thanks for wasting my time tonight, you're a better writer than this.

shaggy the pig .that was fake aloco pig .

I would really appreciate whomever the personage is that is besmirching my upstanding reputation as the most intellectual and profound blogger to ever grace this thread by impersonating me to please cease and desist their activities immediately or you shall force me to notify my attorney and take legal action! NOW WERE IS MY wite bred & GOBERMINT CHeeze saMAGE with x-tra MAYO?

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