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Henne getting "ownership" of Dolphins offense

Offensive coordinator Dan Henning handed each of his three quarterbacks a two-sided play sheet late this week and asked them to individually study each section of plays and mark the play in each section the players like most. Each QB was also expected to mark the play he liked second-most and mark, in red ink, the plays he didn't like.

When each QB returns the sheets, they are rarely marked the same.

"They all see the game differently," Henning said. "They see the game in terms of them, not their predecessor or successor."

On Saturday night, as he prepared his own play-call sheet, Henning looked at the answers starter Chad Henne said he liked most. Those are the plays Henning will call against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

If Henne goes out of the game and either Tyler Thigpen or Pat White have to play, then Henning will refer to the answers they gave on their sheets. And he'll try to call those plays, as long as he's got confidence the QBs can run them.

But I digress.

The fact Henning pays attention to the answers Henne gives is important because the offensive coordinator must seamlessly transition from the plays he used to call for Chad Pennington to the ones he now calls for Henne. And the answers from Henne help.

"I think I know what he does the best and what he doesn't do the best and that's another thing you have to take into consideration when you're putting a game plan together for him as opposed to Chad Pennington," Henning said.

But there is perhaps a more important purpose the returned play sheets serve: They make Henne feel like he has say over the Miami offense. And for the second-year player, that seems to be important.

Henning recalls that when the Dolphins were looking at quarterbacks to draft in 2008, he, coach Tony Sparano, and GM Jeff Ireland locked themselves in a room with Henne and asked the youngster about what he was doing in his final game against Ohio State and the bowl game against the University of Florida.

Henne, according to Henning, wasn't too enthusiastic about discussing the Ohio State game. He was quite effusive, however, in discussing the Florida game. Perhaps it was partially because Henne played poorly against the Buckeyes and lit up the Gators.

But Henning has another idea. He later learned that Henne actually helped author the game plan against Florida.

"That made me feel like, 'When he takes ownership, he's going to make it work,' Henning said. "And that's what we try to do here. We try and make sure they take ownership. When they take ownership, they play pretty [well]."

And that's exactly how Henning expects Henne to play today against the Saints. The 4 p.m. game is going to require that Henne keep the New Orleans defense honest as it tries to take away Miami's rushing attack. And if the Dolphins fall behind, then Henne will have to do some winging of the ball.

"I expect he will play [well]," Henning repeated. "That doesn't mean he might not on occassion do well. But I think he has the goods ... I think he has the temperment for this business."

[ANNOUNCEMENTS: I will be on the air from 1-3 p.m. at 790-AM in South Florida Sunday to discuss the New Orleans and Dolphins matchup. You can listen live at 790theticket.com and you can call the show at 786-360-0790. You can also text me at 74965. Afterward, I will head over to the stadium and we will be conducting our live game blog, as always, to discuss the action and get the latest information from the stadium.]

Finally, if you want to find out why Tony Sparano is coaching the Dolphins and not for the Saints today you should click on the link and find out. 


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Run down there throats !

Mando , Good blog and interesting . I found it very interesting to find out henne helped devise the game plan for the rose bowl game vs florida . Henne was outstanding ! This kid has all the tools including smarts. That being said . pound the shyt out of the saints while sprinkling in some henne.

Dolphins resign Finkle

I think this will help Henne visualize the plays in his head better than just getting a playbook and learning it. There is nothing better than seeing routes devlope in your head right before you go to sleep and having it applied to memory.

Great insightful article! I didn't realize they customized plans to that degree. I like the way they think about ownership of the game plan at the QB position like that. The Dolphins are lucky to have Henning. I hope he sticks around a while.

if the dolphins win, there new nickname should be wildcat express

Ownership of actions is followed by accountability. This is a great managerial approach to the game and is consistent with Tuna's overall philosophy of bringing in players with great character and capable of being held accountable. Key to success in any organization!!

Go Fins

(ps look for a receiver going over 100 yards in receiving today in a fins uniform-only Henne can tell you which one it will be)

I see wildcat passing today. Maybe even a Ricky pass. I can't wait to see P white out his cage in the open field on a pass fake. He did great on that one play to get first down vs jets. He can help us today and will. Our O will do fine. But our D, I'm worried, still I have faith they have a game plan that is diffferent than the past games sofar. Go Fins!!!!

Is it Freakn 4 o'clock yet!!! Damn! Uugh. I would love it if the pats somehow choke today vs Bucs. Lol I know, who am I kidding.

Great article Mando and a very interesting philosophy by Henning...I can't wait to head out to game in a few hours!!!!

the word choke doesn't apply to pats .it only apply tp teams like the jets or the dolphins .

Pats don`t choke,,,they just cheat and have #1 Draft picks taken away...or use a snow plow to clear the field...and then be proud of it?

I already know the fins will win. I played some madden yesterday and I was the fins and played the saints (computer) and I won 38-13. Ted Ginn returned a kickoff for a td and caught two long bombs.... he had about 150 yards receiving and two receiving tds and I ran all over them with the wildcat. Seems realistic to me!!!!

Did mom make breakfast?

I'm starved

Well I am

Hey if your a fin fan click on espn and look at college f-ball.(pittsburg)wanny has his team 7-1 and read who they are talking about.:hint:The next marino

Maybe some of the plays are the ones he's hitting on w/Turner in practice. If so hopefully Turner will be active. (Maybe that also explains why Wilford/Turner were not active for Penny; Penny didn't intend to make the long sidelline throws anyway).

I have a fever...and the only prescription, is more cowbell!!!

I been gone for a couple days. I thought I should just drop by before game to say:

Henne the Hero

I really hope your right C.F.G go phins.

I also think the fins have been lulling opponents with that white hand off on 4 of his 6 plays. I think the fake is coming. They had the bye to work on more stuff. I'd like to see white in the Williams spot in the wildcat being the motion guy the brown taking the snap. I think the defense would be really confused. It would keep the safeties back and give brown more running room. Or white gets it on a reverse or reverse pass. Just loads of options. When brown runs Ricky is just a decoy so why can't white be the decoy? Gets him on the field more.

Lets Go Dolphins!!!!! What time is it?? What time is it???? Its Dolphins time to shine not the boo hoo Saint's. Mike Dicka just picked the Dolphins to win and so did Boomer. They love the wildcat and so do I. I got a feelin that tonights going to be a goodnight that tonights gonna be a good, goodnight. Dolphins will win this game and the Pats are going to lose moving us to a half game out. Dolphins 31, Saints 21! Pats 13, Bucs 24! Chalk it up people and if you are a Saints fan get off this site..........couse tonight is going to be a bad night for you. Lets Go Dolphins!!!!!!!

Ronnie Brown going to have big day. One of the young cb going to show up big today to. Go Dolphins!

Its going to be hot and humid out there. I want to see this dome team stand up to that and the Dolphins hammering the Saints defense up the middle with blunt force trauma into the 4th quarter. If the rain comes down like the forecast says, Drew Brees and his receivers are not going to have the comfort of their dome. In fact, the rain will play havoc on their passing game. I'm telling you, the stars are aligned for an upset and a big win for Miami. Dolphins 24 Saints 13

Just remember (both teams)WR's know where they have to go,DB's have to react.

I'm in Minnesota and I won't get to see the game unless Justin tv comes through for me.I will get to see the Raiders hand the Jets their 4th loss in a row!!!

Yeah, JustinTv has to come through, or it's Buffalo Wild Wings!


Yesterday you lay a goose egg with that Dolphins talked themselves business. Now you throw a touchdown!

Good blog info keep it coming.

Thats great to hear Henne taking ownership and how he plyas better when part of the game plan. Henne is a leader you can see it in his eyes.

GoDolphins! Lets crush the Aints and send them back to the bayou. lol

I already know the fins will win. I played some madden yesterday and I was the fins and played the saints (computer) and I won 38-13. Ted Ginn returned a kickoff for a td and caught two long bombs.... he had about 150 yards receiving and two receiving tds and I ran all over them with the wildcat. Seems realistic to me!!!!

Posted by: jared | October 25, 2009 at 09:53

I didn't know Subway opened this early.

jared, I like your thinking. The Fins will have to win the turnover battle by plus 2 and they should both come in the Saints red zone. That will give them time of possession with no points on those drives.

Dolphins4life , good blog right ?


Dolphins4life wrote:


Yesterday you lay a goose egg with that Dolphins talked themselves business. Now you throw a touchdown!

Good blog info keep it coming. "

I agree!

anyone else notice that in madden tony sporano has a mohawke/mullet?


Anyone know where the game is being streamed?

Anyone know the address for the on-line radio broadcast?

Wow, that was a poor read by henne

Go to Justin tv for stream


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