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Chad Henne has bought insurance for 2010

One of the questions often asked of me when discussing the Dolphins is whether Chad Henne is indeed Miami's quarterback of the future or just a first-year starter whose future is not yet certain. The Dolphins get the same question from folks like me -- the media.

The answer?

"I still think of him as a first year starter, yeah," coach Tony Sparano said this week. "I think that we’d be making a mistake to think otherwise right now. I think that I want to let the whole process happen here. Whenever we flip the calendar, I'll say he's a second year starter, or whatever the case is then. I just want to let the whole process happen and sit down and evaluate the whole body of work at the end of this. I think that's really fair for Chad.

"He's doing a tremendous job right now. I see him getting better, and better, and better. I just want to see this thing go, and really be able to break down some of the good things he's done, and some of the not so good things at the end of this whole thing, and then we'll go from there. To me, he's a first year starter that's getting better and better every week."

That's fair. The Dolphins will assess Henne when the season is over. A novel idea in today's give-it-to-me-yesterday digital world.

But here is the truth the Dolphins won't tell you yet. Henne is indeed their quarterback for the next couple of years. That simple. Henne is 7-3 as a starter in his first year starting. That has bought him much good will this year, but it has also bought him the starting job for 2010.

Simply put, the Dolphins cannot have a first-year quarterback help raise the team from the depths of an 0-3 start to playoff contention in 2009 and not reward him with the starting job the following year. So Henne is your guy for 2010.

But 2010 will determine if Henne is indeed the guy longterm. If Henne continues to improve, continues to win, he will continue buying himself more commitment from the team. If he struggles, questions will creep in to his future.

So Henne needs to improve to make certain he puts up a Jake Long block on the possible questions.

Next season Henne will have to correct the glitches and holes in his game he has at times shown the past 10 games. Those issues?

He has to cut down on interceptions. He has 9 interceptions versus 9 TDs this year.

"The turnovers obviously come out at you," Henne said. "I think we have nine interceptions at this point. A lot of those are coming at the end of the game. For me it is more of a focus and concentration at the end of the game knowing what the situation is to begin with and not to force the ball.

"Yes, for me, some of them are forced balls, some of them are tipped. I think as a quarterback with a lot of interceptions you really have to correct it yourself."

Henne has to find a touch pass to go with his line-drive throws.

"I think overall it is coming along," Henne said. "We work on it all the time at practice and getting it over the linebackers’ heads. It showed up on Sunday against Jacksonville making some of those completions over the linebackers' heads and making some throws. That is a big improvement for me and I just got to keep working on it. It is just going to come along with experience."

He has to improve his accuracy as the Dolphins expect their QB to complete 64-66 percent of his passes compared to the 58.8 percent Henne is currently completing.

Henne also needs to get through his progression of reads quicker than he has at times this year. Reading the field quicker means you take fewer sacks because the football is out faster. Henne has already taken 20 sacks this season in 10 games, while Chad Pennington absorbed 24 sacks in 16 games last year with an inferior offensive line. So the process has to speed up a bit for Henne.

Finally, Henne has to get to the point where the Dolphins can rely on him to win them games. Obviously he needs help in this regard. The Dolphins need to put more talent around him. But the truly elite quarterbacks are not game-managers. The offense is on their shoulders.

Henne has done that at times this year -- against the Jets in the first game and the second outing versus New England come to mind -- but he's also failed at it in games the Dolphins needed more points late to pull out a victory.

All told, you cannot be displeased with what Henne has done in his first 10 games. At no time has the moment been bigger than him. At no time did anyone suggest he's not smart enough. At no point has he thrown a pass that everyone agreed is beyond the capability of his arm-strength.

And after the three-interception meltdown at Buffalo, Henne responded with a very good game against New England.

So is Chad Henne Miami's quarterback the next decade? No one knows yet. But he definitely has already bought himself the starting job in 2010. No question.

[Update: I am told by a club source that Joe Berger will start for the Dolphins at center against the Titans Sunday. It will mark the fourth consecutive start for Berger since Jake Grove suffered a high ankle sprain against Carolina.

Also, I got my Dolphins holiday card in the mail today. Check it out below.]

Follow me on twitter. You'll get updates when I post new blog entries. You'll get news first. You'll also have a merrier Christmas! I promise. 

Holliday2

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weren't WE once 14-0 over Saints, and had a 3-score lead later on??

Until the final whistle blows, these muthas haven't lost. We FinFans of all people should know this.

14-0

Cuban:


The NFL Net's fawning, kissy-face & over-the-top Saints coverage has really turned me against the Aint's. Revolting...& you are right....way more suck-up air time than the Colts got Thursday.

Saints have been getting calls go there way the last couple of games, 2 calls gave them 2 games I think

don't forget the Sharper non-fumble call, conclusively refuted by SI photo.

Cowboys holdin on so far

Right Emo...

That one is a true puke Inducer.

Saint ARE the luckiest team in the NFL this year.

there go the refs, trying to get 'Boys out of FG range...shameless....the League wants two undefeateds in SB, fairness be damned.

good for the 'Boys!

I cannot believe I would ever type those words.

who gets the ball to start 2d half? (I didn't see kickoff or 1st qtr).

Hate the cowboys more than words can convey but....

Not tonight.

Cowboys get it in the 2nd 1/2

me too PO......see what the NFL Net suckfest has wrought!


But I fear a Dolphin/Redskin/whoever else the aints came back on conclusion.

Odds are.

Im tellin u the refs have been cheatin for Saints for weeks. Watch for ticky tack Pass Int plays in second half.

The Aints are going down tonight.

Cowgirls score!

who dat , who dat , who dat gonna beat dem saints

The Saints don't look so good tonight.

The Aint's aint getting those little breaks going their way like they usually do.....like dude dropping TD & not downing punt on 1yd line just now, etc.

Cowboys opened up half like we should have until Teddy volleyballed the int. to Sharper...time-consuming drive resulting in 7.

BUT I still think the refs will have a few tricks up their sleeves....we shall see

And again...I cannot believe how I'm rooting for the Boys....and it is not simply for the '72 Fins....I've just gotten turned off by the lovefest.

The saints need to lose if they want to make to the superbowl they have had way to many close games they are bound to lose one better now than later.as long as some one other than pit are pats when it I'd rather it be us but next year we will be tuff snuff

I see the Patsies are gonna be missing some key players tomorrow.....Wilfork being one of them.The Bills just might be able to be competetive .

Supermike , WHAT !!

Go Bills Go! Hope the weather is awful, just for the sheer hell of it.

here they go....man they can really move the ball when they get going. now their D will go postal.

Boys starting to play Wanny ball....3 & out & pray that defense holds.

If the Saints come back to win this then they deserve to go undefeated.Unfortunatley,I have to go to work now so I'm gonna miss the ending.

Another team that can't finish a 4th qtr, remind you of another team?

Thats it!

Some one sold their soul to the Devil!

Waiting for the refs to give this to the saints

Game over!

Not much of a soul.

One down one to go

Colts cant win the AFC!

Down Go's New Orleans!!!
Down Go's New Orleans!!!!

who cares about NO...

we need baltimore to lose one of 3 games
we need the patsies to lose tomorrow

while we win out...

Glad the Saints lose. I believe either ravens or pats lose tomorrow.

No one cares about "NO"

We care about 72.

Fins 27
Titans 20

Go Phins!!!!!!

The hell with 72! Let's go dolphins 2010! Pmayoffs here we come

Ricky 115 yards rushing,23 rec,Chad 286 yards,Dolphins 24-17.go dolphins!the wide outs have stepped up and delivered.f@$k the jets,pats,bills,ravens,and everybody in the NFL execpt Payton manning n the colts(unless they play us)!!!!

72 fins r cool.but I care more about my generation of fins.I've been crying too long.

IT'S OFFICIAL: no one in the media, save the local Miami beat writers, watches the Dolphins play. Not one of 'em.

Armand. Ur a joke. U should write for a different team. U know nothing about the dolphins. Lol. U think there gonna lose. Lol

Armando WTF????

Right is right and wrong is wrong. You're wrong!
You're in violation as a fan and as a Miami Dolphin beat writer.
Get ready ye of little faith. Your crucifiction begins at 1:00 pm.

NOTE TO ALL TRUE DOLPHIN FANS: Armando actually picked the Titans to win!?!?!
When he sobers up tomorrow guys, let him have it!!!!

PS: I thought I drank too much.

GameDay Baby!!!!!!!! Oh wait..........how early is it???

Can't sleep. Go fins

Hasn't Henne been sacked significantly less than his first couple of games, thereby showing his reads are getting faster. Why skew that fact?

Step up fins today

CamRIllo
Starks
Jones
Smith
Ginn
CArpenter

Bad game
Porter
Fasano

Is it too early to start drinking beer?

When did Mando predict we would lose? I never saw that post.

I think Ricky will have a record day today, he runs pretty hard in the cold!

H8dapats,Armando picked the Titans on the Dolphins News blog.

I'm on my #2 beer already.BL lime ain't bad at all. Tryin it out for first time. Go Fins!!! GetRdid!

I've heard many times this yr that miami is preped for cold weather Well here it is.and it's showing on CBS here in J-ville. PhinFans, PREPARE 4 GLORY! VICTORY MUST BE OURS!!!
Ps. Saints loss..... To dallas. Lol

Ricky has hands the size of a small Korean woman. He has always put the ball on the ground. He was better when he was smokin' that chronic! Maybe he can get a medical marajuana scrip. And just for fun: Henne stinks. Knowing he will be QB next year makes me want cancel my Direct TV football pass. Greg in NorCal.

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