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Dolphins 2010 starting QB has to be Henne

One of the most curious things about Black Monday at Dolphins camp, in my humble opinion, was the reticence regarding Chad Henne and his future as the Dolphins starting quarterback.

For perspective I remind you that one year ago when Miami's season ended, I asked coach Tony Sparano if Chad Pennington was his quarterback for the 2009 season. The question was pertinent because Henne had a season under his belt and because Pennington was coming off a four-interception performance against Baltimore in a playoff loss.

Sparano wasted zero time in responding by anointing Pennington the starter for 2009.

On Monday, someone asked the coach if he thinks he's found a future starter in Henne following a season in which the second-year player started 13 games. And this was the coach's reply:

"I haven't really discussed it yet," Sparano said. "I haven’t really looked at the whole body of work, as I told you. I have to sit back now and look at the entire body of work now and see what Chad did really well and what Chad didn’t do really well. But I am really pleased with what Chad did, I really am.

"I just think the guy did some outstanding things. Yesterday, whatever he was before he got hurt, 16 of 20 or something like that, I think [he] was in a really good rhythm yesterday in that game. More importantly, I thought he had his team prepared. Going out there yesterday, good week of practice, really upbeat they came out offensively and got in a pretty good rhythm. I think that says a lot about him. This guy he is a pretty curious guy. He likes to get better at the things he is not good at. I think they are all good qualities to have. I really like what I have seen in Chad right now."

Sparano likes what he's seen. But he doesn't like it so much as to give Henne his blessing as the 2010 starter.

What's going on here?

First, what is it exactly the Dolphins have to decipher about Henne, anyway? He's young. He's got much improving to do. He needs to improve his touch-passing. He needs to manage defenses with his eyes better. He's got to get quicker in reading the defense pre-snap.

But all those things have to come with playing time. And those things don't normally show up in a young quarterback's game until he's had 28-32 starts in the league. So Henne needs more playing time before we know if he will become a franchise quarterback or not.

But it's not like the Dolphins have many better options.

Pat White, the presumptive No. 2, looks like he can't lead a college team, much less an NFL one. Third-stringer Tyler Thigpen wasn't given much of an opportunity to unseat White so next year he suddenly becomes good enough to vault over Henne? And Pennington is still rehabilitating from his third shoulder surgery and is unsigned.

So do the Dolphins have to see if that secret cloning project of a 28-year-old Dan Marino is working before they name Henne the man?

Let's face it, the team is likely to draft a quarterback. That is simply wise business because Ron Wolf, the former Green Bay personnel savant and a Bill Parcells confidant, taught NFL teams long ago that backup QBs have a way of becoming golden insurance policies that can be exchanged for draft picks later on, so it it wise to draft one almost every year.

But what rookie is likely to beat out Henne in his first training camp?

So again, Henne is Miami's best choice for 2010. And furthermore, he deserves the opportunity.

He is a hard worker. You read from Sparano that he works at improving the deficiencies in his game. One expects improvement from him, particularly if the Dolphins surround him with better weapons. So I think the guy deserves to be the starter for 2010.

And Henne, bright as anyone in the locker room, agrees with me.

"Yeah," he told me. "I mean, I would say overall we started off well, getting off to a 7-3 start. Obviously the last three games wasn't the way we wanted to end it but hopefully I showed the coaches I have the capability of leading the team to wins and more in the future."

Two tests in judging QBs that Henne passed this year came in that led what was a less-than-mediocre team to a 7-6 record in his 13 starts. And I wouldn't say Henne was mostly at fault for those three season-ending losses. Not at all. So he passes the test that measures whether he can win or not.

He also passed another test on Dec. 6 against New England. Henne threw for over 335 yards with two touchdowns and one interception that day and outplayed Tom Brady in the process. The game, viewed in a vacuum, was a good moment for Henne. But viewed in the perspective that Henne had suffered a three-interception meltdown against Buffalo the week before, the comeback performance spoke of the kid's resilient nature and fighter's spirit.

Playing QB in the NFL is about talent, sure. But it's also about having brass, um, well, intestinal fortitude. Henne's recovery from the Buffalo loss showed me he's got the guts for the job.

Even if the Dolphins aren't ready to say so yet.


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Any word from Odinseye???????Has he been wounded in a take over of a hamlet or has he been incarcerated, or did he forget to pay his inter-net bill????

Even better would be a blog monitor who could delete some of these posts before they pollute the blog...

I'm seem to remember posting something saying Henne should have to earn his job. Armando, the bottom line here in Miami is that everyone should have to compete. Henne did show promise, but he was not so good that I would say "he is our guy".

It's been enjoyable the last couple days though, with Marc and Dying Breed being on their honeymoon...I heard Marc wore a low cut pretty white dress at the wedding...And the honeymoon has consisted of lots of "Greek"

Meg Ryan or Meg Griffin???????????

Don't forget my personal favorite, Anquan Dodsworth

I heard they consummated there relationship on the Greek Isle's.. Mando can you confirm this....

Rolando from Golfito?

Meg Ryan for me

Goldie Hawn in "Butterflies are Free" she walks around in her bra and panties the whole movie...Top 5 of all time

Henne is this teams quarterback. I really dont believe that Chad Pennington could have led this team to seven wins. I saw Henne make several medium depth throws that Pennington could probably not get in there because the type of ball he thows gives the defender too much time to get there and challenge the catch. Henne made some touch throws and missed a couple, he's inconsistent in that aspect but he should improve after this offseason and another full season, if he doesnt then we know he is not the answer.

Something about her Blue eye's....

Ryans not Griffins....



It is funny, I have seen many fans comment that Parcells and Henning are outdated in how they build a football team or run their offense. But what is also funny is the expectations that many fans on here have is also outdated. Everyone expects us to go from 1-15, and steadily increase wins until we win it all. In reality, that doesn't happen anymore. It is all about who gets hot at the right time. Because of free agency and draft order parity is rampant accross the league. 4 division winners from last year, Panthers, Dolphins, Titans, & Giants did not even make the playoffs. The reason that I bring this up is because we say we need a WR, or LB or whatever. But the good teams take the best available and make it fit. Maybe we take a Joe Haden because he slips even though we are set at CB. Maybe we take a Russell Okung at tackle even though we don't need him right away. It also means you don't leveage the future by trading picks for 30+ players (A. Bolden, etc.)You try to build a team with a good, young foundation so it gives you has many cracks at getting over the top as possible. How many years have the colts had 12+ wins with only one superbowl? They stayed smart and did not give away picks or sign big name free agents. They take an Anthony Gonzalez when they already had Wayne & Harrison. They took Josephi Addai when they had a E. James & D. Rhodes. You see my point?

HP in PA, What are your thoughts on the Megs????

I thought Sophia Lorean was already in the dust stage??? Damn, that's prehistoric for most people, isn't it???

uhhh... we could use another OT, have you seen Vernon Carey try to play football, its disgusting

Cuban, please inform ur friend to stay within THIS century for his woman picks!!

I expect that the trifecta will be much more aggressive this offseason than they have been in the last two...

First of all speculation means nothing, 90% sure Henne will be the starter next year.

Second of all, if we don't sign a big play receiver such as BRANDON MARSHALL, it doesn't matter who the QB is, we will continue to be 7-9 again next year!

Third of all, have a little more respect for Pat White after getting knocked out - media pansies having the nerve to say that he sucks and will never be a QB. They never used him correctly all year, and again he's 21 years old (lets be realistic here).

Fourth of all, if they don't make major depth improvements to that half ass Defense, there;s no need to argue about who the QB will be.

Lastly, if we don't re-sign Ronnie Brown consider that another Wes Welker type of mistake (though it should be for less than he expects due to injuries) - he will go to another team and lead the league. We do need to draft a speedy RB though to eventually take the place of Ricky.

The coaching is there, the desire is there... relevant in that fact that we were in ever single game that we played, never blown out.
But an up grade in talent is a MUST!

To Tampafin, there is no way Penne ever becomes starter for this time, he can't make half the throws Henne can plus the whole problem is the offense is built for Penne's short passing possesion style not Henne's gunslinging style, yeah the guy hads issues on his touch pass but he can learn that, I don;t see Penne's arm getting any stronger somehow, I know I'd rather watch Henne throw darts than the dink and dunk boring crap any day!!!
Henne - starter for 2010 and beyond!!

Bobby, The man speaks about meatball subs constantly, what can you do????

PS .........THE WORST MOVIE EVER (((( the french kiss ))))) w.meg ryan .

i rather look at meatball than M.RAYAN

Ur right Cuban, sometimes it's a lost cause well I gotta work, have great day

You too bobby, Have a "PHINTASTIC" Day..

Jamillion, didn't this team go 11-5 with the same receiving core minus Hartline last year? We could use a #1 WR (as could 20 other teams) and a more athletic TE but we didn't lose games down the stretch because of our receivers, we lost because we couldn't stop anyone on defense, especially in the middle of the field.

I love Sophia Lauren too. Most beautiful woman I've ever seen. Even as an old broad in Grumpier Old Men - she was holding her own. Vintage Baby!

i hate the jets but how did their defense become #1 in the nfl so quickly??? alot of it is coaching and schemes and philosophy. rex's defense attacks the football and whoever has it . they swarm and attack. miami's defense is setting back waiting for the carrier or the completion. hey when the ball is in the air its a free ball. someone has to coach our dbacks to go get it!!! we need some big hits from our LB'S and DB'S to jar that ball loose after a catch. we let them run wide open over the middle and get lit up regularly! we need some new coaches with new blitz schemes unlike the vanilla pressure we apply.

Honestly think Sparano whom I do like, needs to look at himself and some of his very questionable decisions this season. Talent eval needs to get better from this staff because every single Fin Fan sees that Pat White just ain't it. Know they are going to keep Henne hungry atleast through some of the off season and into camp but if for some reason they feel they want White or a Rookie in there then we as fans have to revolt. Thigpen if kept should be the one guaranteed a spot as #2 or 3 if some drafted qb plays out of his mind. Give Chad some real weapons get the D straight and look in the mirror Sparano, that is your job this off season

Michael Wise , you're a moron. The LASt thing this team needs now (during the rebuilding) is another coach... is that all you got?

As well... you kids calling for Tebow, forget it. He is not the answer in the NFL. Stick to kiddie college

Well said Michael N!!!

I like how everyone is trying to be coach/manager. If we all knew what was really going on or think we could draft better players than our current personnel, we all would have different jobs as an NFL coach or NFL manager!!!

agreed mando, draft a QB every year until we find a great one. Though Henne is looking pretty darn good in this fans eyes.

but this is consistent with this new organization; no one, even the QB, should feel comfortable with their status. Love it.

2010 QB's 1.Henne 2.Thigpen 3. Who cares
If you watched any games Chad Henne played he is the future and doesn't need motivating. QB is the one position you have to have trust in your guy and forget the let's keep him hungry bullcrap.

Henne is at least two to three steps better than any of the multiple slingers that have held the QB position for Miami since Dan Marino's retirement. IMO, he has earned the spot and deserves to be the No 1 guy come August.

wouldn't it be great to have a true open competition for positionsin ota's and camps??? i am talking about real competition for every position. no one should be crowned this early after the way this season finished. when playoffs were in sight we folded before we took the field. i took greater pleasure in last years bunch of rag-tag bunch of over-achievers who didnt have the talent but had the "heart"! give me that bunch!!!

Somebody asked earlier why the Jets defense was so good. Well, of their 11 starters on defense, 7 are veterans at the top of their game between the ages of 26-30. Young enough to be super athletic and old enough to have that veteran experience. They have a 24 year old in Revis who is exceptional and a very good 25 year old in David Harris. They have 2 32 year olds playing DE in Ellis and Douglas but if there is one place you can have 30+ year olds on defense, that's it.

So the plain answer is - they have the players playing at the top of their game.

The Dolphins unit by comparison have 3 starters that are green in Smith, Davis, and Langford. They have 4 that are in their physical prime in Crowder, Ayodele, Wilson and Starks (one of these is a decent player, one is very good, and one isn't cut out for the position he plays, and one isn't very good at all), then they have 4 players that are 30+ Ferguson, Taylor, Porter, and Bell.

That's the difference folks.

Anyone lobbying for Thigpen over Henne is INSANE. He is a second year QB still learning the game and from what we've seen so far this year, the kid has done a really good job. His 7-6 record is misleading because the defense didn't help him out any in December. The loss that can be pinned on him for hurting us is the Titans one in OT. There is a reason KC gave up Thigpen. If he couldn't backup Cassel and play for KC then he isn't good enough for us. Thigpen might be able to scramble more but with a little work on the touch pass and footwork Henne is going to be a star in this league.

Not endorsing Henne is one thing, but I think it's just a way for Sparano to let everyone know that everyone on this team needs to EARN their jobs regardless of who you are.

I think miami should move pat white out to a slot reciever.he got the speed to put him out in space an let him do his thing.look at the rookie new england got,playin wes welker postion.he was a quarterback.plus henne need some playmakers to strech the field.how bout parcell moving up in the draft to get SUH!!!.

After reviewing the Pat White highlights from WV, I am dumbfounded how this "Trifuckta" called so crappy plays for the man.
First, he needs the shotgun to see the spaces, 2nd, when white is in, where is LOUSAKA to block? Why be so stupid and not have white with henne on the same play to keep the defense thinking....
Pat white needs to return punts, play slot and bulk up. This guy can be a 15 YAC machine with some 30 more pounds of muscle.
Did you notice Bess was bigger (muscles) in year 2 than 1?
I expect Pat white to do the same. He needs to be listed as a field player with Thigpen as 2 QB

Lakecityfan. Dan williams in the 4rth round ? Really ? LMFAO !!!!!!

That would be nice though NJ, you have to admit, haha.

NT worries me. It needs to be addressed and there are only two good prospects known to us in the draft. As I see it, the Dolphins really need push hard for Wilfork. Do a Dan Snyder type covert operation to let him know that the money will be here. It is home for him, maybe there's a chance?

Yo Airik, Henne's vision was blurry in one eye and if you've ever been hit in the eye with a finger or hand it will cause your vision to go blurry in one eye and evidently makes it hard to see past 5ft. I know at first I was wondering what the hell was going on, but I remembered getting an injury like that playing O-Line and get a finger poked in my eye. You can only see out of one eye and if you try and see with both, it's too blurry to see. So in my opinion his injury could have been legit. But I did wonder if Sparano was throwing the game after Henne was being held.

We have the 12th pick and with Parcels not going anywhere, we'll be fine...


To the user that compared Ben playing with a hurt non-throwing arm. Thats different than an eye you can't see out of. Henne said his vision was blurred the NEXT DAY still! You don't stick a QB who can't see back in the game. You just don't.

I would love Wilfork if we can get him, two players when they came out we could have had and those were Ed Reed and Vince Wolfork. Reed was taken 24th and Wannstache had given away that pick to New Orleans in the Ricky trade.

In the 2004 draft we drafted V. Carey!!!! two picks earlier than Wolfork. Just goes to show this thing is a crap shoot.

NE would tender or franchise Wilfork before letting him go. Their defense stinks and without him would be worse.

Plus Ben Rothlisberger has TWO SUPERBOWL RINGS, so I think he might a little more leeway with his coaches and organization.

Good point nyfinfan. That franchise tag really messes things up. I wonder if the players will push for abolishing that thing in the CBA. It really hinders players from hitting a big payday.

As far as the Carey pick goes, the administration at the time needed a LT in the worst way and there was a dearth of quality LTs back then. Now it seems that they just beef up basketball players to play the position and there seems to be 3 or 4 good ones every year.

I have NO problem with Sparano NOT commiting to Henne as his starter for next season. He has basically just completed his rookie season and while I'm excited about what I saw from Henne this season, I don't want to see him become complacent and lazy. He has a number of things to work on this off-season, most specifically, he needs to reduce his number of turnovers, especially at keypoints in the game. The Dolphins, as they currently exist, can't win, turning the ball over as often as they did this season. There were times that Henne made some real bone-headed, 'rookie' mistakes. I like the idea of him not thinking he's got the job next season by default and having him work on some things this offseason and having Pennington there if he faulters next season.

Really tired of the excuses. We have heard them for way too long. 1-15, tough schedule, injuries, new coaches...don't change, give them more time.

The fact is, this league is set up for a good front office and coaching to succeed in 3 years. And the clock is ticking.

Anyone ready to crown Henne as the future is INSANE! Whats the matter, afraid of a little competition. If hes that good let him compete with Thigpen for the job. Cream will rise to the top. In a fair competition Thigpen wins hands down.

Good Article Armando;

Curious that Sparano did not have the same ready answer to the QB situation. Only answer is that Penny led the team to an AFC East Title, and Henne, promise and personal performance and all, led a team that wound up out of the playoffs and a losing record. Sparano may not be in the mood to anoint anyone on the team just yet...

Here is the name to watch everyone:

Dan LeFevour: Central Michigan....4 year starter, 66.7% completion rate, 12,510 yards passing, 101 TDs, to 35 picks, rushed for 2,936 yards and 46 TDs. 6'3", 230lb stud QB.

Grab him in April!!!! and let the competition begin.

Mando, I think the real issue with Henne is his ability to lead this team. When Pennington lead the team to the AFC east title, he did it through leadership. I like Henne as qb and hope he sticks around. I agree that he throws the ball to hard and needs to develop that "touch". Henne's good, but no Marino either. I hope he learns to lead!

HP in PA, Joe Flacco only had 24 INTS in TWO years. NOT 28 in one year (12 each year) he did however fumble the ball 19 times in those two years also... Just saying. I for one like Henne and think he can be a very good QB for years. Only time will tell.

Too many posts to check if this has been discussed much. My guess the main reason Sparano wouldn't go further with Henne is out of respect for Pennington. With Chad P being the veteran, professional and leader he has shown, until the injury/playing status gets straightened out I think the coach would not write him off that way.


I agree that there should be competition for the QB postion. Henne had a "Jekyll and Hyde" season (flashes of brilliance and moments of "what the hell was that"). Who's to say that he'll progress, maybe we'll just see more of the same.

Assuming that Pennington is healthy and is allowed to compete and that Henne is the future at QB, Henne should have no trouble earning it the old fashion way, ON THE FIELD! If he earns it, good for him.

In a previous post I mentioned that the Cardinals are playing Warner over 1st round pick Leinart because Warner gives the team the best chances to win. All I ask for is for the Fins to do the same and allow Pennington to compete if he's healthy.

Marino was a 1st round pick who got to play in his rookie year because the offense under Woodley was not performing.

Pennington did not underperform in 2008 or in the three games he played this year. This year the problem from beginning to end was the defense. The 0-3 start was all on the defense getting burned by tight ends and an "out of sync" offensive line that allowed him to be knocked out.

Who cares if a QB throws laser bolts or balloons. Winning is everything and Pennington did that. He deserves a chance to prove he still has IT.

no!! there is not going to be any competition, Henne will be our starting QB period!!! he played great he just needs to limit he's int's, which I guaranteed he will.. in other notes our LB's needs to get fixed i don't want to go into next season with TE eating us up yards like they did this year, so thats where our prority should be at!!!


The Fins will try to repair their stinking defense first.

Henne cannot be given the keys to the franchise without proving that he's earned the right to have them. If he's as good as everybody thinks, he shouldn't have any trouble beating out his competition.

I just don't believe he'll beat out Pennington.

Many QBs got their break to start when the starting QB got injured and they "out-performed" the starter.

QBs that don't "out-perform" usually wind up back as 2nd string backup once the original starter is healthy.

Henne has played well and bad at times. He hasn't "out-performed" Pennington's body of work.

This alone earns Pennington the RIGHT to compete for HIS old job.

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