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Dolphins in great QB shape behind Henne

Everyone is saying and writing that the Dolphins chances of being a playoff contender depend on how well quarterback Chad Henne develops in his third NFL season. Duh. That is an easy column for journalists with little imagination.

The fact of the matter is Miami's playoff chances are not necessarily dependent solely on whether Henne becomes the finest quarterback in franchise history -- as owner Stephen Ross said earlier this offseason he hopes will happen.

Sure, everyone is hoping Henne is the real deal after he delivered 12 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions in his first season as a starter in 2009. But frankly, the Dolphins have fallback positions they can resort to if Henne is ...

A. Only mediocre.

B. Terrible.

C. Injured.

If Henne is not the next coming of Dan Marino, the Dolphins can and still throw the ball and expect relative success because receiver Brandon Marshall is a Top 5 wide receiver who has authored three consecutive 100-catch, 1,000-plus-yards seasons -- all while catching from Kyle Orton and Jay Cutler, two quarterbacks with mediocre reputations.

The Dolphins can and will also rely heavily on their running game, which is still their bread and butter and still among the better ones in the NFL as their No 4 overall ranking from a year ago proves.

So the Dolphins have reasonable expectations for some success even if Henne is only mediocre.

Well, what about if he's terrible or injured?

In both cases, he would be out of the lineup. And while not having Henne under center would be a blow to the grand expectations everyone has placed on him, it wouldn't necessarily be a catastrophic blow to Miami's playoff chances.

The reason the Dolphins could survive without Henne is because they have Chad Pennington. And the chart below strongly suggests Pennington is the NFL's best backup quarterback option.

Think about that.

While everyone in New Orleans, Indianapolis, San Diego, New England, and Houston can count on continued excellence from their starting quarterbacks, they can count on nothing if those quarterbacks aren't around. Those loss of their starting quarterbacks to injury (sorry, but it does happen) would be a train wreck for those teams.

I mean, seriously. Are the Colts a playoff team with Curtis Painter under center? Are the Saints that dangerous with Chase Daniel at quarterback? Are the Patriots even a six-win team with Brian Hoyer replacing Tom Brady?


The Dolphins, meanwhile, are a playoff contender with Chad Henne as their starter. And they're a playoff contender with Chad Pennington as their starter. I'm not saying Pennington has the same ceiling as Henne. I'm saying the last time Pennington was Miami's starter for an entire season, the Dolphins went to the playoffs.

Way I see this list, the next best backup quarterback situation behind Miami is enjoyed by Dallas because they have Jon Kitna behind Tony Romo. Kitna has never been a star. But he has been to the playoffs as a starter and has had some NFL success.

So thinking the Dolphins universe must and will revolve around make-or-break exploits by Henne is simple-minded. It's also wrong.

2010 NFL QUARTERBACKS                                      
Quarterback,  College, 2010 NFL Experience (years)  

Derek Anderson, Oregon State, 6
Max Hall, BYU, R
Matt Leinart, Southern California, 5
John Skelton, Fordham, R

Chris Redman, Louisville, 8
Matt Ryan, Boston College, 3
John Parker Wilson, Alabama, 2

John Beck, BYU, 4
Marc Bulger, West Virginia, 10
Joe Flacco, Delaware, 3
Troy Smith, Ohio State, 4

Brian Brohm, Louisville, 3
Levi Brown, Troy, R
Trent Edwards, Stanford, 4
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Harvard, 5

Hunter Cantwell, Louisville, 1
Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame, R
Matt Moore, Oregon State, 4
Tony Pike, Cincinnati, R

Jay Cutler, Vanderbilt, 5
Caleb Hanie, Colorado State, 3
Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan, R

J.T. O’Sullivan, California-Davis, 8
Carson Palmer, Southern California, 8
Jordan Palmer, Texas El-Paso, 3

Jake Delhomme, Louisiana-Lafayette, 12
Colt McCoy, Texas, R
Brett Ratliff, Utah, 3
Seneca Wallace, Iowa State, 8

Jon Kitna, Central Washington, 14
Stephen McGee, Texas A&M, 2
Matt Nichols, Eastern Washington, R
Tony Romo, Eastern Illinois, 8

Kyle Orton, Purdue, 6
Brady Quinn, Notre Dame, 4
Tim Tebow, Florida, R

Shaun Hill, Maryland, 9
Matthew Stafford, Georgia, 2
Drew Stanton, Michigan State, 4

Matt Flynn, Louisiana State, 3
Graham Harrell, Texas Tech, 1
Aaron Rodgers, California, 6

John David Booty, Southern California, 1
Dan Orlovsky, Connecticut, 6
Matt Schaub, Virginia, 7

Tom Brandstater, Fresno State, 2
Tim Hiller, Western Michigan, R
Peyton Manning, Tennessee, 13
Curtis Painter, Purdue, 2


David Garrard, East Carolina, 9
Trevor Harris, Edinboro, R
Luke McCown, Louisiana Tech, 7

Matt Cassel, Southern California, 6
Brodie Croyle, Alabama, 5
Tyler Palko, Pittsburgh, 1

Chad Henne, Michigan, 3
Chad Pennington, Marshall, 11
Tyler Thigpen, Coastal Carolina, 4
Pat White, West Virginia, 2

Brett Favre, Southern Mississippi, 20
Tarvaris Jackson, Alabama State, 5
Sage Rosenfels, Iowa State, 10
Joe Webb, Alabama-Birmingham, R

Tom Brady, Michigan, 11
Brian Hoyer, Michigan State, 2
Zac Robinson, Oklahoma State, R

Drew Brees, Purdue, 10
Sean Canfield, Oregon State, R
Chase Daniel, Missouri, 2

Rhett Bomar, Sam Houston State, 2
Eli Manning, Mississippi, 7
Jim Sorgi, Wisconsin, 7

Erik Ainge, Tennessee, 3
Kellen Clemens, Oregon, 5
Kevin O’Connell, San Diego State, 3
Mark Sanchez, Southern California, 2

Kyle Boller, California, 8
Jason Campbell, Auburn, 6
Charlie Frye, Akron, 6
Bruce Gradkowski, Toledo, 5

Mike Kafka, Northwestern, R
Kevin Kolb, Houston, 4
Michael Vick, Virginia Tech, 9

Charlie Batch, Eastern Michigan, 13
Dennis Dixon, Oregon, 3
Byron Leftwich, Marshall, 8
Ben Roethlisberger, Miami (OH), 7

Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, R
A.J. Feeley, Oregon, 10
Thaddeus Lewis, Duke, R
Keith Null, West Texas A&M, 2

Jonathan Crompton, Tennessee, R
Philip Rivers, North Carolina State, 7
Billy Volek, Fresno State, 11

Jarrett Brown, West Virginia, R
David Carr, Fresno State, 9
Nate Davis, Ball State, 2
Alex Smith, Utah, 6

Matt Hasselbeck, Boston College, 12
J.P. Losman, Tulane, 7
Charlie Whitehurst, Clemson, 5

Rudy Carpenter, Arizona State, 2
Josh Freeman, Kansas State, 2
Josh Johnson, San Diego, 3
Jevan Snead, Mississippi, R

Kerry Collins, Penn State, 16
Chris Simms, Texas, 8
Rusty Smith, Florida Atlantic, R
Vince Young, Texas, 5

Richard Bartel, Tarleton State, 2
Colt Brennan, Hawaii, 3
Rex Grossman, Florida, 8
Donovan McNabb, Syracuse, 12


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I only find reassurance in Thigpen. This guy could come in and keep the offense moving and at least compete.

Pat White has shown me he is light years away from being a decent NFL QB prospect.

Pennington is just recovering. Maybe by Wk 10 he can throw a 30 yd pass.


Id like a special report from Armando on Penne's throws and / or lack there of in TC. Is he 50%, 80%?

I'm interested to see if he will be on the PUP list (as rumored by Kooky and Company) just to make room for White.

I gotta say i agree with everything you said Mando - but the Ravens do have a decent back-up as well....

What if he's not good?
What if he's really bad?
What if he's injured?

You left out,

What if he's Henne the Hero?

I do agree that Penne is the best back up Qb that we have... possibly in the league.

pat white is the sleeper this coming season .

Aloco, you must mean he might fall asleep this season.

Henne will still be shell shocked from the hit he took during the Pittsburgh game and White just sux,better start Thigpen from day 1.

And by journalist with little imagination you mean who Armando? C'mon lets do this, Miami Herald, Sun Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, cage fight, no DQ's. LETS GET IT ON!!!

you guys forget the a qb doesn't become a qb in a season ,. i predict pat white will salvage his image this year . as for henne ,i wish he can perform as he did last year .we would be in the playoffs for sure .

Pat White will be lucky to be there to warm Henne's Seat in late Jan in Wets territory!!! On second thought he's to skinny to even keep a seat warm!!!

We have to many nfl calabar QBs on our roster already no need to keep a gimmickie one where even the gimmicks are a bust!

armando, hoyer in new england is the real deal.if brady goes down hoyer will lead the team to the playoff.

So ALoco.... What I hear you saying is that we should have kept John Beck, and keep waiting for him to develop. Because as bad as Beck looked in his rookie year, Pat White looked far worse in his. I at least expected to see a glimmer of his highly-touted running ability. But to me, every time he had the ball in his hands (every single time - no exceptions), he looked more nervous than Ted Ginn going over the middle.

Went through that table and there aren't very many teams who I think have a right to be comfortable if their starting QB goes down this year.

Any word on the "injury" Henne suffered last year in the game against Pittsburgh?

dolfanbg, first you kept beck for 3-5 years.second pat on his second year and last if he doesn't perform .


Wait Ted Ginn went over the middle I thought he always ran for tha sidelines!

where is NJ??? Who the f cares. LOL
Nobody wants a liar on here anyways.. NJ you are better than that...

Henne did quite well stepping in mid season, despite some negative stats. The D blew a few games big time, plus Ginn dropped a gain winner. Aside from the QB situation...what we do have is probably the meanest OLine in the NFL, this team is going to grind their opponents into the ground even more so than last year, dominate time of possession and wear them down. Simply an avg QB will suffice.

I guess by "journalists with little imagination" Mando means Greg Cote. (See his article on the front page next to Mando's) Burn!

the real danger for us is losing Ronnie Brown too early in the season and having to suffer the consequences of Ricky Williams' fumbles. That would put too much pressure on Henne.
That scenario costed us the playoffs last year.

(PS: I really like Ricky, and I think he's the best n°2 back in the league, but he cannot safely handle 25 carries a game)

I agree us phins have the best QB situation in the leauge with the exception of maybe baltimore or san diego. JOKE OF THE DAY" T.O. IN CINNCINNATTI" HAHAHAHA THIS WILL BE A LAUGHTER TO WATCH!!!!!!!

psmith - obviously you never read a novel or piece of real literature in your life. Cote is obviously a far superior writer than error prone grammatically inept and witless Mando who apparently only appeals to teenagers or the semi-illiterate. His blog gets so much action merely because he is the most featured writer of the Herald and those other two newspapers rarely print an article longer than a comic strip.

Dear Mr. Salguero

Am I reading this correctly ?

"Sure, everyone is hoping Mr. Salguero is the real deal after he delivered player interviews and Dolphin articles in his first season as a reporter. But frankly, the Herald has fallback positions they can resort to if Mr. Salguero is ...

A. Only mediocre.

B. Terrible.

C. Total slacker.

If Mr. Salguero is not the next coming of Walter Cronkite, the Herald can and still expect relative success because Writer Jeff Darlington is a writer who has collected a paycheck three consecutive seasons.

Soiled :)

how can a writer named cote be a superior writer .

PSmith... I also read Cote garbage... I wanted to puke. He fessed up in his own piece what HIS problem is though to quote...

"I trust the overseeing hand of Bill Parcells (even if I disdain his imperial media blackout).
Greg Cote

Cote and a few other local media guys lost there "Carte Blanche" locker room and front office admittance with their disloyal "predictive journalism" and using "Editorial Journalism" as a screen for his opinionated pieces that were very Dolphin unfriendly.

It a shame, Cote has been in this market for years, He IS is good writer/journalist yet seems drawn by the whole "Negative splash = More Cash" side of sports writing. I have read Armando when he has written pieces that sounded very negative, they have at times really angered me. But, then he comes back with a piece like this one or even one a bit more "Up the middle" and not favoring either the negative or Bandwagon readers. Cote unfortunately has gone through a LONG period of "critical analysis" that has contributed to Parcells and Co. dropping the blackout screen... they didn't do it because they had nothing better to do. It was done for a very good reason and I stand behind them for doing it.

I also agree with Armando in this piece, we have gone from wondering WHO will play QB for us to now having confidence in several guys. Unless you want to listen to "2 dim watts" who would be much less nervous if Miami would just concede the season and allow his team a walk... like they received to get into the playoffs last year.


best backup in the league for sure. we're in great shape. IMO, I don't think Henne will be as good as Marino (that comment was ridiculous), but there's no doubt in my mind that he's NOT going to be terrible. he'll be the next Roethlisberger.

this defense will determine whether were a playoff team or not. Glad we brought in Nolan.


Henne's a midget,just like Pat White. he can't see over the DL/OL, + he's a statue back there like Marino was.Thigpen is a scrambler and will cause fits to the DC's trying to scheme against him.

The Jets may have suxed in total d sacks but they were #-1 in qb hurries and that does not bode well for happy feet Henne,

As long as "Dirty Sanchez" is tossing Int's around like throwing Frisbee's to dogs... Miami has no worries about the "Stinkin Jests".

Armando, prior to Pennington being injured the Dolphins were losing. The season statred out with Henne taking over for an injured QB, Pennington. Teams were putting eight players in the box so Miami could not run the ball for their ball control offense. Thigpen is the better back up should Henne get injured. He is mobile with a good arm and has enough experience as a starter to perform as he did when the Dolphins were in a desperate mode and he had to pass. Please Armando Pennington is done. He would be an excellent coach but his playing days are over.

Sorry half watt.... But the JUST FLAT OUT SUCKED LAST YEAR! No questions asked.....


Why do you azzume that Jet fans are the only ones who talk ill about the Phins.?.There are plenty of Phin Fans shaking in their boots about not having a true NT on the roster and a crap shoot at FS,RB's health,Ricky's fumbles,Hennes happy feet,can the TE's hold onto the football for 1'ce,Why Nolans D in Denver went to poop in the second half of the season and why he was the 5th choice for Parcells,the on going turn stile at LB's,the poor DP's and past FA picks,etc,etc,etc.

The Jets may have suxed in total d sacks but they were #-1 in qb hurries and that does not bode well for happy feet Henne,

Posted by: 2 watt | July 28, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Henne didn't seem to have any problem beating the jets his rookie season when he was throwing to Ginn. A season better and Marshall running down the sidelines we should have no problems with the jets this season. Plus we're going to run the ball down their throats anyway so it doesn't matter.

That jets team, apart from revis, is going to be a disaster. still not sure why writers a so high on the team.

filler article

Because they backed their way into the playoffs and accidentaly won a few of them! But don't worry this year will be diffrent when Rexxy looses control of the locker room to all his slowly fizzling stars or better known as dwarf stars!

at the very least, Miami has 2 QBs that are better than all 4 of Tampa Bay's QBs.

Henne is the real deal. No question in my mind. I can't f***ing wait for this season to start. I just might get so restless that I drive 30 minutes east of here and start wreaking havoc at the Jets' training camp.


You are on the money with your post about losing the locker room. I feel that should happen about week 9-10 when they are 3-7 maybe 4-6 and realize that the playoffs are a out of reach and all that off season bravado was JUST TALK.

Kindle and mt Cody are out. Kindle broke his skull falling down stairs. And Cody is just too FAT lol so glad we stayed far away from those two

Is it official beerphin?

I heard that this morning on Mike and MIKE but then they said they wern't sure about the status. Are they on the PUP list and if so are they out for the 1st 6 weeks?

2wat, Sanchez is 6-2 Chad Henne is 6-3 ftw

Kindle is for sure out maybe whole season. Cody is out of shape and I don't see him ever getting into playing shape atleast not in the near future

It doesn't help that Revis is making a fool out of him self by demanding that much money! That right there could n should lead to some locker room issues! I mean look at the big 3 from the heat taking less for the team! Pay attention Revis or you will be the only one on your Island when the prop plane you guys call jets takes off for tha season!

Do you guys think that Kindle will ever recover from this to actually play a snap in the NFL or ya think this is the end of his career already? Do the birds give him a shot at training camp next year if his health is ok!

good post grrreatdane.


Cody passed his physical today and will practice.
Stop spreading Garbage!


Thigpen was thrust into duty after the Chiefs’ other quarterbacks went down with season-ending injuries. He ended up accounting for 22 touchdowns (18 passing, three rushing and one receiving) in just 11 starts for a 2-14 team that had some deep flaws. Roethlisberger, a $100 million QB, won a Super Bowl with help from the game’s best defense and accounted for 19 TDs (17 passing, two rushing) in 16 starts.

So Thigpen, as a second-year pro with no prior experience and a last-place roster around him, threw for 2,608 yards and 18 TDs with 12 interceptions in the first 11 starts of his career. And Roethlisberger, already fully polished and with a Super Bowl-quality roster around him, threw for 3,301 yards and 17 TDs with 15 interceptions in 16 games. Hmm, interesting. And Roethlisberger had as many turnovers as Thigpen did scores.

Ryan, the third overall pick in the 2008 draft, won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award, had the league’s best running game and a stout Falcons defense behind him, and he accounted for 17 total TDs in 16 starts. Flacco also was a first-round pick in 2008, started 16 games for a Ravens team with the league’s second-best defense and a robust running attack, and he accounted for 16 total TDs.

The Chiefs either led entering the fourth quarter, led in the fourth quarter or were tied entering the fourth quarter in seven of Thigpen’s final 10 games. If anything, questionable play-calling, a horrid running game and an atrocious defense conspired against the young QB..

Cmon MANDO! The Titans have Kerry Collins, Vince Young and The Warrior they call Chris Simms. Either one of them could step in and lead a good team.

2 Watt, Thigpen is a decent QB.

But Henne is a pro style qb suited for Miami's balanced attack.

Why are you hatin' on Henne? Are you an Ohio State benchwarmer? Do you still think Ted Ginn is an NFL receiver?

This was a kid from a small school thrust into emergency starts with little coaching, and as we know, inexperienced passers tend to have issues late in games. Thigpen also was sacked 11 times on just 123 fourth-quarter pass attempts, so a suspect offensive line and lack of any sort of competent defense didn’t make things any easier on him..

What's the Jets backup plan if Hot-dog-eatin Sanchez falls to injury? Like the Bills, they will be as consistently bad anyways.

Smells like Football Season!!

This kid is incredibly fast — on his runs, he was almost never tackled by someone in the front seven. You can’t tell me he’s not one of the 64 best QBs out there, and given his skills and speed, he definitely could be someone who could help in the Wildcat. At 6-foot-1 and 224 pounds, Thigpen can take a hit..

henne is 6-3.?. then why all of the tipped passes.?

How many tipped passes, and compare those to other elite qbs...

How about Thigpen's 4th quarter under throw into double coverage to end the game?

i can SEE DOLPHINS AT .....11-5 OR 12-6
JETS......... 6-10 AT BEST
BILLS......... 6-10

Aloco, be realistic. I think the Fins are about a 9 win team if healthy.

Aloco they wont be 12-6 till the NFL goes to the 18 game schedule in a few years!

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