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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?

No.

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)  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JACKSONVILLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Another washed up veteran to add to tha old men already there!!

THE JETS TRYING TO WIN IT THIS YEAR BY ADDING ALL THESE VETERANS TO THE TEAM .THE SAME PLAN WAS PLANED IN NEW ENGLAND LAST FEW YEARS AND PAID OFF .

Happy Birthday NJ
The man is 56 years young today....hoooray for NJ. The fine folks at the SS are having birthday cake and punch for our beloved NJ.

1-LUV what a joke bwahahahhaha

Shoot where's menace when ya need him he would love this! :)

Just ARRIVED, G.D, Happy Birth day NJ Flim Flam, Did you get the Wight System I sent You???

I just read someone predicted the Fins at 12-5 and the Jets at 6-10. Now I'm a Fins season ticket holders since 1982 - and consequently hate those stinkin' Jets.. but common people... that's just crazy talk. Take 2 from ours and add 2 to theirs and it's still overstated. At the end of the year, I believe the Fins will be division champs and the Jets will be disappointed. But folks.. it AIN'T gonna be easy! Which is what makes it so much fun!

aahh welcome welcome Lets all crack a beer for new jersey... j/k LOL

SO what's the vegas over under on how many and how much ochocinco and TO get penalized for excessive celebration!!! That might actually be fun to watch! LOL

I Cracked a Beer in celebration of NJ Phin Fan, Happy B-Day Big guy.....

Careful cuban he might get more of a man crush on ya! with a present and a beer n all!! LOL

I was thinking this last night, so the timing of Armandos blog is perfect. The jets are going to be really reduced to a one dimensional team if The Dirty One gets a finger in his eye( Brown Eye) and can't play for a period of time. That team must be scared to death of an injury to a guy that is pretty good at handing off the ball. It is a move of desperation signing Brunell, that guy is like the NFL version of Crash Davis(Bull Durham). These guys got rid of their best RB's (Jones, Washington) and replaced them with Shawn Greene, LT in a wheelchair, and another rookie from USC that hates getting hit. The jets in all their wisdom also let go of Alen Faneca, hope that running game works out for you jets, especially if your golden boy goes down.(on one of his teamates, or 2)

Couldn't have said it better my self Darryl

Darryl, 8 and 8 for the jets at best, thinking more then likely 5 and 11, should be fun watching the latter part of the year when all there old Vets go down with injury after injury...

Good evening everyone.
Don't have anything to say except "Jets Suck."
Ah, that felt good.
It is wonderful therapy.
You should try it too.

Good evening cuban,

Any news at the SS???? NJ and some clown were at it over there past midnight last night. Pretty sad bunch, always NJ 24 hours

Rex Ryan:always thinking J-E-T-S
Just Eatin Some Tacos
Just Eating Some Turkey
Just Eatin Some Tuna
Just Eatin Some T-Bones

Nice Litos!
Reading that did me good.
More therapy please.

When did the JETS start spellin their name JEST? just wondering!! although it is funny!

TCA, Just the usual BS,"SHEEEES""Release the cracken" ETC, ETC....Heard that they shut down the oil in the gulf, Heard that it was a Idea from a Plumber... HUMMMMM, Maybe NJ helped them...

Cubam You asked your buddy about the wight system?? What is that??

Penny had his day and really never could stay on the field with the shoulder. He is a good field manager, but after Henne's performance last year it's clear the Fin's have moved beyond that into getting more chunk yrds. and becoming more aggressive on offense. Henne is the guy now and I wish him a healthy season and with that, the Fins will win. If Henne goes down is the only way they replace him, they have invested to much for the style of game they want to play with Henne. It will be Thigpen if that happens. Don't believe Penny has it anymore or he would be fighting to be in there!

A new Product to help control Weight for those over 55.......Kinda like "Colon Blow".

naw his brown eye is too loose from all them players of his havin there way with him to keep anything in his colon!!! LOL

That's, Tim is half way up his small intestine's....

Cuban did you read their SS posts last night. Your bud was fighting with some clown. Funny chit I tell you. NJ is a cancer for any blog.

I really think he is a jets fan that trolls dolphins blogs pretending to be a phin fan and just makeing our lives misrable! I mean he is from jersey!

Miami's going 14-6 this year...
10-6 regular season
3-0 play offs
1-0 Super Bowl


Yeah!

NJ is not a Jets fan. He loves the phins I am sure of it. He posts on the SS how he is the savior(Jesus Christ) of their blog. He says he will uncover who the ones are that want to ruin the blog. He is full of himself.

SO still no signings... Hope something gets done tommorow!!!! Was kinda hopeing they would get it done today

TO BE OR NOT TO BE

To drink or not to drink...

TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT AT THE SUN LIFE STADIUM .

TO DRINK OR NOT TO DRINK W/RATS .

happy birthday nj ,57 year of fun .

NJ IS 57 YEARS OLD, GOOD FOR HIM .

Armando, love you article as always. I just wish you and Cote would burry the hatched (not into each other's backs) and get along. You both report on sports which is mostly about team work, yet you guys work in the same paper covering the same sports, and it seems like a constant back and forth....

Heck, what am I saying? Keep it up, its entertaining!!!

ARMANDO SHOULD HAVE A LIVE BLOG WITH GREG COTE .ARMANDO TALKS FOOTBALL AND COTE TALKS BASEBALL.

Armando and Cote should arm wrestle like Over the Top.

Buzz on the www.com is that the phins will have both Misi n Odrick to sign their contracts tommorow morning! Hope so!

That would be cool.

Training camp is almost here!!!!!

MARKED FOR DEATH W/STEVEN SEGAL IS ON FMC ...BEST MOVIE HE MADE ...JUST TURN THE VOLUME OFF AND WATCH .

I think I'd rather watch Opera!!! j/k LOL

Dolphins add another vet DE in former Saints Charles Grant... yes the starcaps guy

Besides that South Park where Indiana Jones gets rapped by george lucas n Stephen Spildburg! LOLOLOL

HE'S 6.3 AND 285 POUNDS

YOU CAN WATCH POLICE ACADEMY ON CMT .A GOOD MOVIE ,IT'S THE FIRST ONE .

Aloco what is marked for death? Sounds like a movie about a crazy plumber who says he owns a gym, takes steroids and is after this cuban security guard. This plumber wants to kill him, so it is called Marked for death>

police academy is mush better movie on cmt

Sounds like 'Pipe Dope' to me...

I'm kind of psyched about their Offense...
(...It could be in the top 5)

Their Defense Worries me.
.
.

Pennington is fine to be back up as long as he is healthy. He will be fine at 2, he's not going to have any less arm strength than before, this wasn't a rotator cuff injury. Get facts before you count him out. If he goes on PUP, he still ends up as the 2 after he comes off. He'll probably end up somewhere (not Miami) next year to compete to start.

cinq,
The point was that Mando was ripping journalists at his own workplace, not who I personally thought was the better journalist. Sorry you missed it. (on a side note, maybe the comment on a comment format isn't that bad)

Henne to Marshall,Bess, Hartline. Running Wild with Ricky, Ronnie. Nolan in charge of defense. Sparano a task master. This all equals about 11 wins if healthy And, if healthy, Big chance at Superbowl. I'm not worried about Henne. He is the real deal. And, if he should falter- Thigpen got this. We are going to Dallas. A homecoming for the Trifecta! F- the JESTS, Patsies, and Buffalo Bullshites! GO FINS!!!!!!

I can't wait till Pennington proves everyone wrong again... I watched this in 2004, 2005... yeah and they were wrong. This wasn't anything close to this. Pennington FTW baby.

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