Chad Henne is the topic of much conversation lately -- some good, some not too good -- and he should get used to it because he's the freakin' frackin' starting quarterback of the Miami Dolphins! But the good news is Henne doesn't seem to mind the whirlwind of activity about him.
Henne is kind of quiet and kind of unspectacular in many respects. But he's also kind of very, very confident.
And that's a good thing because quarterbacks have to be that way. That confidence was on display Thursday when Henne was asked if he believes he can still lead the Dolphins, reeling from consecutive home defeats to New England and New York, to the playoffs ...
“Definitely, there’s no question," Henne responded immediately. "I see myself each and every day even in practice even in the games getting better at things that I wasn’t so good at last year. There’s glimpses out there and the biggest thing is being consistent. I mean I have full confidence that we can move the football on the offensive side of the ball, and it’s whether my job is to protect that football at all costs. You take those turnovers away, it could be a definitely a different game. You know it happened and I’ll learn from it, and that’s my job; I have to protect that football."
Well, he kind of went off in a tangent there at the end of the thought. But it is safe to say he sees himself getting better. (Once upon a time I saw myself getting better at writing and although that suddenly stopped after 24 hours, the self-awareness was a revelation.)
It must be no less a revelation for Henne when he studies himself and can understand that he reads the defenses faster, that he play-fakes better, that his drops are faster and crisper in that five-step drops are never four or six steps anymore.
Henne's touch passing is better, also, by the way.
Is he Drew Brees? Is he Peyton Manning? Is he even Matt Ryan? No, no, no. Not yet.
Henne is a middle-of-the-road quarterback these days. But he is not yet fully formed. Drew Brees wasn't fully formed in his second year as a starter, either.
So do I believe Henne can actually lead the Dolphins to the playoffs? Well, define lead.
If you define it by Henne putting the team on his shoulders and carrying them to the postseason by the sheer excellence of his passing, then no. I don't think he's capable of that yet.
If you define it by Henne leading a charge of like-minded teammates that also are performing at a high level, players such as Ronnie Brown, Brandon Marshall and others reaching the limits of their talents to surround Henne as he charges forward, then yes.
Yes, Henne can lead a Miami charge into the playoffs -- as long as his teammates are charging alongside him. By himself? Not yet.