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Henne benched; Pennington starts vs. Titans

Dolphins coach Tony Sparano has announced today that Chad Pennington will start for the Dolphins at quarterback on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.

Chad Henne has been benched.

"After making long evaluations of all the details involved, what I've decided to do here as we move forward is Chad Pennington is going to be the quarterback," Sparano said. "Took a lot of things into consideration, weighed an awful lot of options out. This is not an indictment at all on Chad Henne. This is not an indictment on his future.

"This player has gotten an awful lot better right now. He's come two-fold from where he was. But this is something I need to do. At this particular time as I look ahead, my decision is Chad Pennington's strengths are a little bit better suited for where we need to be right now."

Sparano said Henne is disappointed. No doubt. Henne found out Tuesday (his day off) when he came into work to study for the Titans game.

And with that the Dolphins go back to 2008 when Pennington was Miami's starter and took the team to the playoffs. Henne goes to the bench, having failed at his opportunity to show he is a consistent quarterback, much less a franchise quarterback.

If you look at this move along with the adding of soon-to-be-36-year-old cornerback Al Harris, it says the Dolphins coaching staff, front office, everyone, seems to be in win-now mode.

Interesting because this move also makes the team's decision not to add Randy Moss last week seem curious. One could understand the idea of not claiming Moss because he might somehow negatively impact Henne's growth.

But Pennington is another story altogether. Pennington is a veteran and a former teammate of Moss at Marshall University. The two are friends and so one excuse reason for not claiming Moss goes out the window.

Of course, that would assume the Dolphins had a plan to make today's quarterback move. They did not.

And that isn't great news, either. They're flying by the seat of their pants now. They're in win-now mode now. Suddenly that building toward something, that going forward always with an eye on the future is just noise.

As for Henne, don't fret on his behalf. Sparano was careful to say Pennington is the quarterback for the Titans' game. He didn't name him the starter for the rest of the season.

Pennington has been known to be injury-prone in recent years. And while he did great work in leading the Dolphins to the 2008 AFC East title, he was also the starter the first three games of 2009 when Miami was 0-3.

So is Henne cooked in Miami? I don't believe so, yet. He will likely get another shot down the road but that is unclear.

But was his first crack out of the gates a success? The answer to that is quite clear.

NO.

How else to describe it when he's benched?

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