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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.


How else to describe it when he's benched?


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I am a Dolphins fan so I hope Pennington does well and we win but he is not the longterm answer. The high scoring offenses in the NFL are the ones that create long plays down the field, you are not going to score a lot of points if you have to rely on 12-15 play drives, too many things can go wrong and the NFL defenses are too good for that. We better hope for perfect weather conditions because if it's a windy day it's going to be a long ballgame. Pennington needs to throw the ball with anticipation because it hangs up in the air like a Macy's day pared float. Again I love Pennington, before he got hurt he was one of the best in the NFL but that was 3 surgeries ago.

this regime just jumped the shark! total desperation move. pennington's arm is spaghetti. first hit and he will be done and it will be back to Henne. you've got to stick with him until he develops....period! start linig up your next GM!!!

this shows how incompetent tony sparano is!!! fire him, alobg with that poor excuse of a OC dan henning!!!!

thank god

Don't like this move at all. However, given this decision, I have to say it is nice having Chad Pennington as the replacement option rather than, say, Ray Lucas, or Feeley, or Frerotte...

That of course is assuming, the Pennington starting this weekend is 2008 Pennington and not 2009 Pennington.

my decision is Chad Pennington's strengths are a little bit better suited for where we need to be right now."

well ths week instead of 5 field goals for mr carpenter it will be 5 extra points

"my decision is Chad Pennington's strengths are a little bit better suited for where we need to be right now."

READ: "we need to not be turning the ball over right now."

Win Now....really. In addition to better quarterbacking we're also going to have to figure out how to tackle, stop opposing offenses on third and long, figure out how to NOT allow a gazillion 10+ yard plays a game, figure out how to run the ball, get our offensive play calling together. Here's to hoping, but that's all it really is.....this is desparation....most likely we will be looking at drafting a QB (if there is a draft). So who's going to be there in the middle of the first round...which is where I'm thinking we'll pick? I just don't see them benching Henne for Penny...and then turning around next season and saying "OK Henne...we think you got it now".

if the coaching staff doesnt think Henne is making consistent good decisions, im fine with Pennington.
Henne still has a future, he's still young.

Is it possible that Sparano is purely basing this decision on coaching strategy alone? It would make sense, seeing that Miami will be playing back-to-back opponents who are coming off a bye, negating some of the extra preparations that the Titans have had. Just a thought...

bill cower please


The voice of reason... Good man

This is SUPER depressing. I am guessing this probably means that Sparano was told by ownership to win now or he's gone. I love Chad Pennington and think that the team is a little better right now when he plays, but anyone who thinks we're a playoff team this year is simply in denial. I strongly belive that the right move is to give Henne the reps and let him learn and hope that it sets in by next season. If he's still throwing 3 picks a game in December, its time to focus on drafting (or signing) a quarterback. We may finish this season with a winning record under Chad P, and thus save our coaches job for another year, but then we're 8 games slower on the development of Chad Henne which hurts us a whole lot more than 1 losing season.

I totally disagree with the concept that because they are benching him it will kill his confidence, and you will know where you stand at the end of the year and all that making the playoffs mean nothing because you aren't going to win the superbowl with Pennington.. First off.. Henne's not quite there yet.. That's ok.. He can still get better.. Right now Pennington makes us better.. Right now.. Do you think it's fair to the rest of the guys out there bleeding to experiment with one guy to get better, throw away the balance of this season. The goal is to make the playoffs,. Once in teams can get hot anything can happen. The jets made it to the AFC.Game Last year.. The team gets more confidence.. Winning breeds confidence. Sparano gets more credibility, and experience in the playoffs.. Winning is always the goal.. Henne can come back and have a good year next year.. He needs to learn a few more Nuiances of being a great quarterback... It's only his second season.. He just wasn't quite ready.. Does anyone remember how poorly Elway played in his first three years? Not comparing him to Elway,.. Just saying he can get better.. He seems to have the physical tools and just needs to be a little smoother.. Let's get in the playoffs and see what happens...

This says panic all the way. Henne was developing and only played 20 games. They have been holding back this kid making him into roboback. They need to just let him sling it and learn that way. If at the end of next season he didn't show any improvement then you look somewhere else. In the short term we might win more games, but in the long term it will bite us in the butt.

Why are you people so hung up on Henne's arm strength. He was never accurate with a deep ball anyway!!!!

Well if Dan Henning is going to insist on implementing his patented "three yards and a cloud of dust" offense than the accurate Pennington is a much better option than the inaccurate Henne. I was never sold on Henne. It's 2008 all over again, folks.

A QB completing 63% of his passes is inaccurate!?!?! Wow!!!!! The OC and lack of speed on the O are the issue!!!!!!

All this does is make Henne the scapegoat for shi.tty play calling and poor overall play by everyone, offense and defense and most of all special teams. When you make one person the scapegoat you are opening a sh.it ton of problems that could forever define you. I wrote awhile back that Sparano had to put the team before his relationship with Henning and replace him as the OC because Henning's offensive philosphy was hurting this team abilities to score. With this move he has chosen his relationship over the team, and has lost all creditability with me.

We have been down this road before. This moves does what exactly? What are we gaining from this? A 9-7 season? 10-6? One and done in the playoff? Or worse, kills any chance that Henne would become the future, by shattering his confidence and creating a bitterness that can't be overcome? We'll see what happens, but we already have before so...

The coach is playing for his job. Even when the quarterback has a big arm (Henne)they throw short routes. New coach and offensive coordinator for 2011. A guarantee! HIP HIP HORRAY ! And Henne will start next year.

Face it chad henne is not a franchise qb,a very good backup yes.

I can see the future, trade Henne to the PATS (Welker). Henne becomes a pro bowl qb. The reason is our coach and o/c have not been able to groom a qb since Marino !!!! Oh yah and Henne and the PATS kick our butts for the next 7 years :(

I've know a number of you didn't want to see Henne benched but please note the following equation:

Henne QB rest of season = Sparano fired

Some of you remember that Marino spent most of his first year on the bench and it provided a valuable learning experience. There are plenty of QBs around the league in the past that have had their careers ruined because they became starters too soon. Henne's time just isn't now.

I read somewhere that Henning advised that Pennington start. I also read a while back that his play calling got him kicked out of Carolina.

Carolina, you remember when he was the offensive coordinator there right? They were known for their great offensive passing attacks! (sarcasm)

Henning is holding Sparano back. And Sparano doesn't have the balls to fire him............yet. (or the authority)

I still like Sparano and Henne. I think after this Sunday a lot will be going down in south Fla! Either he was a genius or a moron!

Answer me this. What if we are down 24-0 at half time on Sunday? What do we do then Einsteins?!

Bench Pennington?

Start Henne?

Start Thigpen?!

I got to go. I'm getting an ulcer thinking about the rest of the season.

Henning is the problem Folks not Henne. Crappy running between the tackles. In the wildcat RBrown had motion and all kinds of space to work with... that ship has sailed. Out patterns to Osaka Polite on 1st down OMG Henning has lost it.

what was the knock on penninton... everyone said despite his great passer rating, he didnt give the Fins that Deep Threat arm. Henne was supposed to be that answer. Install Brandon Marshall and Speedy Hartline and we still dont take shots downfield. If we gonna let Henning play Wanstadt ball than we should go back to the QB best suited for it. Sorry Henne

If Henne is lucky he will get traded from this dysfunctional organization. Then he will find his way to the Patriots and haunt us for 10 years after Brady is gone.

Dolphin fan for 38 eight years but I'm all done with this crud.

On the contrarian side of things. This regime has not been very good at evaluating talent. Which leads me to beleive that Henne could be a superstar in the right system.

Parcells stole Ross's $.

Chucky or Cowher? What do you guys think?

I guess he's not the future...maybe there was something to the story that Parcells wanted out because of his disappointment with Henne's progress.

Ryan Mallet!!!

Henne is in good company for the future. The chargers benched Rivers at one point and even Drew Brees.

2003: The Chargers late season struggle continued into the new season as they dropped their first five games bringing their losing streak to nine games. After a 20-7 loss to the Chicago Bears on the road the Chargers decided to bench struggling Quarterback Drew Brees in favor of 41-year old Doug Flutie

The coaches may have given up on Henne, but only because they are looking for someone to blame. I have supported the team up to this point, but now I have given up on the coaches. Like others have said ... "now we find out if it was the QB or the OC". Given all of the stats and mid-season record, I completely disagree with benching Henne. I think it's time to fire the coaching staff !!

Doesn't make sense, you're in win now mode, but you don't take a flier on Randy Moss?

This one could be seen coming for some time, especially after the Brandon Marshall transaction and the inability to convert it into wins. Even the most clueless dope would have to know that, with Marshall on the team, fans were expecting a record more on the order of 6-2 than 4-4. Mediocrity like last year, with this new WR, is-was simply unacceptable.

While Henne made some occasional good throws, his accuracy was in general, lousy. The missed TD to connect with Fasano on Sunday was absolutely unforgiveable. I'm sorry, but in this league you only get so many chances. The inability to get the ball to Brandon is also at least partly (maybe 50%) Henne's fault, for cruddy accuracy issues.

True, Pennington has trouble tossing the ball downfield more than 20 yards, but I believe he is capable of this at least 4-5 times on a given Sunday. Pennington is also far more accurate and makes his reads faster as one would expect.

Maybe a stint on the bench, watching a real pro in action, will help Henne ramp up his learning curve to be a really good QB, at least on a par with Joe Flacco. In any case, the jury is still out on whether CH is "that guy"!

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