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The reasons Chad Henne must remain at QB

You folks really must stop e-mailing me. Post your comments below in the comments section instead because it's getting crazy and I cannot possibly reply to everyone, although I would love to do so. Normally, I just reply to the folks that call me a fat, moron, frick because, dang it, I'm not a frick so I feel the need to defend myself.

Anyway, most of your e-mails Monday were about one of two topics:

1. Fire everybody.

2. Bench Chad Henne.

I can assure you the Dolphins are not about to fire everybody. This post will attempt to explain why the Dolphins should not bench Henne.

I watched the 26-10 loss to Baltimore and I'm not about to do a coach Tony Sparano and give you an "all is well, there's nothing to worry about," speech. As this Miami Herald story points out, Henne threw 5 TDs and 4 interceptions the first four games and 3 TDs and 6 interceptions the past four games.

Bottom line is the Dolphins were beaten pretty soundly at Baltimore and there is a pattern they follow in that they cannot beat very good teams. So all is not well.

But in watching Henne's worst game of the season, it becomes evident there are glances that you must admit are present before you summarily dismiss him as your quarterback.

Did you notice that Henne completed 9 of his first 10 passes against the big, bad Baltimore defense? That is correct, he was 9 of 10 to start the game.

Nobody noticed that because the one incompletion was an interception by Baltimore's Ladarius Webb. And, true enough, an interception does overshadow nine other completions if those completions are TD passes. But this interception was more the wide receiver's fault than Henne's.

Fact is Brian Hartline stumbled and was on his knees when the ball came to him on the sideline. Webb simply stood where Hartline was down and caught the pass. If Hartline had been on his feet that pass is either an incompletion or a completion. Not an interception.

There were two other picks Henne threw. He had one that led Brandon Marshall a hair too far and the Miami receiver didn't necessarily go above and beyond to stretch for the catch because Ray Lewis had Marshall's ribs in the cross hairs. The tipped pass went directly to Ed Reed.

Interception No. 3 was Henne's biggest mistake, that in the fourth quarter when he threw inaccurately and the defensive back on Davone Bess simply caught the errant pass. I put that one on Henne. But Bess had zero separation. And Bess didn't exactly dig hard back toward the pass. Fact is the DB made a stronger break toward the ball and came away with it. Bess does better work, that interception also becomes an incompletion.

The point I'm making is Henne didn't exactly get a ton of support. And I didn't even mention the Anthony Fasano drop. The Brandon Marshall drop. The Ronnie Brown drop.

I do have to mention the terrible pass to a wide open Fasano in the end zone near the end of the first half. That was, in my humble, Henne's worst pass of the day and it cost Miami four points or the difference between a touchdown and the field goal the team kicked.

So did all that spell out a 26-10 loss? No.

The Ravens did not score after Webb's interception. They got a field goal after the second interception. And the final pick came with 42 seconds to play and Baltimore merely took a knee to end the game after that turnover.

So Henne's terrible day cost the Dolphins a touchdown -- the field goal plus the difference between what might have been a TD and FG to end the half.

The Dolphins lost this game by 16 points, folks. It wasn't all on the QB.

Now, maybe you think benching Henne is still the move because, well, you just want to stir things up. Or maybe it's because you don't like Henne's robotic approach to playing. Or maybe you just hate Michigan.

I would say the Dolphins must stay with Henne because if nothing else happens this year, they must, must, must, find out if he is the future or not. The Dolphins aren't a playoff team right now. They are not playing playoff-caliber football.

But if they finish the 2010 season with a conviction one way or the other about Chad Henne, at least the season was not in vain. If, on the other hand, the team replaces Henne with Chad Pennington and makes a playoff run only to find out that still isn't the answer, we're back to 2008 and we've wasted two seasons.

Coach Tony Sparano's contract runs out after 2011. He cannot afford to find himself back at the end of 2008 while the calendar says its 2011 and his contract says it expires in 2011. We need to know if Henne is the future at quarterback or not.

That means you might have to endure some growing pains and setbacks. But to back-track now to Chad Pennington in search of some short-term fix is taking one step forward but finding yourself two steps back. 

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I think I disagree Armando, we need wins asap, if Henne was playing well we would not have this conversation, he is not playing well and the numbers don't lie, while it is not all his fault they still do not score enough touchdowns with him at QB, a couple more 3 int games and we are out of it for good and then you should put in Tyler to see what hes got, if you want a shot at the playoffs this year maybe give C pennington the ball for a couple of games see what he does, but I don't think they will

Loyal fans are over complicating the issue. The team stinks. Pure and simple. Dreaming and hoping otherwise won't help.

No it doesn't, Mike. It would be a hell of a decision to bench him if he fails vs the Titans.

reaility that was kinda harsh. They are 4-4. Not exactly "stinks" material. The Cowboys stink. (Gosh, it feels good to say that :)

The problem is they are good enough to get everyone excited, and bad enough not to take advantage of it.

Coach Lee: Notice how Henne grips the ball just before a pass release? Index finger at the rear tip of the ball? This grip causes an ever increasing front end wobble during flight and the ball tends to sail becaused the ball nose is always outside (higher, lower, and to either side) of the natural nose trajectory of a tightly spiraled ball and oh so hard to catch even if it somehow ends up on target. Fix it Coach, and Henne will throw balls with tighter and faster spinning (gyro) spirals with much more accuracy, less sailing and more catchable.

my vote's in the "stink" column.

or very bad,and definitely boring & too passive on offense.

Wow, I've heard it all now. Greg z. says Henne is in the mold of failed QBs like Pat White and John Beck. Let that marinate for awhile. Pat White never started a game in this league, and when he came in for a few plays, got demolished into baseball.

Beck maybe started a game (can't remember) but was so horrible that now he's a 3rd stringer somewhere (DC) carrying jock straps.

And this is who greg compares Henne to. Henne, by the way, has a winning record in his starts, has led a comeback and hasn't yet even finished 2 full seasons (in starts).

Talk about overcompensating. Starting Penny at QB will bring this team ZERO more wins than if Henne stays at QB. I'm willing to put money on it (and I'm not a betting man). For all the reasons Mando mentioned, starting Penny is just an angry fan's "feel good" approach to instant satisfaction. Of course, next year, when Penny is retired, and Miami never makes the Playoffs anyway this year, we're right back at square 1.

I'd rather fire, demote, or put Henning back in a cage. Let Henne finish out the season with the play calling opened up to give him enough rope to either succeed or hang himself. Then, after the season, the team can decide if Henne is the long-term answer or if they have to go back to the well.

By the way, if Thigpen were so GREAT, he'd have gotten signed by one of the teams with a lousy QB by now. The fact that he remains a 3rd-stringer should point to his either not being good enough or not being ready to lead a team. How many INTs did he have the last time he played by the way?

So keeping reaching fans. But, the ugly truth is it is what it is and we just need to see if through 'til the end of the season to determine what happens next.

Screaming at the TV, I heard Gino Toretta say the other day that NFL QB coaches under coach mechanics. I totally agree. That is not Henne's only flaw from a mechanics standpoint.

Although he is one hit away from the end of his career, it would have to be ChadP if Henne is benched. Pennington knows that.

Oh and one more thing whats up with Hartline falling down all the time?

I sad the exact same thing...yesterday. Peoples hate of Henne is just too much. I say again, Baltimore crushed Pennington, yet you guys want him back. Henne does not need to be benched. He needs to finish out the year. Period. On a lighter note, Paul Pasq. is Dallas new defensive coordinator....maybe we can give them Henning.

He's gotta change his shoes, scott.

the only bright spot in this crappy team is the second leader of the NFL sack category is.......WAKE W/9 SACKS.NO 1 CLAY OF THE GB W/11 SACKS

Armando is right on the mark. Henne must get all the work he can the rest of the year. And I agree he certainly didn't cost us that game.

My frustration, and maybe some other people's, about Henne is that he "looks" the part of a stud quarterback. What I mean is that he's big, strong, and seemingly has all the tools. Physically he has the skills of a Rivers or Roethlisberger. So the upside seems to be there. But in watching every game snap, including preseasons, Henne's taken I keep waiting for that intangible to catch my eye that makes you say "this guy's got a shot to be great".

Maybe it is elevating the play of those around him. Who's play has been elevated? Bess, maybe. Carpenter? Joking there. Of course Marshall gets his yards but he's a stud and will get them no matter what. How many casual fans can even name our 4th and 5th WR or 2nd TE? Maybe it's a signature game winning drive. Henne's stats are down in the 4th quarter. Maybe it's taking full responsibility for losses, even if it's not his fault. That's what a leader does. All I read after losses is some form of "we've all got to play better". Maybe it's better pocket presence. Marino was a statue in the pocket but had that knack of "feeling the pressure". I haven't seen that so far. Maybe showing some fire after a bad play or loss. All the great ones seem to have that. Maybe his 22 Wonderlic score still bothers me. That's the equivalent or a bank teller or clerk. The only starting QBs in 2010 with lower were Vince Young, Donovan McNabb, Bruce Gradkowski and David Garrard. With a young quarterback you would expect a few great games and a few horrible games. My eyes tell me Henne has neither. They're all pretty much the same. I'd take a stinker for a great game once in a while.

Or maybe the coaching stinks, there's no talent around him, the receivers drop the ball, fall down, don't try hard enough, he's too young or I'm just crazy.

scott from delaware: where do you get your information from. Thigpen?? Seriously??

Henne needs to play how he is co
fortable playing. let the chains off of him and watch how henne marshall and bess blow up..

Fire Dan Henning...

ohhh look its 3rd and 15.... WILDCAT!!

Fire dan henning!!

Good article. I tried to state it yesterday, Henne is the least of the problems. The problems are 3rd down defense, special teams & coaching.

Henne's 2 bad passes came at the end of the game, the int, when the game was decided & the bad throw to Fasano. I disagree with your assessment thatit cost Miami 4 points. We still could have gone for it on 4th & goal from the half yard line. This FG content, gutless coach chose to SETTLE for 3.

People clamoring for Penny or Thigpen have no idea what they're asking for. Penny is a 10-20 yard passer. He can't even throw 10 yard outs without risk of the ball hanging up and getting picked. Thigpen is a spread QB, which is why KC dumped hium for Cassell a more convention offense QB.

People can blame Henne all they want but the fact is, there isn't alot of speed on offense. Fasano is a DUD. Marshall isn't fast. Nor is BESS, or Hartline. Everyone is under press coverage(Bess & Marshall 2x teamed) & all Henne's throw are going to be in tight windows. Not too mention he is being asked to not make mistakes versus making plays. Get used to it. If Penny comes in, it'll be even worse.

another thing, the DL IS SUCKS .DOES NOLAN SPENT ANY TIME TO TEACH THESE GUYS HOW TO INTERCEPT THE BALL ????????

DCfan, Might want to run a check on your football IQ. The ONLY reason Penne is not starting is because they need to figure out what they have in Henne, and they are losing games because of it. Penne puts the ball where it needs to be, the most accurate passer in history, he reads defenses better than anyone, yet you don't see how this would help us win a game?

MISI IS DOING HIS PART W/3 SACKS.ODRICK IS DOING HIS PART BY HAVING NICE COFFEE EVERY DAY ,.

Armando, good article. I agree, that Henne's worst pass was his attempt to Fassano in the end zone. That should have been a sure 6 points. Henne needs to get better on those type of passes. His accuracy just isn't there yet.

I'm not even going to bother reading any of the post on here because quite frankly 85% of you know nothing about football and your just a bunch of whiners. The exception to this are guys like Bobby12, Mark in Toronto, DC Dolfan, Kris, Cowkilla....and I'm missing a few guys, so I apologize but you know who you are. If you're going to be hating on my team every two minutes, then I'm not interested in what you have to say. If you want be rationale and reason about something then I'll listen to what you have to say. But for the other 85 per cent of you, I feel sorry for you. You're just a bunch of frustrated men, who's only enjoyment every week is to vent about your team. Well guys, good luck to you!! I'm not living in that world and I'm not listening to your whining any more.

Im such a blind homer that I have no mind of my own. So i love Henne to death. I will say this though. The 2008 year with Chad P as QB. No matter what happened in the first round. Was one hell of a ride. The one Im on now is making my stomach turn and i want off bad!! Lets go phins! I wanna stick it right up the titans 5 hole!!!!

Chris,
I think that in football, competitiveness far outweights intelligence. Marino is no rocket scientist and well...you saw.

RE: Bad Pass to Fasano in end zone.

Isn't that play designed to go to the BACK of the end zone to give only the Dolphins receiver the chance to cath it? Fasano stopped in the middle of the zone and danced around...the pass would've landed right in his hands had he gone to the BACK of the end zone...

And on a side note.....I'm going to suggest that the OC for this team next year is going to be either Jason Garrett (ties to the current coaching staff) or Josh McDaniels. I still believe these are two bright young minds and EXACTLY who we needs to run the offence next year and yes, I know Garrett has had a bad year in Dallas but I think there's a lot going on there that's not his fault.

Whats more alarming yesterday is the defense showed no heart. They whiffed on soooo many tackles. I couldn't remember a game this bad. Lets face it, had Henne played a PERFECT GAME, they still lose. The defense couldn't force one single punt from Baltimore. Put Marino in there for all I care, the end of the day, you still wind up with a L.

People want instant gratification and someone to pay for the loss. Unfortunately, allot of people are wanting the wrong guy to fall on the sword. In a way, I wish they would bench Henne and see how far Penny or Thiggy get them. Then maybe they'll realize the consequences of their wishes.

Hard to fire a Dan Henning in the middle of the season. Truth.

you mention "his robotic approach" as if that observation was like saying he's a bad dresser, and we shoudl get over it. WRONG!

Fluidity, pocket presence and ability to read-n-react to complex defenses, or should I say lack of all those things are precicely why he needs to sit down. You cant look at a handful of almost mistakes, you need to also consider opportunities lost (i.e., Penny sees the field and makes plays that Henne never even attempts).

Homer

I feel like we should at least see Henne in a scheme where the OC isn't a moron. Even though he didn't have a great game Sunday, I really question how much of that is down to our moron OC. IMO our first drive is what Henne is capable of and going 9/10 on his completions... Then Ricky replaced a hot Ronnie and it all went downhill from there!

Many good QBs (Eli and Brees come to mind) have a few years of growing pains and I still think Henne will get better. I would just like to see him play under an OC with creativity, vision and one that knows how to utilize the personnel we have, before I write him off.

Sardata, Didn't Henne throw it all over the Jets & Steelers? Aren't they 2 of the 3 most complexes defenses in the NFL?

Amigo Amigo amigo amigoez ,,,,

truth is henne is stinking it up but as we've all agreed they have the handcuffs on him ,,, theyre telling the kid... whatever you do DONT EFF up! be perfect! NO1 is perfect..

they should be saying is go out there and play some football...relax...and do the best you can!

the problem is the COACHING period if new england can get a QB like Cassel that neverrrrrr started a game since high school its says a lot about there coaching they put theyre players ina position to win...period
or their system does.

even tho i love penne and i think he is a great leader... it would be for a win now situation and wouldnt be the futures solution and we would be regressing

i say we ride out and take it like ture fans till the end of the season

this next draft will be deep in QB's i wouldnt mind drafting one to send a message

what we need is new coaches not Nolan tho he can stay

peace be with youmy fellow dolphans you know we need it

Joe Schmoe,

Good post at 8:59am....I would include you as someone who I have no problem discussing football with. Some good points made by you.

I'd be happy if we finally would learn how to defend the QB draw. We've been burned on that play for three weeks in a row now.

I really don't get this "Henne looks like a stud QB"

I think he looks more like John Beck in the pocket.

Robotic, stiff, locked-onto target, no feel for the rush, lame.

WHAT ABOUT all the dropped balls our honorable OL drops in every game .

fasano any one ?

8 Games of nothing but Sports Entertainment, man

the rest is conversation

I was at the game this weekend, and I understand I am not a OC in the NFL, but we were only running 3 WR sets (and most of the time, the 3 WR were all on the same side so the field was always bunched up)with Ed Reed over top of Marshall the entire game. We never ran 4 or 5 wide. NEVER. Why not run 4 Wide on obvious passing downs, why on the 3 and 1 from the goaline don't we put 4 wide and let Henne sneak or hand off to Polite/Brown (at that moment the ravens fans were furious and they were all silent, we would have went into the half up 1 and the crowd would have been out of the game for the beginning of the second half.)

Also I watched Wallace at the end of the game (Marshall was actually waving him on in the 4th quarter) and he looked good, getting separation, playing with a lot of effort. So why aren't we running 4 and 5 wide sets? 4 WR on one side and then Marshall being shadowed by two DBs would open up the middle of the field and provides more options for Henne to connect. Also why at the end of the game are we running play action on every pass? Could that time be put to better use scanning the field?

Our offense is just very predictable, if a Middle school football coach (me) can sit in the stadium and figure out what's going on, you know a DC with years of experience is just laughing at Henning.

ditto Seer. He simply does not have "it." I can run sprints every day for the rest of my life and I will never make the olympic team becaseu I dont have 'it,' the make up. Neither does Henne.

He LOOKS the part but lets face facts.....

Drink, Eat & Be Merry

Miami Dolphins Have No Heart
80% of the players were not trying or did not care in Baltimore

I know Miami is going to go all out to win next Sunday(contrary to last Sunday). Now, will Tennessee? What does this game represent for them Division-wise? Watch the line from Las Vegas.

Javin, YOU WRITE LIKE CROWDER TALKS!

SAY WHAAAT?

Sparano CANNOT MOTIVATE his team

He takes them to the restaurant and lets them order what ever they want and act like embarrassing fools

Armando,
I love reading your stuff, but the Henne experiment is over. When has he ever shown even a glimpse of being able to get past the speedbump that has dogged him all throughout college and the NFL? When has he EVER improved by more than even a baby step? And more importantly WHY IS HE PLAYING when he adds no VERTICAL threat AT ALL to the offense!!!!!! Ed Reed said it the best: play conservative,he will not beat you over the top.... At least chad penington is used to the outfield playing in the in-field! He has made an entire career out of it. And at least he's not Gun shy! THROW THE BALL!! THROW THE BALL!! THROW THE FREAKING BALL!!! Where is this "powerful arm" I keep hearing about?

At this rate Henne will be ready to lead us to the playoffs in about four years, but only if everyone around him lifts him up and carries him to the endzone... You can't be trent Dilfur unless you have the best defense in the NFL, and guess what we don't!!!!!!!

It's Brian Griese all over again! The guy is spectacular, until something, anything goes wrong, and he fumbles around like an amateur comedian at open mic nite. Give him the hook!

Maybe if we actually had confidence in our QB we could stop using the max protect package more than any other team in the NFL. Maybe if he was able to recognize a defense he could even throw a good hot read every once in a while. Maybe if he stopped playing not to lose we could actually beat a good team! This conservative aproach will beat bad teams, but unless we play to win we will NEVER beat a playoff team. It will play out exactly as last year, henne can beat chumps, but he doesn't even belong on the same field as champs!

to Chad Henne: Go win something, anything...for the first time in your career rise above your mediocrity, take the game by the throat, and light a fire in your belly. You are to good to play football like an Albino man running from the freakin sun! Know why thats funny? Cause the sun will NEVER go away, so deal with it or go hide in the shade.

Feel Sorry For Cam Wake & Simply The Bess

2 players that give 110 % year round

Sparano is soft & has no control over his coaches or players


Period

Sardata, I'll ask the question again...Didn't Henne throw it all over the Jets & Steelers? Aren't they 2 of the most complex defenses in the last 20 years in the NFL?

Being that he performed very well in those games, and better than most other qb's that have played those teams this season, does he REALLY still merit sitting down to Pennington?

I don't expect a coherent response, if any.

Henne isn't the problem. He has barely finished his first year as QB, it takes about 3-4 yrs for a QB to develop. he has slow, sub-par receivers and theu drop alot of balls on him. Every 4th or 5th play call kills momentum. If you really want to complain, you can't have a defense that can't produce a punt!

Chad henne is no better than carson palmer. He is 50-50 qb. Which means he’ll win 8 and lose 8. He’ll never be elite. You could tell the difference between an elite QB last night in Rothlesberger and an average qb in palmer. At the end palmer couldn’t get the TD the same way at the Henne witn 2:30 left get his team into field goal range to win the game. I really think after this year the phins will look to draft or bring in another QB to compete with henne.

Again Joe, Thigpen is a NFL quarterback.Are you telling me he can't run any offense you want him to? And can you even tell me what offense Henning is running?

Mando, you make all good points. An honest jury would still be out on Henne, even if it isn't looking good for acquittal. The strangest thing, though, is the way many people continue to feel about Pennington. He is a great guy and had that awesome one season with the Fins. But, seriously, this isn't Dan Marino. Or even Boomer Esiason. Penny was never a franchise QB, isn't going to make any record books or the Hall of Fame. He wasn't all that great in NY. He's always been more backup material, propelled by being very smart (refreshing in the NFL). So somehow this belief that he could just step in and improve the team is just...bizarre. Based on one season? Well, then I better get my suit pressed for my own Hall of Fame induction!

Oscar, I agree competitiveness is important and it's a fact Marino had a terrible Wonderlic (15). But I'm not seeing that competitiveness and playing QB in today's NFL requires a lot more upstairs than it did in 1983. Marino had that "it" quality. Also that is only one of many red flags, a couple of which I left out.

We have an average group of players and the fact is they ARE NOT A TEAM & DO NO PLAY LIKE A TEAM

Period

Good Article Mando

I was at the game (unfortunately) Henne was not the problem, I watched Hartline slip on the first pick and Marshall short arm the second one, there were numerous drops that should not have happened. The biggest problem Sunday was poor tackling and abandoning the run after the opening drive - Ronnie looked the best he has all year and they stopped running him (don't get that) - Henne is good has great potential but as always Fin fans are super fickle and often ignorant

Anybody noticed that when they don't max-protect they get easily to Henne? Is it slow recognition on his part or the Olinemen? Or both?

Henne == Fiedler 2.0

except fiedler had a real defense on his team.

Still don't understand why we never go deep at all in any of these games. Bench Henning. Henne is doing fine.

And people need to step it up on D. we had the Pitt game won before we allowed their QB to drive it down our throats to finish the game.

Very true, Chris, defenses are much more complicated nowadays. But, that's what an offensive coordinator is for, isn't he? Afraid to let Henne loose? Hmm..

Look Joe and Craig, the only reason people are talking about benching Henne for Thigpen is because the offense needs to be evaluated to see if it's the lack of exacution Henning say's it is. But we all know it's Henning. The only person keeping him in Miami is Tony. And HENNING HAS TO GO !!!!

Well Tennessee ranks 26th against the pass so if there ever was a time to air it out...

You are in denial on Henne Mando! Henne is not even the best QB on the team! One of the problems, as mentioned earlier, is Henne never won the job on the field. He was given the job based on projected potential. People defending Henne's play are rationalizing! The Phins have more than enough offensive weapons to get the job done. The guy does'nt have IT! Henne is an average backup QB at best!!!! Bring on CPennington!!!!

The Dolphins are where they should be at this point in the season....they are 4-4. They have some competitiveness to them but they are not yet one of the elite teams. Will they get there? I don't know. WE show up every game, we compete hard but we make too many mistakes and we end up being ourselves. Now if you clowns want to put all of that on Henne, then go ahead but there are mistakes being made on offence (slips, dropped balls, blow blocking assignments), defence (slips, dropped balls, blown coverages) and S/Ts (block punts, run backs, missed tackles). Last I checked Henne only plays one position. I guess for some of you it's just easier to have a punching bag. Last year it was Gibril Wilson, the year before Ted Ginn, before it was Cam Cameron. This year it's Henning and Henne. Great contribution guys!!

I disagree. IF Pennington comes in and rallies the team, then you know that Henne was holding the team back.

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