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Sean Salisbury: Henne won't ever be elite

Well, as long as I'm telling you what former NFL quarterbacks and current pundits are saying on radio shows about the Miami Dolphins quarterback situation (see previous post), I figured I'd give you Sean Salisbury's take on Chad Henne.

Salisbury visited my radio show, Armando and the Amigo, this week prior to Henne's benching in Miami. And he basically said Henne will be a solid quarterback in this league.

But never an elite quarterback.

Salisbury, as you can hear on the audio file below, agreed with me that Henne is hard to define because of all the problems that have been happening around him during his 21 games as Miami's starter.

"You and I have pretty much been on the same page," Salisbury said. "I got a message this week from a friend and we were talking about it, and I know the people in South Florida are on Dan Henning and the rest of it. But with Chad, I said the same exact thing almost to a T. I said, 'You know what, the jury is still out.' ... I DVR all the games I can't watch live and I watch and then re-watch them during the week. And, you know, at times I look at Chad and say this is a superstar about to happen. And then the next week I say, 'Is he going to be a star? Is he even going to be able to hold down a job? Is this their future?

"And you know, you guys know me, I'm not a fence-sitter. If I thought Chad sucked I'd say, 'They gotta get a new quarterback.' They need to say that in a bunch of different places. I thought he was going to be great, but I don't know. I've watched him enough. I've seen him make enough throws to know the guy can play. But I've also seen him do some things and make some decisions and make some throws and make some boneheaded decisions to say, 'He's a backup in this league.'

" ... So put it this way, Chad Henne is not ever going to be a guy that carries a franchise on his back like Miami's been used to a whole bunch of years ago when No. 13 was there -- that whenever everything else was going wrong, the quarterback will carry you. I think Chad is a really, really good player when he's got people around him that are making plays, also. So if that makes sense, he's not a Kurt Warner. Kurt Warner could carry a team in Arizona. He leaves and they go to hell in a hand basket. There's quarterbacks that can do that. But there's also quarterbacks you say, 'Ok, this is a guy that's good for us. He's going to go 18 out of 27, throw a touchdown, and we're going to be efficient.' I think Chad can be that guy with an every-now-and-then 300-yard spectacular performance.

"I don't believe you're ever going to look at him and say, 'We're going to load it on [his] back and that's going to be on him.' Chad needs to have a team that runs the football and is going to have guys make some plays for him. I don't think he's going to be that guy you say, 'We're going to franchise him or he's worth $50, $60 million.' I don't think he's that quarterback. But I do think he's a starter in this league."

You should listen to the audio:


Salisbury addressed other interesting things during the interview. For instance, he believes the Dolphins are going to be a factor going forward.

"I can assure you they will disrupt the playoff picture before they're done," he said.

And, of course, if you are the mood, you can always listen to me live on Armando and the Amigo weekday mornings from 6-10 a.m. on 640-Sports in South Florida, or live streaming online here or off the podcast that is available on iTunes and the site (check the site for the link.)

You can also follow me on twitter.


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Sean Salisbury is a mouth-breathing idiot. I would rather hear the opinion of a credible critic than the blabbering of a hasbeen who never was.

I hate to say it, but he sounds right. I would add that it could go either way. He just needs to cook some more and get better coaching.

Oh, did I mention our coaching across the board sucks?

Henne was benched. That says it all. A team doesn't bench its QB without careful consideration from the coaching staff and input from key offensive players.

Uh, Sean Salsbury was the proto-typical average QB. Yea, Marino was Super Elite whp could carry a team. He never carriefus to a SuperBowl Win though. I wil take a good solid QB with a good cast around him anyday, eg: Eli Manning

Salisbury meat is right on the money. I know he was a backup qb for live, but he is right on this one

"careful consideration by its staff" OR a head coach who is getting desperate OR "failrue to see through blind loyalty it is your OC who suks the big one" I pick the latter

Mondo, I think everyone who considers him/ herself an NFL insider knows Salisbury's back ground in the NFL and ESPN. It aint that good. I also think Henne will either make it, or break it in the next two yrs. The Dolphin GM needs to assess the situation and act accordingly. Is Henne a #1 or #2. Im refering to the deepth chart.

I think Marshall secretly wanted Henne Benched also. According to marshall expressions on the field after a Dumb Pass By Henne, You can tell Marshall Knows Henne Doesnt have the "IT" Factor.
To Marshall will Be Special.

It gonna be special watching Penny run Hennings scheme of firing those 10-12 yard passes all over the field. That is till that first good hit when Penny is down at the 40 and his shoulder is laying at the 35. Thatswhen the fun is over

I remember watching Drew Brees with San Diego and thinking he was too small and that he would never become a great QB. Well, for some QB's, it takes about 5 years of starting experience to become a dominant player...

wow Mando, so you managed to land a has-been ex-ESPN reporter who was canned for sending pictures of his genitals to female co-workers...real coup there...

Why is the steak man still commenting on football? The guy is a douche. He should be selling insurance, or working at a drug store or something. When he insulted one of the top NFL analysts, John Clayton, a few years back, the entire world saw what a jackass he is.

Armando, you need better people on your radio show. I love your blog, but give us better people than this guy.

Yea Tony, but alot of Madden GMs here believe you should be perfect, super QB in 21 starts. Development is a thing of the past here.


That is what I have been saying. Sure rah rah at first but watching Henne makes me feel that he just aims to much. No feel for the position.
For instance: When Long is blocking in Green Bay a couple of weeks ago, nothing is open, Henne takes off right into a sack. You don't run that way when the d has the angle.
The pass last week to Marshall. Sure Marshall tipped it but is was supposed to be from chest to head leading him a bit. You can't throw a slant 7 feet high at 100 mph and expect the receiver to catch it when he is 20 feet away from you.
Even the bomb that Marshall caught this year. The pass was a mile high and Marshall couldn't run with the ball because he was waiting for it.
I can understand why Marshall would be upset with Henne.
The exception is Bess. Bess makes plays happen because he is stopped and very quick left and right. He is a tough guy to stop but he is only good for 8 -10 yards. After that he lacks the flat out speed.
The IT factor or feel for the game doesn't exist right now in Henne's mind. The game is too fast and the coaching has him playing scared or he is naturally scared. Like Beck and Ginn.
Note to Ireland: When you draft this year, please draft meat eating bad Dolphins that won't do tricks, just kill and eat.

Something I haven't heard brought up. Yes, it's true Hartline slipped and Marshall didn't give it up for that interception. Nobody can deny that. But if they are accoundable to the QB meaning they are willing to give it up 100% to that guy as their leader, don't they try harder on those plays and not allow those ints? It seems like everyone "likes" Henne but are they willing to be accountable to him? I'm not sure.

Excellent insight, Mando. Your skills, writing and radio, continue to astound be.

If anyone knows what it's like to NOT be an elite QB, it's Sean Salisbury. Did he show you his "special" cell phone pic, Mando? (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/hiestand-tv/2010-01-21-sean-salisbury_N.htm)

Bet you got a kick out of that. ;)

Keep up the not-so-great work. Wouldn't expect any more.

-- Bebo

This whole thing is just meant to serve as a distraction from the real problems this team is facing.

Confusing out of place play calling, o-line that has regressed, running backs who are a year older and two steps slower, lack of a deep threat WR, inexperienced defense, LB whos mouth is bigger than his play, LACK OF A REAL DT, 3-4 DEFENSE with one out of four LBs who can cover, etc.

Lastly we have a coach who is scared to lose, plays to "keep it close" and win in the end instead of attacking. Way too conservative for 2010. Great game plan for 1984 but completely outdated.

I guess Pennington is going to save us from all of those problems. I can't wait to see it.






A reporter wrote,

"One thing Pennington said during Wednesday’s press conference troubled me GREATLY. Pennington said he changed up his routine this week to ensure his arm stayed fresh because it was usually sore on Wednesday".

"Sore on Wednesday"???????????

"For those unfamiliar with an NFL team’s schedule please understand the last thing Pennington’s arm should be is sore on Wednesday considering he doesn’t throw on Saturday, simply warms up the receivers on Sunday before the game, and doesn’t throw more than a handful of passes on Monday or Tuesday, if he throws any at all".

"I needed to understand why Pennington’s arm was sore after so much layoff so I asked him a follow up question the next day and Pennington explained he usually undergoes full-body acupuncture on Tuesday to get his 34-year-old body right, and ready for the week".

Oh boy, here we go, this is going to be interesting if nothing else. Maybe his shoulder will hold up through the first qtr while he throws four td passes to take a 28-0 lead. Then he can rest his shoulder by handing off the rest of the game.

For f**ks sake I can't even imagine what this coaching staff is thinking in all of this. Absolutely ridiculous, I miss Henne already.

DENNY, that quote from chad.p is comedy central stuff .

dying breed and odin need to read denny's post

Salisbury is a fccking D bag that was lucky to ever have been in the league and probably wishes he had Henne's talent.

It strikes me funny that so many people who are in the organization or just simply follow the Dolphins are curious how this is going to turn out, as if they've never watched Penny play.

The guy is a solid qb with no upside. He can get us to the playoffs but can't beat the playoff teams. This story has already been written and published in 2008. That was two years ago and penny is one shoulder surgery and two years older.

Why in the hell are people asking if his arm strength is better?

i been say it for awhile on the other side of this post,You can tell when a QB or any player in any position has that IT, like when we first saw Marino play when we saw ricky william play jason taylor cameron wake......etc etc etc can u guys really say Chad Henne has that it Factor in his game?i dont know yet because i havnt seen it yet!!

Straight from the horses mouth ALoco.

I want to reiterate that I think Pennington is an awesome guy, decent QB, and phenomenal leader /team player. My problem with this whole thing is that it completely ignores the needs of this team for the future.

Our current coaching staff is screwing the future of this team to save their jobs and it's not fair to the players or the fans. And for the life of me I can't figure out why more people don't see this.

Yeah unfortunately Marino didn't play Defense or run the ball very well.

"didn't give us a SB win" ...what a dumb remark.

ray, and you won't see it while he's sitting on the bench.

So I guess now we can see what Pennington can bring for the future of the Miam,,,,oh wait,,,, he's about to retire,,,I guess developing our young guys will have to wait another season.

That's okay, Henne will have next season to work the bugs out instaed of using this season to mature. Hard to mature as a future qb while you're sitting on a bench. Or maybe they will draft a new qb and we can wait another two years until he learns the playbook.

The idoit is right, as bad hurts.

Denny, think of Pennington as a "control group". No one needs to find out anything about him but by putting him in you begin to answer questions about others on the offensive side of the ball.

bobbyd - realize everything you say is just conjecture pulled from your imagination. Hennings offense was fine his first two years here, we lost too many games because of Pasqoloonies D last year, so perhaps its something else thats changed? There must be a reason Henning has lasted so long in this league. Do you really think Parcels picked someone he didn't respect just because he's a friend? Maybe you have such a man crush on Henne that you can't see he doesn't have leadership skills, he rarely puts the ball where the receiver can run with it, he leads the receivers right into the defenders, he misses reads, he scrambles on 3rd down and hook slides two yards before the down marker instead of being man enough to take a hit and get the first down. He has a great arm, but just that alone is not enough.

I don't know why everybody is so up-in-arms....if anybody is qualified to report on a mediocore QB its another mediocore QB

Don't need to have been a great QB to evaluate another QB. I'm not a great guitar player (some will say otherwise), but I know a great one when I hear one.

I am so sick and tired of this f*ckin Dolphins regime. We haven't spent a first round draft pick on a franchise QB since Dan Marino. Who in the hell in this regime thought it was more important to draft an LT instead of Matt Ryan? LT's don't make big plays QB's do. Was it Ireland or Parcells? As fans, its important that we know who had final say on that mind boggling decision. Before this regime came in to power, we passed on Drew Brees twice. We do this bullcrap stop?

Henne will be fine....I think he will be a Dolphin for a long time to come...we will not be drafting a QB anytime soon and he is the future....But I woudn't be surprised to see McNabb in South Florida come the off season

As soon as Henne learns his primary job (you know...reading a defense) then he will return as the FINS starter....and you don't need to play a single down to LEARN to read a defense.

While Sean is a nice guy and all that, he is what he is: We're talking about a guy who held on in this league by a thread his whole career. So now he's paid to be an analyst. What he sees and what I see are really two different things, because by admission, he's watching recorded games on TV. He might be able to see where the hots are, but he can't see coverage, and how Chad went through his progressions. It's the coaching staff's job to play the best players. At this point Pennington gives us the best chance to win.

next year we WILL DRAFT 2 QB'S .

McNabb is done, no way coming here. We will draft a QB for sure. Penne is at the end of his career, Thigy ain't the answer... So they need someone to challenge Henne in the future. Henne isn't going anywhere, worst case scenario he is an excellent back up if he doesn't make it as a full time starter.


We should have taken Matt Ryan.



Salisbury would not have a job if it werent for his two toothed, hairy assed mom blowing the network executives. He sucks....

Sean does know about backup qb's

Thigo had several games to turn out like Brady, he turned out like Thigo instead. Two great plays followed by an interception. Still plays that way.


After three years in San Diego, they decided Brees was not the answer.

At that point, they picked up Phillip Rivers, early in the first round.

Rivers held out well into training camp, and somewhere at the beginning of year four, the light bulb came on for Brees.

Don't know if we would have given Brees the time to develop if we got him the first time.

Utdolfan.... true about Brees, he was very mediocre his first 3 seasons. Then there are guys like Rich Gannon, Plunket that weren't great until very late in their careers.

When this team thinks about the future, everyone complains we need to win now. When they make a change to win now, they complain we need to think about the future. Moral of the story...Fans are never happy no matter what.

Chad Pennington is not and has never been elite due to his arm limitations.... Flacco does not look elite.... Matt Ryan definitely looks like he will be elite, the next Peyton Manning!!!

I'd like to hear what Ron Jaworski thinks about the QB change and Henning's offense in general.... I think I remember him saying that he had no idea what Henning was trying to do in the passing game with formations, scheme and overall play calling!!!

"Chad needs to have a team that runs the football and is going to have guys make some plays for him. I don't think he's going to be that guy you say, 'We're going to franchise him or he's worth $50, $60 million.' I don't think he's that quarterback. But I do think he's a starter in this league."

I could be wrong here, but doesn't that sound like most starting qb's in the NFL?

How many $50, $60 million qb's are out there???

Salisbury=bum Namath=bum sparano=out of a job after the season.


I coudn't have said it better myself...stinking fickle fans.....if the FO goes left they scream "IF ONLY WE HAD GONE RIGHT" ....When tje FO goes right they say "I KNEW WE SHOULD HAVE WENT LEFT".....Fickle fans.

Sporano isn't doing anything then what HE thinks in his best judgement will WIN FOOTBALL GAMES NOW...not in 2011 or 2012.....NOW....Didn't somebody named HERM once say...."YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME"...thats what he is doing..."HELLO".....

All this lets go down with our inexeprienced QB and let him get the FO fired sounds a foolish as anything I have ever heard on this blog

Salisbury was rather gentle in his assessment of Henne.

Henne is a bum! Anybody in this board has a better chance of becoming the president of the USA than Henne becoming an elite QB.

Dolphins need to release him and get Cam Newton.

Can someone tell me where patrick cobbs is. He appeared so promising the last two years. Did they trade him like sure-handed Camarillo?

And let's be completely honest: what won games two seasons ago was this nifty kinda new device known as wildcat. It was actively dying last year and is on life support this year. But it was surprising and that surprise won some games.

The Cleveland Browns are now using that type of surprise to cover areas of lacking.

Kurt Warner could carry the Cardinals on his back? And when he left they fell a part??? Do you even watch football? Warner threw to Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Bolden. He was good. But look at his most productive years and look at the teams that he was on and who he was throwing to. The Cards fell a part because half of their team left. And Fitzgerald was hurt in the beginning of the season and also they just didn't lose Warner-- they acquired Anderson...a QB that Cleveland ran out of town. When the BROWNS run you out of town, you have to realize that you are bottom of the barrel. Now they have an undrafted free agent. Mondo-- bringing Sean Salsbury into this make you look really bad. You're fired.

First of all Henne is 25 years old and at this point it's impossible to tell whether Henne will be elite or not. And I don't care how much footage Sean Salisbury watches, what makes him an expert on who will or won't be an elite quarterback? Why, because he played quarteback in the NFL? If he was that good he'd be working in someone's personnel department assessing talent ad he's not. 'Nough said about that. I'm sure he and others never expected Drew Brees would become elite in the NFL, otherwise why would San Diego have drafted Rivers and let Brees walk for nothing. The reality is, nobody knows after 21 starts, especially with the problems here in Miami.

Secondly, we don't need Henne to 'elite'. We need him to do what Flacco is doing in Baltimore. Sorry guys, but Flacco is not elite. Good quarterback. Good enough even to lead a team to a Super Bowl but he won't carry that team by himself. I'm confident if Henne gets a competent back next year, a pass catching TE, another decent receiver and an OC with some imagination, he will be well on his way to being a top ten QB in this league.

Darrin Stevens,

Don't get me wrong...I am just a big a FAN as anyone else on this blog....I have my opinions and always want them to be right.....The difference may be that I can atually come on here in make-believe land and admit to my mistakes and credit other when thhey are right and take my licks when I am wrong.

The real problem here is that most on here can't see the forest thu the tree's...just because Henne is benched doesn't mean he is done in Miami..Thats all i am trying to get through to the more bull-headed ones.

Chad P.....lets us win NOW (I hope)

Yea Reality, our offense has just been GREAT with Dan Henning at the helm the last 3 years. Your right, whats everyone thinking. These 9-6, 17-16 games our powerhouses. We dont need to ever win by more then 3 points. Every fan here LOVES sweating and biting their nails right up to the final gun wondering if we will win or lose. Your A Fukin Moron

Craig M,

Right with you on Flacco. Seems like there is the perfect example of running an offense based on your qb's strengths.

Get some receivers that can threaten deep, and design plays that at least give your strong armed guy more than one shot deep.

Obviously there is more to it than just that, but you gotta start with the correct design.

You gotta use your pieces/players to their strengths.

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