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Henning on things wrong with the Dolphins offense

Dan Henning is the Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator. Everything that offense does -- or fails to do -- is supposed to be Henning's responsibility.

Henning isn't shy about telling you his offense isn't producing at a level that is acceptable to everyone. Actually, how couldn't he deny it. But the veteran coach is clearly of the thinking that players and their execution are the only things that make an offense go or stall.

His responsibility in the entire recipe? Rarely if ever mentioned.

Take today's press conference for example. The Dolphins offense has sucked struggled the past couple of weeks and most of the season. What does Henning believe is wrong?

On what is the central issue of the running game's problems: "Blocking. That's the issue ... Second level blocking. Getting to the second level. Breaking tackles. Same as it always is."

On the passing game: "We haven't done very well here in the passing game lately ... There's a lot of moving parts in the passing game. Sometimes it's difficult to pin down what the major problem is  or what the problems are and sometimes you might just run into a team that is playing pretty good or weather conditions and that type of thing. But we can't continue to exist with as little a passing game as we had last week. We have to do better than that."

Henning mentioned a Chad Henne gaffe in miscalling one protection during Sunday's game. He said the quarterback missed Fasano on a play when the tight end was open.

And then Henning broke down the whole picture for us, relating his thoughts on why the Dolphins are 31st in the NFL in points scored:

"We have to block better. We have to throw better. We have to run better routes. We have to catch the ball. We cannot have penalties. We have to move the ball in a more consistent, efficient manner than we have in the last three week -- not unlike we did in the Raiders game."

None of this is wrong. Henning is to be applauded for his relative candor. But I struggle with the fact that not once does the coach mention that, well, his coaching could perhaps have been better on an occasion or two or 10 this season.

It's like he is disconnected from the mess. It's as if he only calls plays and if the execution is 100 percent by those darn imperfect players, the plays he calls would work perfectly.

I'm trying not to be harsh or unfair. I've been told by a couple of folks that coach Tony Sparano is "disappointed" with me because I'm holding some of his assistants, such as Henning, responsible for some of the Dolphins struggles this year.

Well, maybe if some of those assistants would hold themselves responsible, I wouldn't have to say a word.

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Good Bye Henning and Spurano - Hello Cowher

Dan Henning is awful, this guy is 5 years removed from being an effective coach in the NFL. I think that the Dolphins have some things to work on (i.e. Receivers, OL and consistency at QB), but with Henning it's like driving a Maserati with 3 wheels. There is no identity on offense. He injects the wildcat into the offense at random (inexplicable) times. Frankly, I think that Hennings need to be "creative" is actually hurting the Dolphins offense. He is definitely holding Henne back and, although we don't know if he'll be a succesful NFL QB, I would love to see him play in a different offense. As I have written a half dozen times this year, Coach Henning deserves an inscribed gold watch and a few attaboys but PLEASE get him DirectTV so that he can watch the Dolphins at home next season!

How bout going deep once in a while?

Bootang,

I'm not sure where you've been hiding but it's nice to have you back. I agree with a large amount of what you said. I only wish I was as fully optimistic as you are. While I feel they have made a lot of very good decisions there have been an awful lot of missed too in free agency and the draft and largel along the OL.

Armando...just tell those "couple of folks" that MANDO'S JUST BEIN' MANDO!

The truth's a bee-yatch, eh?

Henning ain't gonna save his wrinkled behind (I know it's wrinkled, as i'm only 5 years younger and mine looks like a crumpled paper bag)by his double talk and passing the buck attitude.

Sparano should have replaced him 5 games ago.
The raider game was a fluke as THEY to US lightly!!
The Raiders!!
That's how far we've fallen.

Tony should get 1 more year, but with a new OC, new QB coach, and new ST coach...and maybe a better GM.

Ireland has have some gambles pay off. Wake, Long, and Vontae were chief among them. Only 1-2 of the double-down draft picks have paid dividend. Free agency has had mixed results until signing sure things Dansby/Marshall.

I hate to say it but overall Ireland gets about a C as gm.

Sparano is a very lovable guy. The players really like playing for him. But his lack of not even having oc experience makes him a very easy guy to outcoach on game day. Especially when going against veteran wiley game day HC's.

Therefore even with aqua and orange colored sun glasses on I can only give him a D+ at best. But would love to retain him as oline coach.

Dan Henning. The guy actually won a SB as OC under Joe Gibbs and gm Bobby Beathard. Lots of talent on that offense and Henning had nothing to do with bringing it there. This is henning's only claim to nfl fame. Actually this Henning's 2nd stint in Miami(1979-80).

Henning has to go. Here's what the rest of his lackluster pro career has looked like:

New York Jets
Miami Dolphins
Washington Redskins
Atlanta Falcons
Washington Redskins
San Diego Chargers
Detroit Lions
Buffalo Bills
New York Jets
(98-99 QBs coach/ 2000 Offensive coordinator)
Carolina Panthers
(Offensive coordinator)
Miami Dolphins
(Offensive coordinator)

Sorry, I meant imagine the Raiders taking US lightly!

A Dan Henning Article From Phinsiders:

Has Dolphins offensive coordinator Dan Henning lost his mind?

by Matty I on Oct 15, 2010 12:00 PM EDT in Miami Dolphins News

Fine, so the title may be a little bit harsh. But it got your attention, didn't it?

If you've been around here long enough, then you know that I'm trying to become a changed man. I used to criticize play-calling a lot - too much, to be honest. But I've worked hard the past couple of years not to criticize play-calling anymore. Why? Calling plays is fickle. If a play works, it was a brilliant call. If it does not, it was a dumb call.

Because of this, I've been trying real hard not to criticize Dan Henning too much. After all, he's probably forgotten more about football than I will ever know.

With that said, I can't help but wonder what the hell Henning is thinking. I can practically guarantee that you will not find one person outside of the Dolphins organization that would defend his decision on the opening drive against New England back in week four.

You remember the play, right? The Dolphins were at the Pats' 36 yard line. It was third down and six yards to go. And of all things, the Dolphins come out in the Wildcat - a formation that has netted the Dolphins under three yards per play so far this year. Ronnie Brown is promptly dropped for a two yard loss and the Dolphins are forced to punt.

Dumb. You know it. I know it. But Henning still doesn't get it. On Thursday, he was asked about it. His response:

"If you go back in time and you look at the third-down calls we’ve made with the Wildcat under the same situation, you’ll see that in the Jets game down here last year we had a big third and 8 with the Wildcat, the exact same play that we ran the other day. We didn’t execute it the other day as well as we executed it when we ran it the other time."

"We ran a third-down play against New England the first time we ever broke it out [2008], and Ronnie [ Brown] threw a touchdown pass to [Anthony] Fasano. So tell Joe and all of his other S hit the Rag Man relatives that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about."

Unfortunately for Henning, us "S hit the Rag Man relatives" know exactly what we're talking about. We know that any running play in a third and long situation isn't a high percentage play. But a Wildcat play - a formation that has not been working nearly as effectively as in the past - is absolutely the wrong call in that particular situation with this particular personnel.

Henning brought up how the Wildcat was effective last year on a third and long against the Jets. And he's right. But maybe the aging coordinator has a poor memory. Or maybe his eye sight has become an issue. Because all of us are well aware that the Dolphins got rid of their two best run-blocking interior linemen this offseason (Justin Smiley and Jake Grove). We also know that the current Dolphins offensive line has been far from effective this season. Hell - anyone with two eyes is well aware of this.

If you insist on running the football in this situation, why not run a higher percentage running play - maybe one that could gain a couple yards and get the Dolphins into field goal range for Dan Carpenter. Maybe that would have been a better idea. Not one that has been ineffective in 2010 and can easily result in a loss of yards if the defense defends it properly - as New England did.

But no - Mr. Henning is smarter than everyone else. Us peons known as Dolphin fans just don't know anything -- at least in his eyes.

I like it when the players and coaches on my team are confident. What I can't stand is when they are arrogant. Dan Henning comes off here as completely arrogant.

Own up to your dumb decision and move on. It's that simple. I'm sick and tired of Henning - who has made a number of "questionable" play calls over these past three seasons - being too proud to simply say "oops."

I've defended Henning from all of those fans who want him fired. But the guy is just not making it any easier on those of us who still think he's a good fit for this team. If the guy can't simply own up to one very obvious poor decision, then maybe it is time to cut ties with the ornery offensive coordinator after all.

That Big Flush You Guys Just Heard Was Another Little Piece Of Our 2010 Playoffs Hopes Going Down The Toilet With The Chargers Victory Kneel Over San Francisco Just Now!

DyingBreed,

I really don't think play-offs have been an option since Miami lost to Cleveland....

Also... I read your comment about trading Jake Long. Yes, I can see the thought line there.... but there is a saying that is much older then both of us put together....It starts out with...

"A Bird in the hand........."

I would hope you know the rest...!

Miami has players right now that can help them win a championship is they can finally solve the most looming questions that hang over the team...

1. Who is going to be the QB who finally "get's it?"...

2. Which ex-head coach will Miami hire as their Offensive coordinator when Ross has his fireside chit-chat with Henning at seasons end...?

3. Where should Miami hunt for its next All-Pro Center... Free agency, or the Draft...?

4. Will it be RB Mark Ingram (Ala.) or RB Mikel Leshoure (Ill.) taken by Miami in the 1st round if they do not take a QB or a starting Center...?

5. Who will play Right Tackle next year when Carey is move into the Right Guard position because he has lost his initial quick step that it takes to be a tackle in the NFL....


Notice that one of the most important pieces are not on my list... Where will Miami get its starting Pro-Bowl caliber Left Tackle? WHY?... because they have THAT position nailed down... and I am VERY thankful they do... Because those guys are taken in the top 10 picks in the draft and they NEVER come up in FA or the FA market...why? Because teams are never dumb enough to let them get away.

A good leader always looks first at what they could do better themselves to move everyone else forward. A weak leader always looks first at what others could do rather than themselves. Nicely done, Armando, calling out Miami's weak offensive coordinator.

Nicely said, Jefferson.

I am fairly certain if long term relationships and well earned chances have kept Mr. Henning in Miami this entire season, had he been anyone else, like a 2nd or 3rd year guy.... Miami would have dropped him after the Baltimore game.

Ah shut up.
I'll kick all of your butts with both hands tied behind my back!!!

Folks,
I know its easy to bag Henning right now, but ive probably watched every down of the dolphins for the last 10 years and before Henning I could tell you what we were going to run (im sure if I could so could every other team). Since Henning has been here the offense is much more unpredictable we just need to execute the plays

Every time I see Henne complete a pass that gives him some confidence and momentum AND see him jog off the next play for the Wildcat, I want to shoot someone. It happened at least once in the 2nd half of last week's game.

Sure, some of the problem is execution. However, there seems to be a clear connection in this league between great coaching and great execution. Belichick is having a great season with Brady throwing to rookie tight ends you've never heard of and a receiver who hasn't been relevant since 2005 and only got traded back mid-season. Oh, and no running game. I find that players play up to their coaches moreso than the other way around.

Henning may have some great plays in his book but has he ensured that HIS players (Take some ownership! Pride, even!) are familiar with every wrinkle of executing it? Does he realize what most of us fans seem to realize - that he (Henning) may have a solid playbook but he has a laughable sense of when certain plays should be called?

Mando, keep doing what you do. The coach's lack of accountability has a lot to do with it the underachieving (based on the money spent) nature of this team. I always said he should be let go after the season, but I think his play-calling duties should be removed, or he sould just be fired immediately. What a pompous, arrogant, jerk. Reminds me of Mark Whipple.

How this for a post....

A noun, a verb, and Henning sucks.....

Now I feel like i'm in the "IN" crowd.......

Whene EVERBODY is thinking the same thing....then NOBODY is thinking!

If theres a 1 percent chance then there ia a 100 percent chance!!

GO FINS!!!!

There's plenty of blame to go around for the offensive woes. But it's Henning's lack of accountability killing me. He is just like he was in college.This guy is unreal with no leaadership.As has been said time and time again the defense knows what we are doing almost every play. Without a true leader you are going to fail. No darn wonder our offense is so inconsistent. Our defence can't stay on the field the hold game. Draft a quarter back and the rest spend on a running back and lineman.

Henning should definitely take some of the blame himself how could he not? His play calling pretty much sucked all year, but it falls mostly on Henne he is suppose to be the leader of the offense. Now the run game is pretty simple our line just does not move many people, on occasion we do like Rickey's 45 yard TD run against the Raiders or Ronnie's 45 yards against Baltimore on the opening drive. It is a lot of things combined for the bad O this year it is too bad because even with a middle of the road offense we would be a play off team.

sparano should be "disappointed" with Henning. they should also apologize to Henne for ruining his development by making him afraid to throw the ball!

Kevin Curtis used to be a burner...Hope he still has most of that speed left....He was part of that eagles team that T.O. set the record on TD receptions.....

Of all the things to remember about Kevin Curtis, our HC rembers his WONDERLIC SCORE....WTF???

We are in trouble....draft football players...not some ideal Bill Parcells put in your head when he won his last SB 20 years ago!

BTW Tony...whats your wonderlic score? does it account for wasted time outs and delay of game penalties comming out of time outs? and never getting to the last 2 minutes of a half with 3 time outs, let alone getting thru the 1st quarter with all your time outs.

But still........

If there is a 1 percent chance then there is a 100 percent chance!!!

GO FINS!!!

THe problem with the offfense is not just one thing, thats obvious, its combination of HORRIBLE PLAYCALLING which is hennings fault and poor execution by Oline RB, QB, WR, so they all share in the sorry, pathetic performance week after week. So I expect the score against the Bills to be Dolphins 6 bills 3, and defense to win it once AGAIN! Boring! Snooooze, Henning, snoooze! Get a real OC, Sporano, and you wont have to listen to so much criticism!!!

It is useless to calculate playoff chances, just play it out.

Armondo, you nailed it. Every aspect of this offensive is dysfunctional and Henning takes responsibility for none of it. And the fact the Sparano is disappointed in YOU tells me he has to go too.

A noun, a verb and a Henning sucks?

Outstanding post!

I'm tired of thinking.

If there's a 1% chance Henning sucks, there's a 100% chance Henning sucks!

(My new motto)

Armando,

The fact that you had to write that Tony is "dissapointed in you"...makes you a dissapointment to me.

Leave off the record comments OFF THE RECORD!

Ask tough questions ON THE RECORD so that all is visible and transparent....if he attempts to dodge a question at a presser, then follow up, if you get shut down, then write about it...hold them ALL acountable.....I have not seen one tough question asked of this staff....there sure isn't one posted in this blog....other than betraying Sporano's confidence, why else do you think he might be dissapointed in you?

Odin,

Good Morning...thanks for starting my day with a laugh....

Henning be responsible? That would be like Parcels being loyal.
We saw how far that goes when he reused to return to Boston after the Super Bowl and took a direct flight into the open arms of the stinken jets.
What did we expect? We all thought this fat old school fossil using tired old school strategies and coaches would bring us a championship? No he would quit first, that's what he has done more than produce championships.

Dear Mr. Salguero

I just came across this.....

"I have not seen one tough question asked of this staff....there sure isn't one posted in this blog."

Can you ask coach Sparano or Dan Henning to answer this please

C8H18 + O2 --> CO2 + H2O

C8H18 + O2 --> __ CO2 + __ H2O

C8H18 + __ O2 --> __ CO2 + __ H2O

__ C8H18 + __ O2 --> __ CO2 + __ H2O


Hurry the teacher is not looking


Soiled :)

If we fire Henning then who replaces him?
Chud? Dar Dar? Maybe Kosar could re-open his steakhouse in Miami and bring back his playbook!
Anyone have any thoughts here?


DUH! HENNING VERSES SPARANO VERSES HENNE? Let's see who picked Henne, Sparano and HENNING? WHY IS THIS PARCEL'S FIRST FIASCO? WHY? AGAIN; WHY? IT DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE AT ALL!

NostraHomeUs says:

Miami Dolphins beat the Bufallo Bills
Pittsburgh Steelers beat the NY Jets

and the beat goes on

WELL, WELL, WELL...IF NOT NOW...DAMN-IT "WHEN"???

Da DOLPHINS DID WAT DEY D0 BEST 0N Da ROAD -- "WIN" -- BUTT, WILL Da MIAMI DOLPHINS CONTINUE 2 PLAY HIGH LEVEL PHYSICALLY TOUGH, HARD NOSE, INSPIRED FOOTBALL 4 THEIR MANY, MANY "LOYAL H0METOWN FANS" or DO WE GET Da JEKYLL n "HIDE" SHOW 4 Da DOLPHINS BOSS n OWNER STEVE ROSS 2 WITNESS AT HOME ONCE AGAIN -- (THEIR IN-EPT n PIZZ POOR GAME PERFORMANCE n APPLIED GARBAGE SKILLS) -- IS IT FAIR 2 SAY DAT JEFF IRELAND WILL Be ATTENDING Da MIAMI / BUFFALO GAME 2 WITNESS HIS "HIGHLY FAILED n INEPTITUDE QUARTERBACK PRODIGY CHAD HENNE"??? -- (DAT GUY COULD'NT HIT A BULL IN Da @ZZ WITH AN IRONING BOARD -- HE HAS EXCEPTIONALLY WEAK SKILLS n BLIND 2 MATCH!!!)...Da DOLPHINS NEED A MUCH BETTA n "IMMENSELY TALENTED QUARTERBACK n SOON" -- MR. DAN MARINO CANNOT BELIEVE HIS OWN EYES AT WAT HE SEES AT HIS "HIGHLY SKILLED n ELITE POSITION" -- ("HENNE GETTS ABSOLUTELY NO PAT ON Da HEAD HERE") -- CHAD HENNE IS ABSOLUTE GARBAGE -- 2 SAY Da LEAST!!!

p.s. See More -- U DAMN RITE "EYE DO"???...miami dolphins, da bills r cumin 2 sunlife stadium 2 win da fuc'n game --"Da BILLS HAVE ONLY 2 PLAY HARD & WIN Da FOOTBALL GAME -- DEY HAVE NUTTIN ELSE BUTT THEIR PRIDE 2 PLAY 4 NOW" -- (WITH or WITH-OUT SKILLS CHALLENGED CHAD HENNE AS Da DOLPHINS QUARTERBACK & Da DOLPHINS PLAYOFF HOPES r n HIS HANDS -- SCARRY RITE!!!)

question..."MR. DON SHULA KNOWS PEOPLE & HE KNOWS FOOTBALL & HE KNOWS FOOTBALL PLAYERS & HE KNOWS FOOTBALL PLAYERS TALENT & HE KNOWS FOOTBALL MATTERS, BUTT MOST IMPORTANTLY, MR. SHULA KNOWS EXACTLY HOW 2 GETT YOU 2 THE BIGG DANCE STEVE ROSS" --"WHY" IS'NT MR. SHULA THE GENERAL MANAGER OF THE MIAMI DOLPHINS???...HE GETTS OUR VOTES 2 BE THE DOLPHINS GM & HE IS THE FACE OF THE MIAMI DOLPHINS & THE ORGANIZATION!!!...(IF NOT NOW..."WHEN" DAMN-IT???)

To me, here's the best and clearest statement from above:
"Hmmmmmmm, Sporano and Hennings are starting to sound like two peas in a pod!"

I also LOVE THE "CARLSON PALMER" idea from JOSE!!! GO JOSE!!!


how is it when special teams struggles, the ST coach gets canned, but when the Offense struggles the OC can do wrong? Something's wrong with this picture.

WOW! that's what Henning said, WOW, Henning is old and his offense is the same as he is, old and out-dated, he put in the Wildcat (which is a very old offense) and it worked for a while, why? because people had forgotten how to defend it, once they looked back and remembered they could stop it, that is why it went the way of the Edsel in the first place. OK so the Dolphins have a O.C. that the game has passed by, a QB who don't know how to win, and a head coach who is allowing this to happen to his team, I love the Dolphins I always have and always will. If the Dolphins from the owner down to the coaches to the players continue to allow this to happen it will another lifetime until they reach the Superbowl, which is a shame because we have enough talent, just some missing CRITICAL peaces..

Armando, some of the mistakes are personnel. Anthony Fasano is just not athletic enough to open up the passing game for the Dolphins. Moreover constant tinkering with the offensive line. Well the current group are just not as good as the group that started two years ago. Sparano is first an offensive line coach, perhaps he should take some responsibility. In addition one just can not overlook the fact that Chad Henne just may not be the right quarterback. He is not very accurate with his strong arm.....and so it goes.

Henning is senile. He keeps calling the same old boring plays over and over again. I swear, 9 times out of ten I can call the play before it happens. Good coordinators are always one step ahead of the other team. This guys flat out sucks! No EXCUSES!

I believe that when this season is over, Dan Henning will fall on the sword just as Paul Pasqualoni did in 2009. What Henning says is all true, but not the whole truth. He fails to be held accountable for the way he's running things. The art of coaching is taking the talent that you have and getting the most out of that talent. Henning to me has become same old, same old and the talent is underachieving. That's unacceptable.

I believe there needs to be a 2011 talent upgrade of the 2010 offense parallel to the 2010 upgrade of the 2009 defense that really began by getting Mike Nolan as the DC.

I'm not sure Dan Henning knows what day it is, or whether he could find Miami on a map, let alone what's wrong with his offense.

Sparano has no credibility to be disappointed with the sports writers…

Henning! Take your finger and point it at someone else, then look at your hand. You will see three fingers pointing back at you.

Right on Mando!

We need to clean the house. Bring in Carl Petersen, keep Mike Nolan, new head coach, and draft a qb

henning is a stool pigeon. PLEASE FIRE HIM!!!

Great article. address the issues and ignore the comments on how you view it. You are speaking for us.

What do you expect from a team that goes to Lombardi’s for inspiration? What’s wrong with inviting a living legend like Shula who can bring his 1972 perfect season ring? If that doesn’t inspire Sporano and his company of clowns what will? This Franchise was doomed from the day Shula was forced out. His replacements have been inspired only by how to further they diminish what use to be the prize jewel of the NFL. Now enjoy New England win its fourth Super Bowl, while we staff our team with losers...
PS doesn’t New England’s coach remind you of a young Don Shula? This team needs a premiere coach and quarter back. Guys like Don Shula, who can take you to the Super Bowl with nothing, come once in a life time.

Great article Armando. I couldn't have agreed with you more.

Typical - it's all the players fault. Well I think I can speak for most Fin Fans when I say the play calling this year has been 80% if not more horrible. Who can Henning blame that on??? I like Sporano and I suppose he has to stick up for his staff however, lets see how much he backs Henning in 2011. Also, good QB's help a team make it to the play off games - great QB's take their team to the superbowl - moderate QB's take their teams to 8-8. I like Henne but at best he is a back up QB in this league, not a starter. Sorry Chad but you know it and every Fin Fan knows it. GO FINS.

Sometimes "holding yourself accountable" is just a BS politically correct way of talking.

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