« Dilfer: Dolphins give selves too little error room | Main | The odd ties between the Falcons, Dolphins »

Henning: Dolphins lack speed, changes haven't worked

I've been telling you for some time the Dolphins are team without enough speed and consequently that is one reason they don't have a lot of big plays. No revelation there as anyone with eyes can see this is the case.

Well, offensive coordinator Dan Henning agrees with me. (I don't know if that's a good thing or not.) Henning, however, thinks the lack of speed on the Dolphins is pervasive throughout the roster.


"On our football team overall, we're missing dynamics," Henning said today. "We haven't had a dynamic kickoff return or punt return to put the ball even on the plus side of the 50. We haven't had a dynamic interception return to take it back for a touchdown the entire year. And we haven't had but two or three dynamic plays on offense out of about 800 or so.

"So we're missing that. And somewhere along the line we have to find it for this team."

I asked Henning if he believes that lack of dynamic play-making has to do specifically with a lack of speed overall, and particularly on offense.

"There's no question about it," he responded. "The same people that are playing on special teams, play on offense and defense ... We're just not making the big plays. That is speed, that is ability, that is those things that come from dynamic individuals. We do a good job of catching the ball. [Davone] Bess does a good job just like he does on offense of making plays. But they're not 50- or 60-yard plays. He'll dramatically change a play from a 5- or 6-yard gain to 15-yard gain. A couple of weeks ago he got a 40-yard gain but that's what it is. When you have a body of work, whether it's one year or 15 games or whatever it is, usually, you are who you are."

Henning on Thursday gave the gathered media a recount of what Miami's personnel department has done and needs to do.

"I can tell you from an offensive standpoint specifically because that what I deal with," he said. "We won the division in 2008, They were 1-15 and came very close to being 0-16. They won an overtime game. We broke down the team, we tried to deal with the personnel that was there. We let some players go that people before us had a higher opinion of but we didn't have as high an opinion. And we elevated some people we had a higher opinion of and we won the division. We won 11 games. it wasn't easy. It wasn't exactly dynamic. But we had about 8.03 yards per attempt. We had 11.9 or 12 yards per completion and we had over 4 yards per carry with that team.

"After that season we all agreed we had a little bit easier schedule than we were going to have. If we were going to be where we wanted to be, we needed to change some things and get better. We haven't done it. That doesn't mean we haven't tried to do it. But this group is not as efficient and consistent as that group was. Therefore, they're not as effective as that group was. Basically we had the same coaches. We have some players in this group who are more dynamic than we had. But as a team, we're not as efficient, consistent or effective as we were in 2008.

"We need speed and we need it in the areas where if you break something loose, you have a chance to take it to the house regardless of whether we're on our 10 or their 10."

Henning, the offensive coordinator, considers himself well-versed enough on the Dolphins because he has been around the players and coaches and personnel department for three years now.

"I feel like I know some things about this team because I work with it all the time, I'm on top of it  with the players and so forth," he said. "I do think there are some things that need to be done. I've told Tony when he's asked me. And I'm sure he's taken in not only my opinion, but many opinions."


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Henning: Dolphins lack speed, changes haven't worked:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Now this, I can agree with.

seems fair.

Deade Hennings trying not to become the ENEMY.....too late, and they had two whole offseasons to try and build a competent offense since 2008 and its only gotten worse year to year, Thats what happens when you dont have a clue until week 16 of your third year in this system...

Okay. First I want to say that I think Gruden would be a better fit than Cowher. Lack of speed? In the 80's and 90's the 49ers dominated with short passes good route running, a good running game and a solid defense, hardly ever throwing the ball long. This dolphins team is set up to do the same although Henne does have the arm strength that Montana lacked. Problem is creativity and play calling. I don't think anywhere between the OC and the quarterbacks coach is there any confidence put in Henne, and so he lacks fire and confidence. The players on offense are good enough to get the job done. Most importantly what is needed a re-energized coaching staff with a pair of balls, a healthy offensive line and a sure handed fearless running back with some speed. Retain Mike Nolan, get Gruden and a creative ballsy offensive coordinator and this is a 12-4 team.

no talent = sux

"After that season we all agreed we had a little bit easier schedule than we were going to have. (true) If we were going to be where we wanted to be, we needed to change some things and get better. (true) We haven't done it. That doesn't mean we haven't tried to do it. But this group is not as efficient and consistent as that group was. (true) Therefore, they're not as effective as that group was. Basically we had the same coaches. We have some players in this group who are more dynamic than we had. (Marshall I presume) But as a team, we're not as efficient, consistent or effective as we were in 2008."

Hmmm, now what position has had a major change on offense since 2008? Maybe I'm reading too much into that but I don't think he's any too pleased with his QB.

Sounds reasonable to me. I would have to agree with him. Maybe we will see a ray of hope in the offseason.

Henning needs to talk to his buddy about that. Bigger is better (also slower) was and maybe still is, a Parcells principle.

He though bigger players didn't get (untrue) injured as much and had a longer shelf life.

sounds like he's blaming Ireland for his incompetence.

And exactly who is responsible for making the Miami Dolphins one of the slowest if not THE slowest team in the NFL? I don't know if the fact that the organization realized this and failed to adequately address it since 2008 makes things better or worse. Time to start holding some front office personnel, scouts and coaches accountable and sever the ties.

He is the Leon of Coaches

Armando, first of all YOU didnt tell us we needed more speed at namely rb, wr, and te on offense. We basically told you and each other this during the season. So dont take false credit for this.

Secondly, Count Henning, really? 2008 team was more consistent and resillient? Can you spell:


We all know this team lacks speed. But so did last years team unless you count ted ginn. The offense was much better last year. The problem with our offense this year is a lack of running game. period!
So both our running backs and o-line have been disappointing. Fix those and we should win 10 games next year if the defense doesn't regress.

Henning's never going to blame himself for s hit is he! LOL...............

finally we talking about something. just say this offense ted ginn would have thrived in. he would not have be relied on use just to go deep. plus his special teams.

phins should look at derrick locke of kentucky

rainy of florida

Da'Rel Scott RB Maryland
Jerrel Jernigan WR Troy

all speed guy with talent

Do you guys think Rex Ryan puts his feet through the glory hole?

I wish we had a more 'dynamic' OC.

Dymanic means forceful, effective actions. If our players are not 'dynamic', then perhaps they're not trained well enough or they picked guys who aren't 'dynamic' enough.

Let me get this straight. We need speed, but we get rid of one of the fastest guys in the NFL Ted Ginn. (Who did make plays over the top of defenses for us)...I understand we got rid of him cause he can't catch(I agreed with the move). But then we get rid of Greg Camarillo a guy who never dropped a pass in 2 years!!! what is this coaching staffs philosphy at WR???? They get rid of Camarillo who never drops a pass, but they get rid of Ginn cause he does drop passes, but yet now we need speed.....FIRE THEM ALL!!!!!

Between Dan Henning and Trent Dilfer in last post... Both are wasting their time, pointing out the obvious.

Parcells brought all these players in "Parcell type players" All oversized, and slow.

Missing Playmakers and speed, is nothing new. I have known this for about 5 years now.


Thats why I say every season a regime needs to field the best possible team not leaving out anything. You never know what next season brings.

Like you said, even if the offense is up to speed next year, whose to say the defense wont regress? Lack of offensive speed stared GM Ireland right in the face last offseason and he blindly missed it. Error Ireland.

I think Henning is right here. The Fins let go Ginn and Martin who they should have kept. I know that Ginn would never have been a #1 WR, but he would have been solid in his role as deep threat, and a KR and PR. Martin made plays, he had some speed and would make big gains from time to time. Sheets should have gotten playing time last year as a 3rd down back, as he has speed and quickness...Too bad he got hurt this year, but he probably wouldn't have been given a chance anyway.

What do they see in Cobbs? Anyone? Let me know. I know he tries hard, but he isn't fast or big, what is the point on putting him on the field. The weapons aren't really there... I like Hartline, but he ran a 4.58 40 at the combine.... he IS NOT a speed guy, don't kid yourself. I could do a better job than Ireland, it wouldn't be that hard, and these guys are experts? Really? It is not that tough to see talent.

Maybe we should have Kevin Curtis run another end around!!! That was lightyear speed

Or you could be a good coach.. take the talent and players you have.. work your offense around that and make it work.. call plays that if you need 15 yards for a 1st down, everyone is not running 5 and in or 10 and outs.. a good coach will find a way to take the talent they have and make it work.. similarly the way the fins did when they introduced the wildcat.. they took the talent they had and created an offense that worked... so instead of taking the blame for his short comings hes placing the blame on the players.. Yes the fins need speed.. but you have a couple of youngsters that have great speed on the team... excuses... give me someone that doesnt make excuses and places the blame where its deserved and doesnt throw everyone else under the bus

Or just maybe, Henning didn't change his scheme to fit the players, rather expected the players to fit his scheme?

The conservative crap he ran in 2008 was fine with the personnel in place then, but doesn't have a freaking clue what to do with this group.

thats the problem.. he expects his players to fit to his predictable offense... and when you do that youre not using the talents the the players you currently have posses

Hold up a minute...Did Dan Henning just say something that made sense?

Again, something we already knew, but glad to hear Henning of all people, call the decision makers out for their inability to find playmakers. They have big powerful men.

Enough of the big & slow, let's go Al Davis on everyone & draft speed.

Its just like when Norv was the OC.. 3rd and long.... thats right here comes the draw

Bill Belichek is from the BP lineage of coaching. Yet now he's ruling the nfl with quick speedy midgets on offense.

Woodhead and Welker are not the BP mold of players. Even Belichek realizes the BP player profiling system is flawed when not making exceptions to the rule. Our regime seems to believe in this to a disasterly fault.

The problem is we draft like crap. We waste so many first and second round draft choices it is absurd. We wasted a number 2 on a Qb 3 years in a row. We could have drafted speed this year. We could have gotten Dez instead we draft a DL from Penn State that has not played a game, and does not seem to be a game changer even if he did. Drafting has been horrible for years and that is why we are stuck here year after year.

Joe.. a lightbulb should come over Hennings head... if the decision makers cant find play makers... maybe they cant find good coaches either.


Having an offensive system that caters to the talent of the players around it speaks blasphemy to this sacriligious bunch we have in charge.

I agree, maybe its time to find a new bunch... just a thought

henning's retirement bus just rolled back/forward over Ireland... and ronnie brown, ricky williams, the remainder of backs, the tight ends, the receiver backups, the db's, most of the lb's, all of the qb's (speed: being brain related)... and Sparano.

thanks for coming... see ya!

so henning is saying to ireland we should draft aj green. i have no problem with that. either him or a center or a guard with our first

It's pretty ridiculous that Henning would blame anyone but himself for the lack of big plays. A lot of the long TDs that are scored in the NFL each week aren't because of speed. They're from blown coverages by a confused defense. They're from good play designs and good game plans. Ricky Williams and Brandon Marshal are capable of big plays if you have a good offensive coordinator.

Ted Ginn was here for two years and had only one or two big plays on offense. What's Henning's excuse for the lack of big plays when Ginn was here?

When Henning was made OC our offense was destined to become pigeon holed into relative obscurity. The nfl is always moving forward, Henning isnt.

So for as long as Henning is OC, the greater the gap becomes offensively between us and the rest of today's nfl.


Rex Ryan has a tape of Mark Sanchez grabbing a hot dog with is feet.

I was watching highlights of the 2008 season a few days ago and then I compared them with the highlights of the 2010 season and I found 3 crucial differences between the two teams.

1. Lack of a deep threat/explosive kick returner.
In the 2008 season we had Ted Ginn who brought a deep threat to the table and stretched the defense. I know he dropped a lot of passes but with brandon marshall I believe having Ted Ginn would open up the offense enough to get some things going. He also returned 3 or 4 kick returns for TDs which got this team going when they couldnt get the offense going.

2. Lack of a consistent QB. In 2008 Chad Pennington was much more consistent, accurate, and made much better decisions than Chad Henne has this year and last. I believe if Chad Pennington didn't get injured in that Tennessee game we would still be in the hunt or even hold a wild card spot today.

3. Lack of Opening up the playbook. In 2008 it seemed we used the wildcat for many more explosive plays than we do now. If you recall the Texans game in 2008 where we did a wildcat reverse pass that scored an easy touchdown and got the team going when nothing else seemed to work. Where have the play calls like that been this season. It seems like we just run the traditional wildcat and don't use it for the different trick plays we used to.

I believe if we can start getting back to those things we did in '08, maybe draft an explosive player like a Ted Ginn this year, and pick up a consistent quarterback in free agency or even give Pennington a go next season if he decides to come back, we will be in the playoffs next year.


Offensively this isnt the most talented bunch that ever donned fins uniforms. But if the system was set up to get the max from the talentds they do have. I believe we could have won 11 games and solidly became a wildcard team.

Who knows, with the 4th overall nfl rated defense we could have made at least a 2nd rd playoff appearance.

LMAO! Henning just said "Screw you, Ireland! If I'm going to be the scapegoat, I'm dragging you down with me!" Henning is like school in the summertime, no class.

Those comparing the 2008 and 2010 dolphin qb positions I say hogwash! 2008's schedule was so watered down Henne would have looked good.

Remember against higher quality opponents Pennington began 2009 0-3. The Ravens had laid the blueprint exactly how to shut CP down.

What Henning said was true but at the same time he never instituted an offense to fit these players at the same time.

It was the perfect storm of f-ups by the men in charge of this team and offense.

Look at Chrlie Weiss in KC . Loves to throw the ball but he saw what he had in KC and has the highest rrushing team in the league. Now that's coaching.

Henning is bad as an OC, but look at the draft and free agent misses... Ireland and Parcells are lost, they can't evaluate talent. I am glad Parcells is gone, he is totally overrated! The coaching has been bad this year and the roster doesn't have what it should have...Now the Fins don't have a 2nd round pick... great, while the Pats have like 6 picks in the first 3 rounds. Ugh.


Henning has now blamed everyone but himself for team offensive woes. Cant wait until he's gone. He knows retirement or no he's out anyway. So he's taking as many parting shots as possible.

I think he's trying to get fired now to get his last 2 paychecks with the Dolphins totally on the house. LOL.............

While I agree that this team needs more overall speed, Hennning clearly continues to take the spotlight off of his inept offensive play calling and instead continues to blame everything and everyone else for the Dolphins offensive woes and it's getting sickening. I wish this guy was fired in-season I have had enough of him deflecting the blame. He's no leader and he certainly is no OC. His past and present gives him zero credibility as an offensive mind.

Henning got it right....

"Basically we had the same coaches."

No wins before the wildcat took teams by surprise. Even with that, a lot of the wins against bottom dwelling teams were very close.

"Basically we had the same coaches."

Taking credit for the 11 win, division championship season, placing blame elswhere for the disappointing offense since then.


That's the argument most of us have. This offensive system in place is totally inflexible. If we dont have the players in place to effectively execute the system blame the players. This staff had to know this from the beginning and if they didnt that's a huge concern in itself.

Why couldnt the offensive system not be slightly altered to take the greatest advantage of what this group of players can do well? At this level there's something every player does well and not so well. We pigeon holed them into what they do not so well, that's blindly obvious.

DyingBreed is on it! He has many excellent valid points...


This offensive system is just as flawed as the OC that runs it. Mr. Henning you are charged with heading up the offense. It was up to you to inform Ireland about what you felt was missing. It was also on you if you felt your players couldnt properly execute the system as is. Its was on you to find what you could do with these players instead of fully force feeding a diet of those they could not.

Right on, DB.


I do agree we had an extremely easy schedule in '08 but regardless I do admit our team now has more talent. We are just lacking a deep threat, consistent QB, and the play calling is not very good this year compared to '08. I believe if we combine those with the better overall talent we have now, we will definatly be in the playoffs next year.

Sporano had high praise for Henning. Henning throws Ireland and Sporano under the bus! Wonder what happens next? Henne does the same thing to Marshall. Is there a pre Christmas explosion going on in Dolphin land? Things are NOT as they seemed.. Falling apart fast!

WestTN Finfan

Unless I'm mistaken, weren't the 2008 wins against the Raiders, Seahawks,and Rams very close and down to the wire?

Pretty much the same as many games this year.

"Basically we had the same coaches."

DAN HENNING NEEDS TO GO!Theres a lot ...a lot of teams that don't have great speed on offense..But they still find a way to score TD's and make long plays..So what he said is b@#@#$##!These coaches put there players in position to make plays..D.Bess is a good player but he's slow!He caught over 300 passes in college ..and his longest play was a 61 yard TD and it was on a screen pass with great blocking..I just saw the fastest players in next years draft and it's really week in terms of speed..ALL BIG GUYS!

Henning was given virtually carte blanche of this offense with Sparano's blessing. Instead of leveraging what he had, he tried to put circles into square pegs. Then blamed the circles for not fitting properly.

And if someone argues that we don't do anything well on offense - that is a lie. Marshall still caught a lot of balls - Bess, Fasano, and hartline (until injured) on pace for career years. Both our backs decent in space once they pick up a head of steam.

There was something there!

Remember when the Pats used to run 45 screens a game to players like Kevin Faulk when they didn't have all teh talent in the world on offense? Nobody can tell me that neither Ricky nor Ronnie even in off years aren't as good as Faulk ever was.

Merry Christmas to everyone. Here is my list of gifts to you guys. If I forgot anyone, I wish you, and your families a safe, and happy New Year.

Armando..For you. More recognition from your piers, and higher ups. This is the best Dolphins blog on the planet. Keep up the good work..
Mr. Soiled Bottom.. For you. another year of material that only you can spin. Thanks for the laughs.
ALoco.. For you a lifetime supply of Meatball subs, broken posts...and maybe a donkey.
Odinseye...For you.. Some rum, a few hotties, and next time some of my perscription. Maybe Terrible Ted will show up and do the national anthem after he shoots Jimmy Buffet. Merry Christmas to your new family.
Dying Breed.. For you.. A winner. You have been a long suffering fan. Time to turn that around
Mark in Toronto.. Citizenship in this country(joking) A year full of good stock tips. Thanks for the info.
Cocoejoe...For you. a book of answers. You always seem to set it straight.
Rob in the OC..For you I hope Brandon Graham recovers and becomes the player you believed in. For the sake of the blog, it would be nice to have you back.
Home..For you a foil hat, and a anti Haarp ray gun to keep the government crazies away.
Cuban Menace. For you ..anything to keep Hot Ashley. Saftey on the streets.
Bobbyd12...For you. Better times ahead. My thoughts are with you and your family this holiday season
Chad Henne..For you. An offensive line that can run block. A new coordinator. Another chance.
For me... Thank you to all that listens to my B.S. Merry Christmas...Darryl Dunphy

If 2008's schedule were 2009's no way do we win 11 games and the afc east crown. Dont know about anyone else, but I see no way we win more than 5 games max, had we had 2009's schedule in 2008.

In the 2008 playoffs we were thoroughly dominated by the wildcard Ravens has proof. We werent even competive against a wildcard team even though we were divison champs that season.

We were only division champs and a playoff team only on the backs of one of the most door matty seasons seasons in Dolphins history! LOL..........

This team does need an influx of speed. We need a good pass catching TE, one that has speed to open up the middle. That will help the WR's. We also need some new RB's, it is good to have bruisers, but in the NFL speed kills.

1 2 3 4 5 6 »

The comments to this entry are closed.