Pehaps I am a conspiracy theorist. But it just seemed to me last week against Oakland that quarterback Chad Henne seemed more comfortable without Brandon Marshall in the lineup than he has previously been with the Pro Bowl wide receiver.
Perhaps that was a fact that Oakland had a hobbled defensive backfield. Perhaps it was just that Henne hit a stride that was going to show itself regardless of the receivers in the lineup.
But he looked more comfortable. So I asked offensive coordinator Dan Henning moments ago whether he believe Henne is more comfortable without Marshall.
Henning didn't exactly shoot down the idea but he did say that shouldn't be the case.
"I think you have to ask Chad that one," Henning said. "Shouldn't be. We try to treat them all the same and obviously they're all different. I understand that. Everybody's the same. But when they pick their checks up they're not the same.
"They're not the same and sometimes that holds water with who they are and what they are. And then you take a guy like [Davone] Bess who has to fight his way up. And now he's got a little credibility because of where he came from. When you get into the game and they come across from the front office, who brings them in, and signs them, and pays them, and they come to us, we try to treat them the same. What we see is what we get. We go by what we see.
"We shouldn't be looking for Brandon any more than the read takes us there. Now, we do try to design certain things for the better players. There's no question about that, that's what we should do. That's our job. But most of the time there's a read system that Chad has to go through and if he breaks that read system then that's his fault. He knows that and he's called down for it. He's put on the carpet anytime he breaks his read. But you'd have to ask him what his comfort zone is with different people."