One of the things I perceive is a problem with quarterback Chad Henne is his robotic, unfeeling, almost zombie-like approach to playing his position.
Henne would never think of calling a freak audible that isn't dictated by the defense or coaching staff. He follows his progression of reads even if it means throwing a 4-yard pass to Ricky Williams with 23 seconds to play from his own 28 yard line when he's got no timeouts and needs to go 45 yards to line up for a game-tying FG.
Heart? Passion? Emotion? Nowhere to be found.
It drives me crazy.
Henne had one game when he played like a guy with a big heart in his chest and emotion coarsing through his body this season: The Raiders game on November 28. He has since gone back to the uninstinctive, unemotional, uninspired, unsatisfactory play that we saw before he got benched.
On Sunday, however, Henne took robotics to a new high. He did it on the field. And he did it in his post-game press conference to the point he is starting to lose credibility.
To recap: On Sunday the Dolphins lost their sixth home game in seven outings. The offense was largely ineffective against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. The loss eliminated the Dolphins from the playoffs.
The pain and meaning of the day was captured by perfectly by Brandon's Marshall, who issued a finely tuned apology to his defensive teammates for the offense's poor play. Marshall also said it was everyone's fault, including coaches, that the offense is not producing. (You can read Marshall's statement in the previous post.)
Henne followed less than a minute after Marshall spoke. And he totally lost me.
(On Brandon Marshall’s comments apologizing to the defense) – “I mean it’s not embarrassing. Obviously we didn’t do what we wanted to do out there execution wise and finishing the game but we win and lose as a team; there’s no pointing fingers. That’s about it; we win and lose as a team.”
What he should have said: I can't blame Brandon for feeling the way he does. I can't disagree, either. No one with a brain would.
(On whether it was frustrating being taken out of the game late while the Wildcat was run) – “Well I mean that’s the coach’s decision. They make the call and if they feel they can run something with the Wildcat and make some positive yards, we’ll do that.”
What he should have said: Frankly, yes. I think Wildcat has a great place in our offense but when the game is on the line, I want the ball in my hands. And I don't want to comment beyond that.
(On whether the fans were justified in booing with only one home win) – “They’ve been booing the last couple weeks so I guess we’re used to it. We, we don’t want to go out that way. It’s a sick feeling for us. I mean to not have home field advantage in this league is, it’s tough and it’s not like we’re not trying out there not to win at home. I mean there’s a lot of guys out there with a lot of heart playing, playing their hearts out out there for our fans and our home field advantage out there.”
What he should have said: Yes. We work for them and we haven't given them enough reasons to cheer, enough reasons to show up in droves, enough reasons to be happy. It is on us. They react to us. We don't react to them.
(On what he would change to get more touchdowns rather than field goals) – “I mean put it on our shoulders. Whatever is called, we’re not going to point our fingers at our coaches or players. Whatever is called we have to execute. We had some negative plays there, some penalties that hurt us. It’s just execution. We’ll put it on our shoulders as players to execute the play that’s called and making the decision after that.”
What he should have said: I would change my execution. It needs to improve. I'm the starting QB. I touch the football on every play. If I perform at a certain level, we'll score more points. Having said that, I'm still learning and I need to get better. Be patient. I'll get there.
I believe the Dolphins will go searching this offseason for a quarterback that doesn't play robotic and isn't seemingly walking on egg shells because the coaches have brow beaten him and turned him into a double-talker.
The Chad Henne I've seen this year is not that quarterback.