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Sparano: Henne didn't grade out poorly

Tony Sparano will meet with his players at approximately 1 p.m. today and go over what happened during Sunday's 34-27 loss to Detroit. He will tell them what everyone knows: The Dolphins did not finish well and the result was turning a 10-point lead with five minutes to play into a seven-point loss.

But one thing Sparano will tell his team most of us -- certainly me -- overlooked: Chad Henne didn't play terribly.

During his 14-minute Monday press conference, the Dolphins coach said quarterback Chad Henne did not grade out poorly.

Let that marinate for a second.

Henne completed 29 of 44 passes for 278 yards with 1 TD and 2 INTs for a 72 quarterback rating in a 34-27 loss to the Detroit Lions. He had a QB rating over 100 through three quarters. His fourth-quarter rating was like the Boston weather the Dolphins are about to experience Sunday when they play New England -- in the 20s.

But in grading the film, Miami's coaching staff came to the conclusion Henne wasn't as bad as everyone believed because the player got "only" six minuses. And that is his all-time best as the Dolphins starter.

"In two years it's his lowest," Sparano said. "Two years. I thought at the time the guy was throwing the ball into the wind really well. You guys were out there watching it. I don't know that you know the conditions and what it was like out there but they were pretty stiff during the course of that game. I thought he threw the ball pretty well at times and he completed whatever it was, 66 percent on the day. He had one or two of them that got away from him -- the deep ball to Brandon [Marshall] on the right sideline going into the end zone that he maybe overthrew a shade and a couple of locations. But other than that, it really came down to the last five minutes we didn't finish the game."

That is all true. All of it. Dead on accurate in every detail and fact.

But I think the truth is more important than the facts. So I want to know the truth. And I wanted to know if Sparano believed his quarterback, who was being serenaded with "Henne sucks" chants from the home crowd, played well against Detroit.

"We didn't finish the game in the last five minutes and he threw a couple of interceptions but other than that, one of the interceptions is not his, Armando," Sparano answered, no doubt wishing death upon me. "So yeah, I kind of think on the game, as a whole, when you grade the film, he didn't play poorly. Absolutely didn't play poorly."

Now, you may read theories elsewhere that Sparano was simply spinning the truth so as to not throw Henne under the bus. Not true. When the quarterback stinks rotten, Sparano doesn't defend him anymore. Shouldn't, actually. This is big-boy football and it's time for Henne to grow up.

On this occasion, the coach simply was trying to correct the perception of a terrible game by Henne because that's what the player's grade actually shows. And that's what he would then tell the team. And if he tells the media one thing and the team another, it ruins his credibility with his players.

So Sparano said that which is hard for some people to be convinced about: Henne wasn't awful Sunday.

Look, you don't have to like it. I don't. You know I no longer believe Henne is Miami's future at QB. And I also wouldn't give Henne a pass on that second INT that was returned for a TD because on the play, he had the choice of throwing to five different receivers and he picked the only one that was bracketed while not serving up an opportunity to the three facing man-coverage or Brandon Marshall against a zone.

Yet, the grade is the grade. And the grade did include some negative plays.

"That [first] interception was a combination of a few things," Sparano explained. "One, the decision wasn't great on the interception. Let me say this: First of all, Chad Henne probably, not probably, he only had six minuses out of the entire football game. One of them was on that play particularly and it was a combination of two or three things that happened. The tight end didn't sit down and he kind of drifted on him and they end up getting the ball in the short end of the field. We stop them, but we gave up field goal.

"We have a receiver open. He's open at the sticks and falls down. Slips. The ball ends up in [the defender's] hands. We're going to the right place with the football. He's throwing in the right area. The receiver falls down and they pick it off and we miss three tackles on the play."

I guess I got a football lesson today. A player can stink for five minutes and still not have his entire body of work in a game get slimed. So Henne maybe didn't play well when one considers the entire body of work. But he wasn't terrible, either, according to Miami coaching grades.


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2008;;;;;;;;;;;;; 3 TD------INT.....19

2009;;;;;;;;;;;;; 21 TD..............INT ....13

2010;;;;;;;;;;;;; 26 TD..........INT....18



Great post at 1:50pm. I agree with a great many of the points you made.

Craig you are now moving over to my side of the argument. We had a great running attack, why did it go downhill this year? Why did the oline deteriorate? Resident oline expert Tony Sparano jumbled it up so much, invested in players with injury histories, and so now the very thing he is best at is now our weakest link. His 3rd pick, Jerry, ended up getting beat out by another Dallas cast off. Again...I think the running issues, oline issues fall square on Tony's shoulders. I have serious doubts about Henne, but I can justify giving him one more year far more easily than I can see staying with TS who is a poster boy for the Peter Principle.

Infamous words, "we need to hang with the program."

- like the ENTIRE press core and even Sec. of State Powell did in following a lie to War when the inspectors on the ground said there were no WMDs.

- like the ENTIRE German population did in following Hitler, claiming they thought the black debris in the air was meteorological event.

- like EVERY idiot in a horror movie that goes towards the loud noises/danger instead of runs.

- like ALL ignorant gangbangers do, defending their leaders to the death, while the leader sits tucked away safe somewhere.

- like ALL the dumbos who said the World is flat, or we'll NEVER reach the Moon, or the Stock Market will NEVER get below 10,000 again.

You don't HAVE TO stick with the program, if that program is rotten. You don't have to hope against hope a player will reach his potential if there are dozens of NEW and veteran players who might do better. You don't have to believe in a system that's only proven not to be successful.

Change is scary, and it's hard to do. But sometimes it's necessary. Sometimes it's a straight line (the shortest route between 2 points). Sometimes, CHANGE IS GOOD!!!

Craig, it does bother me that Henne has been sacked so many times. You think it's never his fault? You think sometimes it's not him hanging on to the ball a bit too long? C'mon. I know the o-line is far from being the best in the NFL, but to say all those sacks are never his fault, I don't agree. And you know what else I find even more disturbing? All those INT's. A lot more than the sacks. You were talking about Pennington before. I can garantee you Pennington wouldn't have half of those INT's if he would of played. You know why? Cause Pennington, despite his physical limitations, can hit an open WR. Henne has a hard time doing that, despite having a much stronger arm than Pennington. It's not always the arm, it's accuracy as well. Pennington has it. Henne doesn't. Not yet anyway.

Change is good. I second the motion. People are too often content to just sit, wait, hope and pray. It might be the effect that religions have on conditioning societies to accept, hope, pray, good things come to those who wait, and wait, and wait......

Only two highly rated QBs are likely to be available when we pick. One plays tonight. Might be worth a look. Blaine Gabbert -

Possesses an excellent combination of height and frame along with above-average top-end speed. Played in only five games as a high school senior due to an ankle and shoulder injury. Suffered a sprained ankle during the 2009 Nebraska contest but played through injury and did not miss a snap. Started in all 13 games in his first season as starter in 2009. Takes care of his business both on and off the field. Excellent student in the class room and was named first-team Academic All-Big 12 selection in 2009. Vocal leader and challenges teammates in offseason workouts.

Sifting through the inarticulation I have gained more football knowledge from Tony Sparano than from all other Miami Dolphins coaches combined(including Shula who would not give away 1 inch of his knowledge). "We have to maul the tight ends at the line", "we did not finish the blocks at the second level", "Wake and Missi are doing a good job setting the edge", "there were some problems with ball placement". I have no doubt that this man knows football and that he knows where the problems lie. Now, can he fix them?

Being a true fan and being critical of your team when they struggle are not mutually exclusive. Nothing ever gets fixed when blinded by rose colored glasses.

Exactly Montreal, Henne was sacked so much for ONE reason, because he CAN'T EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, evade a sack. NEVER. His 1st step is in triple slow motion while everyone else is playing at speed. He can't even win a footrace with a NT. The ONLY times he ran was when there was no one around him. And that's why he has to go. Protection WILL break down. But EVERY other good QB can sidestep it, evade it, shrug it off, but Henne. Big tough guy Henne gets a pinky on his shoulder and he falls flat on his face.

Football is chess, Henne isn't even playing checkers, he's playing go fish!



Chris, everyone says I look cute in my rose-colored glasses.


Lets trade Sparano for Belicheks ball boy.

DC, that 49ers pick killed me. Just kidding! Need to make up three games on the season leader with one week to go. Any insightful upset picks this week? Just read the Pats may sit Brady. Thinking Dolphins this week.

CraigM, you're laughable. You make allot ASSumptions. You also have a holier than thou type thing going. Who cares about home record vs away? Does that mean they're better this year than last? LMAO That represents 1% of what has gone on this season. I have come here defending Henne somewhat. I don't just throw people under the bus for no reason.

I want Sparano & Ireland gone for the things I said above. Those are REAL & CURRENT. Everyone else knows them except you. If I'm a sourpuss, you're oblivious. All you can do is talk about 2008. LIVE IN THE NOW.

I don't gloss over sh*t. I look at 2008 for what it really was. A product of an easy schedule, a Tom brady-less Pats, & a lucky catch of Penny. If ANY of those 3 things were different, Miami would be 5-11. You make it out to be more than what it was. The stars aligned that year. That's why it hasn't repeated itself since.

This years team is worse. We can't run or pass protect because they broke up a decent o-line. Special teams are worse. They continue to struggle to find good players so they go to Dallas retreads. Same thing YEAR AFTER YEAR. You ignore those facts, I don't. Defense is a little better this year WOO HOO, Let's give em contract extensions!

This team is & has been boring, predictable & mediocre for 3 straight seasons. That results in losses & half empty stadiums. People pay for a product. If the product sucks, why on earth would people give their money away?

I live in NJ & watch every game win or lose every week. You know nothing about what makes or doesn't make a real fan. Stop acting superior like you are a better fan than anyone else. It's repulsive. Having blind allegiance to a bunch of guys who have not yielded results doesn't make you a better fan. It makes you a sucker.

For you, 1 miracle season in 2008 seems enough. To the rest of us, it was the best it'll get.

Let's not betray our vows or depart from God's supernatural plan for natural man. We need faith in our leaders, stand behind the good. The Rex Ryans of the world will only know temporary yet tainted success.

henne worries about pocket pressure then panics. brady knows when pressure is coming,slides to avoid and fires a strike downfield! might help henne to watch film of favre,brady,manning instead of himself making the same errors week after week. henne's footwork in the pocket is horrendous. oh,we need to condense some of these blog entries.

Yeah Chris, I pretty much canceled myself from giving predictions after that one. Sorry dude.

But, for what it counts, my upsets this week are:

Tampa Bay over New Orleans
Redskins over Giants

AND, due to a short week
Cowboys over Philly

I wouldn't touch the Dolphins/NE game unless NE was starting players off the street, sitting their ENTIRE 53-man roster, and Bellicheck was in the hospital concussed.

EVEN THEN, will Miami be starting Henne? Then I'll take NE, lol. 7-9 (my preseason prediction was 8-8, that's like 12-4 at this point).



Guys your not watching the same games I've been watching. There's not a QB in the league that could succeed behind that OL the last few games. We're playing a dink and dunk offence and Henne is not getting the time necessary for the play to develop. Not even close!

Montreal, I wasn't saying none of it was Henne's fault. You're right he's not the most mobile QB. But you have to admit the McQuistans and Careys and Murthas have not being doing there job. And you want to talk about Chad Pennington. He struggled in his 3 or 4 games last year and his TWO plays this year and his accuracy wasn't what it was in 2008.

DC Dolfan, you cite all these world situation but there's a big difference in what you talk and being a sports fan. It's fine for us to criticize when things are going bad but the EASIEST thing to do is to change things up when teams struggle. That's not always the answer and outside of Henning and some players I wouldn't change a thing. Maybe some of the fans.....just kidding!

Aloco, is that really news?

Winning in anything is about seizing opportunities. You take action to improve where you can, not wait for improvement to happen.

JOE, all your past 10 posts ,are they really news ?

bellichek is so much better in talent eval. than ireland/sparano. the man goes himself to a gator practice sits down with urban meyer and picks up 4 gators in the draft;all relevant. he also grabs brandon tate and gronkowski. they were all guys we needed;we were busy bringing in 10 linebackers and 2 guys with a broken legs in college. time for change.

lol@greg z....broken legs

Craig, no worries buddy, you're boy will get his chance. Henne's not going anywhere, so we'll see what he learns in the offseason and through training camp. And whichever QB Miami picks up (because that's as definite as tomorrow being Wednesday) will have a chance to too.

But, one thing we should ALL agree on is that this coaching staff has ZERO confidence in Henne. Therefore, if the new QB that comes in can throw better than Pat White, I think your boy will be relegated to 2nd-string. And after he cries about it, maybe he'll learn to play with confidence and overcome the obstacles that always faces QBs in the NFL.

Awww Aloco is sensitive today. At least your sentences were grammatically correct & well structured for a change.

too many ignorant people. i bet if most of you stood face to face with let's say dan marino and he told you henne does not have what it takes to be a legit qb, you would tell him he was wrong. looks like sparano is gone, and what ever coach comes in,i seriously doubt would keep henne around. yes i believe a change for carson palmer would do him good, same for henne. let's see if he can make it somewhere else. probably not!

And if Henne won't throw the long ball in PRACTICE (a la Greg Z.'s 1st-hand account), why does anyone think a new OC will have him throwing it (and well) next year?

thank you joe .i am trying hard .


Keep criticizing all you want. Change for the sake of change is not the answer. So you want Ireland and Sparano and Henning out and I assume Henne out. So what's your master plan to make things better in 2011, Joe? Do tell? Because again you're just following the masses. You don't have one original thought. Are you looking for us to draft a QB in the first round next year, Joe because that's not going to help your new coach next year. So do give us the blueprint for success Joe, I'd love to hear it. For the record, I'm saying change the OC, improve the running game, find a pass-catching TE, improve the line, another WR and you'll have a competitive team next year. Your turn?....

They very intent of 'freedom of speech' was not simply that you can say what you want, but more importantly that you are free to speak out specifically against your government, the press was free to critique, condemn, criticize as it felt appropriate. Our founding fathers specifically stated that if anything, it is only more patriotic to exercise those rights, rather than be quiet or afraid to speak your mind.

To those fans who think it is some how unpatriotic to criticize your team, or to suggest that those who criticize are not true fans, well then you don't understand the very roots of our Declaration of Independence.

I don't remember seeing in having watched the games, or hearing on this blog, many problems or complaints with our pass blocking until the Chicago game. The run blocking has been suspect all season. At least mid way through the season I would have considered us at worst average in pass protection. Just not sure I buy that argument.

D77, what makes marino the god of football? every fan has an opinion and let embrace all opinions .

can we find a coach as football savy as bellichek???? if not we will always be mediocre at best. i've never heard bellichek talk about play counts or stats. he says stats are for losers. i agree.

So, Norv isn't going anywhere, JUST LIKE I SAID! You don't fire a Coach who's team has the #1 defense and #2 offense. Obviously there were other things going on there.

Now, a Coach that has a 1-7 home record, to me that's a firable offense.

Only thing is, plenty of teams will be looking for head coaches in the offseason. Ross can't wait if that's his plans. He needs to make a decision by next Monday, and get rolling on a replacement. Otherwise, he should just let Sparano coach out his contract and replace him next year if he doesn't turn things around.


I'm not looking to be right. If someone comes in and can outplay Henne next year and lead this team to victory I'm all for it. I just want the Dolphins to win! But these ideas people have of blowing everything up all the time are just crazy talk! There are 15 teams in the league worse than us today and this despite us starting the year 2-0 and losing our last three games against inferior competition. I like everyone else am very disappointed in our season. I thought we were on our way after the 2-0 start. But I ask people if Sparano is such a bad coach how come the players are still busting their butts out there every week? How come they've only had TWO games all year where they had no business winning? How come the players aren't bad-mouthing the coach and turning on each other? The answer, because they still believe in Sparano. He's a good man, who doesn't throw his players or coaches under the bus and has earned the players respect. And most of you guys want to get rid of him because you don't think he's smart enough or enough of a game day manager! My only hope is that Ross isn't stupid enough to listen to the fans. That's not how you build Championships.

the idea of a player to profourm only one game a year is just bad.how can fasano ,marshall,bess and dansby profourm only grat in one game all season and the midgets in new england play well every single game in the freezing cold ?

how good would we have been if we picked up jermaine gresham (one of the best ever in the future) or dez bryant?
we have drafted terribly the last ten years. one of the worst teams ever. and you all want to keep ireland?
1-7 at home. our record takes away from the greatness of that failure.
sparano will not win anything. we blame henne and henning, but sparano backs them up, sayin he wants them bext year. and he is ultimately responsible for the poor play and record.
and we cannot go after carson palmer. he is too expensive at even half his salary, which would be eight million, and he had one of the best receiving cores in this league and then some, and lead the league in int and pic sixes! he has no heart, sat out the year when his team was out of the playoffs to rest an elbow that nobody knew what was wrong with it and never needed surgery, and he brings his sad sack brother, the worst qb in the nfl, with him whoever he plays for. we DO NOT want him. i was at the game in the playoffs when his legendary career ended and mediocrity began. lucky for him it was after he signed the big contract.
one last thing about henne, i have always been his biggest fan, i love michigan almost as much as the canes....but have u ever seen a worse fourth quarter qb? against some horrible teams, he handed them te game, and against even worse teams he had chances to win the game with a fg drive even and didnt. i cant remember one game that he had the chance to win the game and did.
enough is enough

I have a feeling that there will be an overhall in the offense department. We may not get Mankins but we can get a quality affordable guard and possibly another tackle. I do believe that Santonio Holmes is a FA at the end of the year I'm wondering if the fins would take a look at him.

i really think whats most telling about henne's play is when the opposition sums up his tendencies in their game planning. they know he doesnt take chances and prefers the checkdowns to throws downfield. they load the box and doubleteam marshall etc. titans finnegan told marshall what route he was running by our formations. ditto with the bills d-backs. henne/sparano/henning whatever;we show our hand.


Henne has FOUR 4th quarter comeback victories in his career. If we had any semblance of a running game or any idea what we are supposed to do with our play-calling we would have won more games in the 4th quarter. It's not ALL on Henne.

aloco at 2:58 i like that post. lol.

Greg Z,

That's on Henning. Henne being a 25 year old, 2nd year QB, does not have the authority to be out there audibilizing at the line of scrimmage. Will that change next year? Who knows.....

I hear ya Craig, and not disputing Sparano is a good man. And obviously he hasn't lost the locker room. But that could be because the locker room is full of rookies and young players that feel they don't HAVE a voice.

And, in the end, they might hate a guy like Coughlin, a tough disciplinarian, but his players played for him too.

In the end, I'm pretty much fine with either way Ross goes (fires Sparano or gives him another year). Another year for all the reasons you stated. Fire him for not getting rid of Henning earlier, for not adjusting during games, for horrible clock management, for horrible timeout management, for poor strategizing, for a lackluster oline which is the most tinkered with and expensive group on the team, and most of all, for a ONE AND SEVEN home record.

Now, if you can't even admit that those offenses are 1, on the Head Coach, him being Sparano, and 2, are worthy of losing one's job, then dude I'm not sure ANYTHING would be worthy of losing a job to you (in the name of continuity). If continuity is all it takes to make it in this league, then why isn't Tenn and Carolina and Cincy at the top of the league? I agree, there's something to be said for continuity. There's also something to be said for winning at home.


You change the OC and some of the players and it's a whole different team. The defence got the attention last offseason and the offence will get it this year. If you bring another coach in he'll bring all his own people and ideas in and none of us know if any of that is going to be any better. Cam Cameron did this and it was a disaster. The new guy may even spend our first pick on a QB which I think would be another mistake. Under Sparano, he knows the personnel, he knows what the problems are, he can get it fixed. It's a different team next year or he's gone at the end of 2011. This is not the time to be blowing things up.

Anyway Craig, I don't think we should dump Henne. This team has let go a bunch of players that are now productive with other teams, like Anthony Armstrong and Matt Roth just to name a few. Since we used a 2nd rounder on him, I'm all for giving him another chance, but I certainly don't want to hand him the keys of the car like we did this year. Big mistake. Competition baby. Make him earn it. I just don't see it. We'll see I guess. Time to pick up my daughter in school. Catch you later guys.

Well, he fixed the Special Teams 80%. Fired Bonamego, got rid of Jason Allen(who was a liability even on special teams), got a hold Nolan Carroll and Jonathon Amaya(tremendous pleasent surprise!) as flyers with Roberto Wallace, etc. Well, he fixed that.

Like the saying goes, "when it's all said and done there's usually much more said than done." It seems at very least we'll have a new OC and new QB or two to compete with Henne. Hell, maybe that will be enough. Don't see the need to change coaching staffs just for the sake of change. I do hope we seriously consider drafting a QB VERY HIGH. Even if we whiff it's worth the gamble.

if you cant win at home you should be fired. you cant let these road teams come in and get wins in our house. that tells me we have the wrong mix of vets to rooks. a vet team doesnt let that happen.

CraigM, LMAO You REALLY think you know everyone's thoughts don't you? LMAO Being original doesn't mean wrongly assuming you know what everyone else thinks.

I already stated my reasons for changing them out. I'm not an instant gratification guy. I listed 7 things on the previous page as starting grounds for dismissal. You can pretend I'm not answering you. The fact is, I answered your question before you even asked it. If you chose not to read it, I chose not to paste it for you. You are truly funny!

I have defended Henne repeatedly & wanna see him with a new HC & OC for 1 year. He'll either put it together or be a backup. So you're assumption is, once again, wrong.

Changes for 2011:
Nolan as HC. Not big on Gruden, Cowher, Fisher or Fox. We need agressiveness, he has shown that.

Get a GM & scouts who can evaluate talent & draft players based on their ability, not their size. Raid the Steelers scout Dept. if you have to.

Get an OC with a recent playbook & creativity. Someone like Mcdaniel or Bruce Ariens. Diverse playbook, multi-formation offense.

Get speed at RB. Make a big play for Deangelo Williams. Resign Ricky 1 year & try to sign M. Bush. That's a change of pace backfield.

Sign Ryan Kalil @ C, Garner to RG & sign Ryan Collede @LG & let Carey & Jerry fight it out for RT.

Draft an ILB to replace Crowder

Sign a CB or 2 in FA. (Taylor, Marshall, Jennings, T. Williams etc) With the Pats, we need DB's.

Sign a FS like Bigby, Landry, Ball, Poole, etc

Draft a TE with speed

Draft a QB

How is that for you? You shouldn't pigeon hold everyone in the same category. That's classless & ignorant to do.

By the way, if you had not noticed, Sparano was NOT in charge before the firing of Bonamego, cutting J. Allen, benching Chad Henne. Who was in charge? Ask around.

I hope Ross doesn't listen to the fans either by the way. Just me!

Can't believe I've managed to get most of two appraisals done while listening to sports radio and occasionally typing on this blog. No wonder the housing market is in the toilet.

joe schome wants the suit man mike nolan to be our HC AFTER HE WAS FIRED BY THE 49'S AFTER ONLY ONE SEASONA AND AFTER 8 MO AS DC WITH US ...SMART




Craig most of these guys expect henne to be perfect, Its obvious he has no time, yet still manages to complete around 60 percent of his passes. Boy that sure is innacurate. Half of these guys would not know a football from a pile of monkey shi%.

And Leslie Frazier. I'm pretty sure it's a league rule that every team must interview him. No, not really.

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