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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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I think the reason they run the Wildcat in the red zone is because of Henne.

Let's face it guys, the writing is on the wall. We are going to be having this same discussion next year because if Sparano stays and it appears this is the case then expect another 8-8 season next year. Cohwer and Gruden will be done and the Dolphins will try another moron head coach like Norv Turner. Sparano is sold on Henne. He continually makes excuses for him when it is clear to everyone that Henne needs to be benched and Thigpen should get a chance to see if he has any possible future before the Dolphins let him go to FA. Sparano will live and die with Henne and that is why the Dolphins should cut it's losses with this regime and give a proven head coach the oppurtunity to bring success to the Dolphins but I am afraid Ross is going to keep Sparano around in hopes he can miraculasly save this sinking ship of a organization. As long as Sparano supports Henne lets face it, it's time for the life boats because this ship is going down.

someone on the radio said why get cowher? he has about the same philosophy as sparano its like getting the same guy. ummm hello no its not like getting the same guy for one cowher knows how to use timeouts and manage the clock and two i doubt cowher would jump around like a 6 year old at disneyland after a first quarter field goal

Sparano's comments are very telling. He is about grading his QB's mistakes. Hey Tony, look at the following: Henne completed 62% of his passes, but only had an average of 6.3 yds per attempt. Hill completed 54% of his passes, but had 8.3 yds per attempt. For heavens sake, 6.3 yds per attempt is why Chad DUH Henne is not a successful QB -- he is Mr. Checkdown even when there is 2 minutes left and 90 yards to go or 19 seconds and 28 yards to go. Some running backs have a better yds per attempt than Henne does passing. Heck, Ricky had 5.1 yds per attempt yesterday. And, Jamaal Charles for KC had 6.7 yds per attempt on the season. Chad DUH Henne has 6.8 yds per attempt on the season.

Moral of the story ... you can make statistics mean anything you want. But, it all comes down to wins and losses. Henne is not a winner. A winner wins games for his team when in crunch time.

Lord Pombius,

Thank you! I don't see what game some people are watching. They think that 5 offensive linemen and a full back are supposed to block 8 or 9 defenders. If Henne proved he could connect on a deep pass or 2 more would have been called.

I have said that Dan Henning sucks with his play calling and not calling the right play at the right time but his game plan is what it is because of Henne's faults. He can't call deep passes and waste a play. Henne can't connect on that throw.

It's funny how all of you Henne supporters say that it's Dan Hennings fault and that if Henne had another cordinator to OPEN things up he could do better but Henning isn't the one having 13 straight games with at least 1 turnover and looking like a deer in headlights on final drives where he fails time and time again.

I think the reason they don't use Thigpen is that he is worse than Henne in reading coverages.

Chad Henne Mia 55.6 4th quarter passing rating for the season. I think that can pretty much sum up if he is a potential franchise qb. Ranks him 34th out of 37.


By the way:

Henning was the OC of the superbowl panthers, and the nfc championship panthers that lost to seattle.

And Jake Delhomme played his best football for him, PROBOWL LEVEL FOOTBALL.

Also Henning worked for the Jets, THE JETS!!!, in the times we were easily beaten by them and COACHED "THE GREAT" Vinny testaverde to a PROBOWL!!!


How many passes has that Brady dude thrown without a pic?

Perhaps his receivers never fall down or perhaps he is just " lucky "

Or could it be he has command of and a good " grasp " of the game , something I'm not seeing out there right now.

What kind of negative marks does he get when the only defender between him & his target is a DL 2 yards away & he throws it right into him? Or a dropped int in the 3rd that would have been a td. Or throwing the ball 2 yards downfield with 19 secs remaining & no TO's? You judge a QB by what he does in crunch time & Henne crumbles under that weight. They are going to have to get damn lucky to find a franchise QB for whose available in FA & their draft order.

DOLPHINS SUCKS,DOLPHINS SUCKS,DOLPHINS SUCKS,MR. ROSS if you dont do nothing about this team in the near future we the FANS ACROOS the world wont go to see that team PERIOD im planning a trip next seasson again for one or tow game from PUERTO RICO if if you made an upgrade and shake this if you call this a team i could go to see that games,shoot im mad as hell period.



That's correct.

Imagine Henne in Bellichick 5 wide system, he would just be out at half time with 3 picks easy.

An also I think Henning is a sure gone, not just because our offense stinks but also because he failed to develop Henne, we have to get HOPE to miami, only a new QB can do that.



And honestly i would rather have PALMER any day of the week.


I would have to say that this may be one of those numbers not telling the whole story type of cases.

I could count at least 6 plays alone where Henne tucked the ball (in my eye prematurely) and started to run on to be either sacked or have a minimal Marino-esque gain.

I don't know about Sparano's scoring system but if a QB has limited pocket awareness, gets shaken to run early most importantly with his eyes no longer downfield, can't snap the ball when the DEF jump offsides by a mile, coupled with touch being a hard to process thing and accuracy issues with ball placement... I would say these are the types of things that the stat sheet may reflect but your own eyes tell you may be problematic for that QB.

Someone gave Hill and Fitzpatrick as examples of QBs that would be an upgrade. I would say that both of them have a better feel for all these facets of the game.

I would concur that Henne didn't have some crazy statistically bad day but, when nursing a slight lead late in the game the INTS are paramount to erasing a ton of good work which winds you back up at a wash.

This team was built for a successful QB to have a 277 yard 1 TD and NO INT type of day and NOT a 347 yard 3TD and 2 INT day.


Bill Belichick is a master at making mincemeat out of quarterbacks that cannot decipher coverages.

Amazing that an offensive line guru like Sparano would let this line, healthy or not, be the achilles' heel all year long. Again, the line holds, Henne gets more time & doesn't make the dumb mistakes. Don't forget what having a running game does for a QB too. I think all of these things are playing off one another and hurting Henne's development. He may never be the starter we envisioned, but the team isn't exactly helping get to that point either.

Those defenders were jumping his routes from the very first pass.

(Which isn't hard because he locks onto receivers)

They were bound to get a few

Pass rush had him take his eyes down and scramble, as he's done all year.

Thanks Marc,

I forgot to add locks onto receivers. :)


I'm not going to be a Henne apologist and I was extremely frustrated with his play down the stretch yesterday.

But if you look at the big picture, Henne isn't playing with a loaded group either.

His 0-line is a mess, he only has two reliable receivers (and I don't think Marshall is completely healthy yet), he has no deep threat and his running game has been almost non-existent.

On top of all that, he has an offensive coordinator who is trying to run Pennington's offense without Pennington.

Look at Matt Cassel of 2009. A quarterback rating below 70, as many touchdowns as interceptions and a miserable record.

But, give him Charlie Weis to call plays that work for him, add a couple of offensive lineman and a solid running back and you have a guy throwing 28 TD's with 5 picks and a division title.

Not saying Henne can follow that exact pattern, but I see similar skills between the two QBs.

Henning is in the process of ruining Henne and Sparano isn't helping. Get the kid some coaching before it's too late.

Barring someone unforeseen becoming available, we are locked into Henne for 2011. Let's try and get some pieces to make it work for him.

Rob in OC,

Long time no chat. I agree with you across the board bro. The game is overwhelming Henne when it matters and to crunch the numbers is an insult to the fans watching the game.

Just like Sparano the game is too big for Henne.

This team sucks...Top to bottom

Been screaming it for years. Funny it takes a total melt-down of a season for you guys to catch up


He's as implicit as EVERYONE else.

I almost wish they would pack this team up in U-Haul trucks in the middle of the night and ship them to LA

Dear Santa,

Please continue to have ex-NT Ferguson text current NT Solai... He has been playing much better this year!

I don't know if its Armando or the coaches who are trying to convince us that it is acceptable to throw 2 int's a game...

Just look at what he's done all year long...

Henne is not the quarterback of future for the Dolphins!

Agreed. Soliai has been a PLEASANT suprise.

Which is good because Starks is back to his medicro self, and who are those other guys?

Langford, Merling, Brittle Bones, McDaniels?

Here's a sign that your team has a less than good QB. Ask a non-division rival football fan who the MIA starting QB is?

I bet we can all name good starting QB's...Why? Cause they make HIGHLIGHT REELS! That's why...

Rob in the OC....WHAT UP!!!!!!! Been awhile.
Good to see you back around. Looking forward to some lively debate come the offseason.

This is why Sparano must go.

Hey Andy NJ,

Yeah it definitely has been a while.

You and I are seeing things the same.

It's not even like I am condemning Henne as much as I am saying, give him a STARTER quality competition before next season starts (IF it starts) or we will be singing the Hot n Cold blues again next year.

I DO believe Henning the OC will have to shuffle his feet and that the play calling may help Henne somewhat. The bottomline that we are chirping about is the myriad of inatngibles he continually lacks... pocket awareness, touch, accuracy... stuff required of an NFL solid QB.

The NOT heaving it downfield when we need 7 points is INSANE? Do a hook and lateral if you want to throw an out route...something designed to get more than 7 yards!!! I mean why even have a guy like WR like Roberto Wallace or a $40 mil guy like tall lanky WR Brandon Marshall on your team?? He is not a tall lanky WR for ST prowess alone? News Flash...For the old "Heave HO"

It's the little nuances about Henne's game that scare me... remember when he didn't hit the TE on that simple short slant toss earlier this season, the roboticness of his motions, the lack of snapping the ball when Defenders are on his side.

The team has issues but we HAVE to get more comp at QB as Penne and Thigpen aren't pushing for Henne's job enough.

Cheers bro!

QB rating down from 22nd to 27th from 2009 to 2010. Near the bottom in 4th quarter passer rating in 2010. And that's with the Brandon Marshall addition and not counting the intangibles such as poor clock management, no mobility and not making anyone around you better. Enough said.

There's a lot of talk that if there is a lockout that Andrew Luck will go back to College for at least one more season. Scratch another 'potential' QB off the Dolphins list. There wasn't a chance they were going to get him anyways but it probably means someone else moves up.

Eli Manning FOUR more INT's yeasterday in a must win game. That's FIVE more than any other QB in the league this year. Some franchise QB!! Yes, I know Lord Pombius, that's one more Super Bowl than Henne has. You're right, I'm wrong!.....did I actually read your earlier post where you were sticking up for Dan Henning. I think that's a first on here guys....

Armando - didn't you just blog about keeping Sparano and Ireland? Now you know why some of us disagree with you!

I truly believe that the regression in Henne's play can be traced to the regression in the offensive line. Too many times I have seen Henne rushed into errors or sacked. Also, teams play the Dolphins offense more aggressively when they know that the running game is not performing. Whoever the coach is next year needs to make the offensive line the top priority.

Word Darryl Dunphy!

We are just clearing our pipes to roar, cackle or crow about the next batch of Fin hope about now eh? LOL

Great to see some of the board stalwarts still giving chase to the Fin dream of Lombardi trophidom! When I see a team like the Rams and even the Detroit Lions (that got jobbed on some victories earlier in the year) I know our Fins are capable and hopefully nearer to rounding the corner than we know.

I have read posts on the blog for a long time but just never got to posting.

I hope your holiday season has gone well outside of football.

Cheers bro!

The fact Henne even had the gall to throw his TE under the bus speaks volumes...

NONE of his receivers have done that to him ALL SEASON!

Guy stinks. The unfortunate truth is we don't and won't have a better option without getting EXTREMELY lucky in the draft or selling the farm.

I don't follow the draft, nor pretend like I know what I'm talking about, but, the past 3 years I know who's name fans here were clamoring for, and it's hard to say we wouldn't be a better team with them:

Suh, McFadden (both), Ryan, Earl (INT return) Thomas, Bowe, Harvin, the list goes on

And the free agents, I don't even know where to start

Of course, people all wanted that Browns QB too, but, this staff has missed far more than it's hit.

TELL THE FAT FAGG0T to go to hell

O-line a priority? HA

Last I checked the coach is a former O-line couch, and that unit has had more guys in and out than a common street walker...

I think coach Sporana forgot about the TD to Bess that should have been intercepted but squirted through the defenders hands, or the pick 6 the he threw that was dropped. The numerous batted balls, AGAIN. Henne and Henning have to go

im at the point where it just sucks to watch the dolphins play. its boring.

in contrast. I had a blast watching FIU's bowl game.

Be Careful what you wish for!

Remember Shula and Jimmy Johnson, a new guy only guarantees change. Draft a QB, replace a couple of coordinator and give Sparano one more year.

After all, a few less field goals during the year and we would be in the hunt right now.

"But I think the truth is more important than the facts."

That says it all. Your truth is more important than facts. LOL

Its amazing how many different names people wil make up just so it appears people agree with this point of view or that point of view.....

here's a note to keep in mind when you do that....from now on keep it vaugue...just say I want Bill Cowher or something similar...cause when you get into specifics like (norm Peterson, and quoting stats)....its just gives you away...OK...DB....

We got it...you want Bill Cowher.....

change the record aready

Boring is an understatement LP.

I was pumped when the season started...Marshall, Henne coming into his own. We were passing to Marshall...Man, and then...and then, well, really since we lost to NE and NY at home, it's been a travesty. Not that the wins prior to that were glorious, but, ahhh, who cares?

Panesco agreed,

I don't care what kind of fuzzy math TS uses, there is no way in hell there were only 6 "bad" plays the whole game Sunday.

After the 2nd round investment and so much time as well I think Henne stays but hopefully because someone more capable has been introduced as the starter.


What else is there left to say? Sparano thinks Henne played well. Never mind the fact that Henne can't WIN the game, but it just wasn't his fault. Really, the whole thing is a joke. Sparano continues to demonstrate that he is in over his head. He is not a position coach who is grading his players to report to the head coach. He is supposed to be the leader of the team and the ``face man" of the organization. He has an assistant coach mentality and needs to be relieved of his duties.

So many people on this blog are just reactionary clowns. I bet less than 5 % have even put pads on and played the game.

To the majority of this blog and Armando at times all success and all failure falls on the QB.

The reality is quite different. It takes all 11 players executing together for a play to have success.

Coaching style and approach to the game have a large impact on how the team performs as well.

After what I have read today I have a feeling that Sparano will not be fired and either will Ireland. With that being said I wonder what kinds of Offensive overhaul will be conducted. It appeared that Incognito did a good job at center yesterday. With that being said I wonder what the FO is going to do with the first pick. If Jake Locker or Ryan Mallet fall do they draft them (remember Brady Quinn dropped)? or do they trade down bc of all the holes on offense. Who will be targeted during FA (if there is a season next yr god I hope so)? I wouldnt dismiss the fins drafting WR Ryan Broyles if they trade down. He has blazing speed, good hands, good route running, and can return punts. Could be a good pick but only if they trade down and dont reach for him. There are good QBs in the later rounds that might be successful but you just never know how they react. These QBs are (Pat Devlin, Ricky Stanzi, Blaine Gabbert, Colin Kaepernick, etc). I would rather trade down for a second and get Mikel Leshoure in the 2nd hopefully he will drop.

If coach Fisher were available would Fin fans want him?

(I mean besides those that say stay with Sparano)

Rob in OC..Yeah it seems like this blog is at its best when we argue about free agents, Senior Bowl prospects, and the draft.. This offseason maybe super charged because it may involve a new staff, and quarterback. We will see....

To this thought. This years draft class has underperformed. Injuries, lack of playing time,or rookie mistakes have been the root of this problem. I'm not saying these players won't ever contribute. I'm saying that we need much more production from our rookie class next year. We will be counting on the draft to fill some of our glaring weaknesses. These problems won't be filled by mercenary free agents alone. Look at the top squads, all have had major contribution from their rookies.

Dim bulbs on here.


Message from Sparano....Henne is the QB. If thats not enough FOR FANS to know that Sparano has to go, nothing will open up your eye's. The ONLY item that matters is to win. Not personal records, not great stat's...to WIN.
Message to Sparano, your team lost to the Lions, like they did against the Browns and Bills...all teams that were expected to lose to your Dolphins...yet all three beat you and like so many Headcoach's before you, all I hear as a fan is "we have to fix this". When you tell us that Henne played well you are telling us that the Dolphins should have won, but it was just one of those things...that they didn't. When was the last time Henne beat a good team? When was the last time it took more than a field goal to win a game for the Dolphins? Make all the excuses you want...but the day will come...soon I hope...that the Fans and finally Ross will give you a message!

Wow what a bumbling idiot this guy is.
Back to coaching o-lines Sparano.
And since this is your expertise thanks for the wonderful insight on Jake Grove , Justin Smiley, Pat Mcquistan , Shawn Murphy, Jon Jerry, Donald thomas,.
Fot all this we coulda kept LEKERKERKERKERKERKER !
I hate guys who cant admit there own downfalls .
Everyone in this world is wrong from time to time.
Be a man at least before you bow out of town Sparano. You failed us all !

Yeah, how many TD's does Brady's new TE have?

Ron in OC,

I'm a fan of Jeff Fisher. I'm also a fan of John Fox (probably in the minority here). It would depend on what the upheaval would be in this team. I still don't believe SParano is the real problem with this team. I like the guy.

aloco.. answer the q... what other teams will your bum henne start for other than the phins.?...... i'll answer for you....... zero.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.. that's your bum henne aloco.lol

howcome you never see the greats throw pick 6s at the end of the game to lose the game? Players slip on everyone. Henne either has really bad luck or he's not throwing to the right person.



If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

my mock draft for the fins

Trade down in 1st round

1st pick C Wisniewski
2nd pick RB Mikel Leshoure
3rd pick WR Ryan Broyles
4th Pick QB Pat Devlin or Ricky Stanzi
Rest of draft BPA for OL maybe another RB, CB, or ILB



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