Calm down. Breathe.
I'm sure by now you've seen the tweets and the hyperventilating online headline, "GM: Henne could remain starter," and gone into something of a panic thinking the same Dolphins that are promising all this change will come back in 2011 with the same quarterback they lined up and failed with the past two seasons -- Chad Henne.
And now you're freaking.
Well, calm down. Breathe.
The Dolphins are not blind. They saw the season unfold as you did. They know Chad Henne was the fourth-best quarterback in the AFC East last season -- which wouldn't be so bad if the AFC East didn't have only four teams.
They saw the frustrating miscues. The ball to a wide open Kevin Curtis that sailed 10 yards over his head. The pass to a wide open Anthony Fasano in the Baltimore game in the end zone just prior to halftime that sailed way over his head. The pass to Brandon Marshall in the opener that was so short, Marshall had to stop and wait for it to come down. The deep pass to Brandon Marshall in the second game at Minnesota on the same play that was, again, underthrown and forced Marshall to slow down for it. The deep pass to an open and streaking Brian Hartline down the sideline in the first New England game that, again, was too far out there. I'm pretty sure there was another such overthrown pass to Hartline in another game, but I don't have the time to go through all the play-by-plays right now. You get the point.
The Dolphins saw the batted passes, after batted passes, after batted passes that killed downs and sometimes drives. They saw the 19 interceptions that overshadowed the 15 TD passes.
Guys, this is a team that benched Henne and made him share snaps in the season finale. The Dolphins know what's up.
So don't get your hackles up over a news site headline that tells you Henne could remain the starter, while leaving out that important detail that he also might not remain the starter.
I've told you since the season ended that Miami's plan is to keep Henne, for now, and work with him and try to squeeze whatever ability he has to see if that ability adds up to him being a good starting quarterback. This is not news.
It was not news when GM Jeff Ireland told reporters in Mobile for the Senior Bowl:
"He's shown some aggressive tendencies, he's shown some exciting throws. He's got all the ability in the world. We've just got to put a plan together and an offensive philosophy that fits Chad Henne, and I think we'll do that."
Of course they'll do that. Henne is the only quarterback on the team right now! They have no choice right now.
But you know what they Dolphins will also do? They'll try to find a quarterback to replace Henne. If you ask me, that should have been the headline, although that is not exactly news, either. You've known all along the Dolphins will be quarterback shopping this offseason.
And Ireland admitted as much.
”We’ll evaluate what’s out there like we do every position in free agency and the draft," Ireland said.
The only reason a team is evaluating the talent at the position is to add talent at that position. You think the Dolphins are evaluating top-tier talent at left tackle?
The headline could just as easily have been: "Dolphins to evaluate new quarterback talent." And that headline wouldn't have been news, either.
The facts are whatever Ireland said Tuesday can and probably will change three times before the 2011 season begins. You remember last year when he said the team was confident Gibril Wilson, terrible his first season in Miami, would play much better his second season? Everyone took that to mean Wilson would be on the Dolphins. He was cut a few weeks later.
Also, how smart would it be for Ireland to come out today and say, "We really, really need a quarterback so we're going shopping."
That would have been poor business because it signals the Dolphins are shopping thus are probably desperate for help. That would weaken the Dolphins. And in the NFL, the weak get eaten. So, of course, the GM's mentioned looking everywhere else for a QB as something of an afterthought.
Henne is in the plan right now, folks.
And the plan is to work with him until it is time to give up on him. Nobody knows when give up time is. But the plan is also to go out and find a possible replacement and probably two -- one for the short term, one for the long term. The plan is let everyone compete for a starting job in 2011.
The plan is to start the best quarterback on the team in 2011.
Sure, that might be Henne.
And it might not.