Chad Henne spoke with the media today in advance of Saturday's important preseason game at Tampa Bay.
The minor challenge he had to his starting job prior to last week's game is apparently passed. Now, he's clear to discuss the return of Jake Long, his expectations for Tampa Bay, what statement he can make in that game, and whether the Dolphins offense is going to shock the world this season.
By the way, I noticed yesterday some of you commenting on Tony Sparano's speech pattern. Everyone is different folks. Henne has his own style, too.
(On having Jake back in the lineup) - “Yeah, it’s good to see him back, not only is it good to see him back, his physical talent is getting better, leadership qualities also, helping out in the huddle, doing a really good job with the offensive line, the guys in the huddle so yeah, all-round, it’s great to have him back in the huddle.” (On having him on your blindside) - “It’s great, he’s going to do his job every time. Feel comfortable, he’s going to give it his all, and it’s just a lot of fun having him here.”
(On looking forward to the next preseason game) - “Yeah, absolutely, I think, overall, Tampa is a fast, young team, upcoming and were excited to get better, were excited to get more plays in as an offense and I think it’s just going to be a good challenge to see where we progressed from last week to this week.”
(On being more an attacking offense) - “Absolutely, we’re definitely out there to attack them. If they give us a coverage that we see, we change and audible the play and we’re definitely on the attack in the game and they’re going to have to adjust to us.”
(On playing more to your strengths than compared to last year) - “Well, I think it’s more in my hands, I think as a quarterback, I have more audibles, I can get us in and out of the plays, get us the right plays, and give us a shot out there on the field.”
(On looking more comfortable on the field) - “Maybe, it’s things I’ve learned in the offseason, I think, it’s going on year four for me so I definitely feel a comfort level, but there’s still a lot of work to be done and I’m still not set in stone and knowing everything about the offense and the little twitches here and there, but I definitely feel like we’re going in the right direction, feeling really good where we’re at right now.”
(On where do you think you are in terms of game simulation) - “Well, I mean, we pretty much, we have most of our stuff in whether we ran the plays or not, we did install most of the playbook, but you know, it’s game week, you know, so you got to prepare for each and every team, there’s going to be different game plans in them.”
(On how much you had to running practices in the offseason) - “Yeah, definitely, very beneficial to myself, on the leadership part of the side, and just, you know, getting the guys to listen to me rather than coach and I think you get a little more out of it when its player to player rather than coach to player and kind of get them in the right spot, even though, you tweak a little bit about the route, you get a feel for them against stiff defensive coverages.”
(On biggest difference in running backs) - “Well, I mean, obviously, last year we had two powerful backs, they can run the ball up and inside, we didn’t really use them a lot in the passing game. I think this year we’re more versatile in Reggie Bush, going out there, Daniel Thomas definitely go out there in routes, but I think we still have that power attitude also with all those backs. You know, Daniel (Thomas) and then Larry (Johnson) out there definitely are power backs.”
(On how the league is going to be shocked with the new offense) - “Well, I mean, it’s definitely a big change, it’s going to be a big change for everybody so you know, they’re watching film on us now, they’re studying us hard so they’re going to have adjustments on their defensive side and we’ll see a lot of different coverages than we have in the previous years, but we’re excited to see, we got to get to Tampa this week and see what we can improve next week."
(On this game being a statement game)- “Yeah, I mean, they were a great team last year, started off very fast, have a lot of speed on defense, the biggest part that the defense reads the quarterbacks eyes pretty well so you got to be alert where everybody’s at, fit in the windows, and make the smart plays out there, but definitely a great test for us. Their offense, you know, got (Josh) Freeman back as a quarterback, he’s doing a really good job there so we’re going to have a good shot to see where we at right now.”
(On hoping to see after playing Tampa) - “We’re definitely going to try to improve on things that we can improve on from last week. You know, we got to come out fast, start fast as we did last week, put more points on the board when we get a chance into the red zone, put touchdowns on the board rather than field goals so we’re just looking to get those drives going, start fast, and make them adjust to our speed.”
(On the difference of having Reggie Bush in the lineup rather than not) - “Yeah, I mean, he definitely helped us out opened up some lanes in the passing game and obviously, in the running game. He’s a hard runner, once he hits the hole, he’s agile, makes somebody miss, it’s definitely tough to bring him down so he opens up a lot of space for us from the offensive side of the ball.”
(On impressions of Charles Clay) - “Yeah, Charles (Clay) is great. He’s coming a long, he’s still learning the offense, but done a great job, but what shocks me is his speed, he can really get down the field and attack, if he has a corner on him, you know, he can almost, you know, sometimes run under it, and safeties and linebackers, it’s going to be a little mismatch, but he’s done a really good job, he’s improving in his blocking, if we need him in there to block, but we’re excited in having him here.”
(On working with Mike Pouncey) - “Mike's been great, and smart guy, really smart guy. Picked up things really quickly, obviously he was there in the offseason workouts a little bit and that helped out, but our offensive line coach, Guge (Dave DeGuglielmo), has done a great job with him. Bringing him along, giving him technique, letting him make calls up front rather than me just giving him the answers so trying to build him up so he can make some of the calls and take a little off my plate.”
(On the shotgun snaps) - “Well, I mean, he’s been doing a great job. He gets it in the right places, I think last week we only had one miscue on the snap, but doing a really good job putting the ball where it needs to be and you know, being decisive where the snap is.