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Limited practices, no offseason work is no excuse

First some news: The Dolphins have agreed to contract terms with free agent linebacker Marvin Mitchell and are expected to have him in the fold for practice Monday once he passes his physical, an NFL source said Sunday evening. Mitchell is primarily a reserve with four years experience in New Orleans. He was a seventh-round pick of the Saints in 2007.

On another front, there is no question the early part of this NFL season will provide something of an advantage for teams that not only have kept their head coaches from 2010 employed but also their coordinators.

The point is no offseason camps or OTA days coupled with limited work during training camp (no double-session practices) works against team installing new schemes on offense or defense and really, really works against teams that are installing both a new offense and defense and working under a new head coach.

The Dolphins kept coach Tony Sparano for this season so that is good on the continuity front. They are playing their second season under defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and his scheme so that is good also. However, the offense under new coordinator Brian Daboll is new

And that is a challenge.

The truth is that puts the Dolphins' offense behind division rivals New York, New England and even Buffalo because all three of those are running the same offense this year as they did a year ago.

We all have to understand and accept that. The Miami offense is going to be behind the rest of the division for a while.

Now, this is something you don't have to accept:

The Dolphins are getting as much work this training camp as any other NFL team and certainly no less than any other NFL team. So the excuse that poor play is a product of limited practice time is bogus because other teams, including ones that are playing well, are practicing the same amount.

It's like folks that come out of a game complaining about heat or rain or snow as the reason they did not perform. It's hot for both teams. It's raining or snowing on everybody. The excuse rings hollow.

Also, those excusing Chad Henne for not looking particularly sharp the other night need to stop. I don't want to hear Henne struggled because the offense is new to him. The truth is he has admitted to having the playbook since February.

So 4 of 8 for 77 yards with 1 TD and 2 INTs is not good. And it's especially not good compared to other quarterbacks who entered Week 1 of the preseason in similar tough situations.

Kevin Kolb, traded to Arizona from Philadelphia, was among those players who could not practice with his new teammates until the new collective bargaining agreement was reached. So he missed the first week of practice. He completed 4 of 7 passes for 68 yards without a TD or INT.

Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy, working under a new head coach, in a new offensive system, working against Green Bay's starting defense, working with a lineup that doesn't necessarily look star-studded, completed 9 of 10 passes for 135 yards with 1 TD and 0 INTs.

Jacksonville's Blaine Gabbert completed 9 of 16 passes for 85 yards with neither a TD nor an INT. He's a rookie. He got his playbook three weeks ago. He was facing New England's first-team defense. He didn't look great but neither did turn the ball over.

I'm not saying Gabbert and McCoy are better than Henne or anyone else. I am saying that they are facing similar difficulties, and in some cases, a more difficult situation than Henne. And they're performing.

So I don't want to hear about a limited number of practices being the reason one guy or one unit is struggling. Everyone else in the NFL has similar issues.

Deal with it. Overcome.

[Blog note: The Dolphins practice at 11 a.m. Monday. I'll be here for a live practice blog. Join me then.]


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people HENNE is our QB. Whether we like it or not. Deal with it. We'll see who has a better year. Henne or Mccoy.
We're stuch this year and all the dumping on henne will only make things worst for the phins.

This is getting old!! There was nobody that we were going to add this year that was A LOCK at QB.

Orton isn't lighting the world on fire in Denver under a system he knows. Why would anyone beieve he come into Dolphin camp and been more successful here?

If we drafted Mallet or anyone else they would have been rookies with much to learn and would not have been immediately better than Henne or Moore.

Who really believes that Kolb, McNabb, Young or any other vet traded this offseason would have been gauranteed to be better than Henne in THIS system?

FACT is that the fins were not going to shine at QB this season with anyone brought in to replace Henne. It is a position of weakness for this team this year.

Now I am not supporting Henne. He looked medocre at best. But it was a preaseason game without his two best weapons, with out his pro bowl left tackle, with a new make shift line and with a new offensive system.

He needs to improve. He needs to stop staring down receivers, he needs to make decisions faster, and he needs to extend plays by being more nimble in the pocket (something Moore did very well the other night).

I think he will be an average QB but wiht this team that could get them to the playoffs.

What we need to be COMPLETELY focused on is the O-Line and D-line play. They both looked really bad against Atlanta. If we can't get push up front our running backs will not accompish much (same problem Ronnie & Ricky had last year). Our D-Line is supposed to be a strength but they got pushed back too many times in the first quarter.

when henne gets his 10 million a year contract , I PREDICT ARMANDO WILL BE WORKING IN THE FARMER'S MARKET .

What I don't get is how guys can draw these conclusions after such a small sampling of work.

Posted by: Craig M | August 15, 2011 at 08:58 AM

When the small sampling of work looks just like the past large sampling of work, people with logical minds draw logical conclusions.

Let's get off the Fasano pass. It was one play. It could have been caught, it wasn't. It could have been thrown a little better, it wasn't. It was one single play. Likewise, the Hartline play says nothing. He hit a wide open WR in stride. That is considered standard procedure for an NFL QB.

What concerning is that he is still making poor decisions (2nd int), still frequently off target (Bess on that short pass), still locking on to recievers, and just seems one step behind the rest of the game speed wise.

Personally I don't see anything unfair about Armandos analysis above.


Bruce says:
August 15, 2011 at 9:17 am
aaaah,little chirps coming about how henne is going to sit.”where he belongs”,and moore to take over. ireland will over rule spazano. omar, why haven’t you posted anything on this, i know that you have also heard these same chirps, you will be the last to post about it then.lol

:from the ss.

Armando, if the other three teams kept their same offense, wouldn't that be to our advantage since our D has seen it before? Wouldn't the pressure be on them to learn our new offense?

Yes Craig, I am concerned about the D, for a team with little change from last year...

Now I know they did not show any major hands since it is pre season...

But that means athletically they got dominated because I dont think atlanta was showing their true game either.

That was a concern.


nor does it explain why Moore looked better then Henned and didnt have the mental mistakes Henne did.

Well, Mr Football, its obvious you have NEVER played football at any level. Practice is everything,,,let me type that again. Practice is everything especialy to a team full of new people including the new OC, like the Dolphins.
I do like this forum but Mando how can u write so uninformed? Ive been writing to u and others the new CBA will ruin the NFL with cut practices. No rookie hit the NFl knowing the offense/defense, it takes practice.

Would the reel fans step up please!
Now I'm not making excuses BUT;
This is only the first PRE-SEASON game with limited work. Mando talks about other QB's who's outing's weren't as bad as Henne's. So lets look at Aaron Rodgers play. He's the super bowl MVP, has the least amount of "rust" on him, played and practiced more than all but one other QB last year, is proclaimed to be one of the best and is on a team favored to be in this years super bowl. Further more he played against Cleveland.

6 for 8 74yds 1 TD
1st pass incomplete.
2nd pass check down for 5yds.
3rd pass incomplete.
4th pass check down for 6 yds.
5th pass check down for 6 yds.
6th pass deep for 31 yds. (Donald Driver)
7th pass check down for 5 yds.
8th pass complete for 21yds TD. (Greg Jennings)

So those are the SB MVP numbers in his first pre-season game, which are not great by any means. If these are Henne's numbers I'm sure Armando and most of you wouldn't be happy because of the check down passes.
While Henne's performance is not something to be excited over, its nothing to panic over either.
That "behind Fasano" pass was in all NFL terms a BACK SHOULDER PASS. Had Fasano not had his hands up it would have hit him in the LEFT SIDE OF HIS FACE MASK! And depending on who you talk to that pass is probably placed in the right spot because of the DB just off to the right of Fasano. So that INT is not Henne's fault!
For those of you with a DVR. Look at it. Pause it. Rewind it. Watch it in slow motion! What ever you do DON'T call it behind him!
I was one who wanted Mallett. I still now want Orton. I don't know if Henne will play well for the Dolphins this year. But I'm not giving up hope after any of the pre-season games.

moore is better. period!!!

All you hating on Henne can go root for the Jets...Phins don't need your support....

Moore? Same guy that SUCKED on the Panthers....hmmm...


I think if people are going to be critical off Henne then it rightly should be fair to give credit and blame where it's due. Guys want to focus on the negatives with Henne and that's all. The positives were he threw a great pass to Hartline, he had a nice ten yard scramble for a first down, he moved well under a lot of pressure and he showed some emotion on the field. The negatives were the INT intended for Bess and he still looked a little tentative.

Guys want to continue to judge him from everything over the last three years. I'm saying let's judge him on Friday's performance. I'm saying there's still not enough there to say yah or nah.

Oh great, another Henne conversation. You would think from the way this has been talked about (in mind numbing detail) that Henne was actually going to be the starting QB a year from now. Most likely he will not so continuing to dwell on this subject is futile. Snnooorrrreeeeee

dbmfins, 6 for 8 with one td are incredible numbers. I think you disproved your own point.

Here's the thing and then I'm officially sick of talking about this. First of all I have been the biggest supporter of being patient with Henne that there is. Now with that being said I also wanted to see him come out this preseason and take control of this offense by delivering accurate throws while getting the ball out quick. I wanted to see him stop staring down receivers (a trait most QBs learn in highschool) and confuse the defense about who his primary is.

He has not done any of this. Wait, he has, but as usual only in spurts. Consistently inconsistent. I'm giving him until the end of the preseason to prove he can be that guy CONSISTENTLY and then I'm giving up on Chad. Nothing against the kid but I will be done waiting.

And to the people saying he's going to turn it around and become our franchise QB I hope you're right but I seriously wouldn't count on it if I were you. So far he hasn't shown that he's changed AT ALL. By the end of the preseason, during the New England game he should like like a confident QB who can make all of the throws and limit his mistakes to errant throws and the occasional interception. These things should not be the norm and if they continue to be we will know what we have.


If you look at just the numbers yeah there good. But my point is look inside of them. 4 of 6 completions were check down passes. Again, if those are Henne numbers the conversation on this blog wouldn't be any different than it is now. And all things considered, those numbers are not great.

Complaints about Henne ring hollow because there is no answer to the problem RIGHT NOW. There is no better option than Henne and incessant whining about it wouldn't change it. We will revisit this issue after the season. In the meantime, support your damn team!

Poizen/CraigM, yes, I put some of the 17-0 deficit on the defense. I missed some of the 1st quarter because my reception went out, but I thought Matt Ryan went 3 and out 1st series. Then Miami came out, INT, and that's what led to Atlanta's 1st score. I could be wrong, that's what I heard happened (but I'm re-recording and will see for myself what really happened).

Regardless, the defense can't get eaten up that easily. The secondary looked like the weak link of the defense again, so that's disappointing. But, this is why (for me, a guy who believe the best defense is a good offense) Henne and the offense need to start quicker than they typically do. Not sure how to correct that, but hopefully at least the Coaches ACKNOWLEDGE it first. Then they can work on correcting it.

Either way, to me, 2nd-3rd string defense well outplayed the starters. Like everyone said, this is the first game, I still think our defense will be elite (or close) this year, but they can help the offense by not letting teams run up 1st downs on them (in the first half, I think Atlanta had like 11 1st downs) and moving down the field. Good field position is a necessity if the offense is not going to be elite.

Henne sucks. He is a mediocre QB who had a decent resume at Michigan. He will never be a great QB and after this season, he will be gone. There are other QBs with less experience and rookies who are far better than Henne.

One the bright side, this team played better against ATL than at any game during last preseason. That's about the only positive thing I can say for whatever that's worth. Henne is Henne but the rest of the team as a whole is actually a bit better.

DC, I agree. It seems like the defense will fold this year everytime there is a mistake on offense. That's coaching. Jets defense or ravens defense won't fold as soon as sanchez or flacco make a mistake. They try to get the ball back and give them another try. To me this is coaching. If a coach can't keep a team together then they have no business coaching in the NFL.

I think the Dolphins are fortunate that someone other than those posting on this blog is in charge of making player and talent decisions for the club.

God forbid that Armando, or any of the fools posting here, be given that responsibility.

We wouldn't win a game!



He did make changes, he scrambled out of the pocket to avoid 2 sacks, and hit a falling receiver in the hands on the run, receiver dropped it... it was a tough catch, tougher throw.

He showed emotion with his teammates and he flipped on a o-linman for a false start.

All things Henne did not show, command.

I watched the game and closly. moore DID NOT look better.

So for you not to see some of those changes... not sure your patience was really there.

DC, you will see my point about half this blog when you watch the replay... Even Mando.

the Fasano int, the 1st one you reference was really bad on Fasano. Look, it happens, but for anyone to blast the QB on that, it just proves there are Haters over fans in this blog.

Henne is not a starter QB. Period. Sparano will be through by week 5 y he'll be kicked out by the end of the season. Hopefully Ireland will be too.
It isn't rocket science. Just f.. common sense what is needed. Morons...

Did henne have some bad plays the other night? Yes. Did other guys have some bad plays the other night? Yes. It was the first preseason game, where there wasn't a gameplan. Since Marshall and Bush were both sitting on the sideline, it put our 2 most dangerous weapons out of commission and Atlanta didn't have to worry about them. Would I have preferred a sharper performance, you bet. But, i'm just hoping that as a team we get more consistent all the way around as the preseason goes on. I'd like to see Armando's work if he didn't have his two most weapons, the internet and the cell phone. I'm sure it'd be different for him as well.

Lou D!!
Long time, how you been?

Seriously, preseason is not a great indication of what the regular season looks like, i mean rex grossman looked sharp against the Steelers, really, this is because they dont install none of their blitz packages like they do in reg season. Anyways, im not saying henne is going to be good, but just because moore like decent against the 2nd n 3 def doesnt mean nething

Only some Dolphin fans think Henne is good. No one else. He couldn't even complete a short pass to Bess without him having to make a Highlight catch. Then he over threw Hartline on the TD. The man has issues...

Mike and Mike this morning were saying that Brady was looking pretty good. And maybe a good way to go for Miami.

Haven't seen any clips or do I know if it's a good idea. BUT just the fact that a national sports show is talking about this speaks volumes, don't you think?

Armando, please enough with the Henne hating. Both interceptions had more then one person to blame... why don't you bash Bess for running the wrong route, or Fasano for being such an underachiever? I'm just saying report fair, I understand emotion is part of being a sports fan but many depend on you to have balance. Orton sucked, Moore was not better. On another note Wilson was all over the field, and our linbackers looked confused at times. Peace


cocajoe, brady didn't play.....

henne only has 5 fans that are not related to him.

craig m

Henne showed some "command" improvements. Acting like the leader of the offense, good to see.

Still, we got the same uneven results. It's preseason which, in the first game, is a realy just a glorified practice. I'm not going to hang my hopes on 1 "game".

I saw nothing to base or formulate a strong opinion either way. Until he is facing a defense that has game planned & he is running a game planned offense for a specific opponent, his progress is impossible to gauge.

The only thing I will say is this....IMHO, his biggest flaws are accuracy & locking onto his primary target. The pass to Fasano, although he should have caught it, the ball was off target & made it a tougher catch than it had to be. He was also locked into his primary target.

We'll know for sure in a few more weeks what we got when the games count.

I missed Sparano, Ireland and Ross.

So I guess Henne is the QB this year

No matter what the rest of you dummies think

Orange, not saying he did...believe they were talking about practice. But the point is, the national media is talking about replacing Henne.

Pollster, add me to the Henne Fan list.

Truth is, without those two dropped passes by Fasano and Bess, he would have been 6/8 with 1 int and 1 TD.

He would have had a qb rating of over 110. He's been doing that regularly, and that's quite an improvement over last year.

He looks solid leading the offense. Those who hate Henne will always hate him, but he's going to have an outstanding year, and we are lucky to have him as our number one quarterback.

Oh, btw, in case anyone missed the last blog, CraigM is looking for attention. He needs a show of hands to feed his ever expanding ego.

If you liked the Pats acquisition of Ochocinco & Hayneworth, line up and kiss his hand because the rumor is, they might be cut. To him, that makes him right & you all wrong!

Line up & admit that MS. CraigM is your "daddy"

fake pollster 10:31

sparano ireland and ross have proven they are not henne fans.

sparano only saying in the offseason he is the starter 'for now' because he is the only qb signed. wow that is a vote of confidence.

ireland spending 3 days trying to sign orton

ross promising an explosive dynamic offense. does henne conjure up thoughts of explosive and dynamic? one good pass every three quarters is won't cut it.

orange, I agree about Henne, takin to much heat and played well.

BUT, I don't care about that second INT being on someone else a little bit, Henne has no business throwing that ball where he did with 3 guys surrounding the receiver on the sideline.

I did not see the game from Atlanta, so I can not be sure, but it seems Bess had already made his break the wrong way before Henne let go of that ball.

that second INT was all on Henne, and should not have been thrown. VERY BONE HEAD PLAY.

That is the ONLY thing I can pin on Henne however. He escaped the rush, took command of the game better, lit up Murtha for a false start. Used his feet well.

beyond that one play, I think henne did well.

And I know all this for fact because I work for the Dolphins

Well, not really but I have played QB,

Well not true either but I have played Madden and with my self

So I'm an expert

Joe, your a waste of sperm. Truth hurts??

Joe Schmoe 10:37 AM

There are two reports out now today saying neither of those players are likely to be cut. One on pft the other espn.

I didn't see Craig M post them. I wonder why?

"Truth is, without those two dropped passes by Fasano and Bess, he would have been 6/8 with 1 int and 1 TD."

Posted by: blamo

Not so fast, chief. Bess made an OUTSTANDING catch off of, as usual, an errant Henne pass. Fasano bobbled an errant Henne pass resulting in an INT.

In short, take the good with the bad and realize that Henne was what he was - a guy who threw interceptions on 25% of his passes against the Falcons and when he wasn't doing that he had accuracy problems.

"Fasano bobbled errant Henne pass"

Seminole Sam, that's why you are the joke of the blog. Everyone on TV, the radio, the press all agree that was Fasano's fault. Everyone that is except YOU. Who just has such a blind jealous hatred of Henne.
You sir have zero credibility. Your a no one with no valid opinions except "I hate Henne" day after day, post after post. Your a broken record and a whiny little crying girly to boot. This is why people here cant stand you.

Man, this is a weak @ss blog entry by Mando. Actually the entire Dolphins page here at the Herald sucks. There's nothing there or stuff gets posted about every 8 days by writers. I mean, LeBatard on that puff piece on Tebow? Who cares? The only thing that interests me about Tebow is that gf he had at Florida with that incredible rack. Honestly Mando, compressed schedules not being an excuse is your best effort in a shortened pre season with so much going on?? Bullocks to you and the entire Herald staff. The posters here provide much better analysis an insight than the people getting paid.

Armando. Will you and your fellow sports writers for the Dolphins please try and focus on something positive for a change! Livas and Wilson had great games on Friday. Focus on the fact that Wilson is gonna be a great player if he continues the way he's going, and that he's a good example of the kind of hustle the entire team needs. For craps sake, the first two articles on the DOLPHINS page is some crap about a Raiders fullback, and how few penalties the Rams had!

Craig, you're so predictable! LMAO You are such a whining BABY!

WHAAAAAAAAA Nothing an insignificant schlep like you says would ever bother me LMAO

Face the facts, everyone here KNOWS you. Pick on me all you like. It changes nothing. You're defeated. EVERY TOPIC RESULTS IN THE EXACT SAME THING "Let's see who's right"

LOOOOSER! When you run out of lines, you alwasy resort to the same thing. EVERYONE BUT YOU KNOWS IT.


You can't even admit it! And if you can't see it, you're blind too.

Your arrogance is ONLY superceeded by your ignorance!

You come here to try to make yourself look smarter. NOT.

Your an epic failure in almost everyway.

Look around Craig, take a poll. Don't take it from me, go ask for yourself LMAO

Cris, it's simple. CraigM only spews his nonsense when he tries to get people to admit he is right. When he turns out to be wrong, he shuts up. In this case, he put the carriage before the horse.

Everyone knows it, don't take my word for it.

Sam Blows (I think you meant "Sam Knows"),

First, everybody doesn't agree that it was Fasano's fault ALONE, which is what you're implying. The fact is Henne started the dominoes in motion by throwing yet another bad ball. Period.

Second, I don't hate Henne.

Coming to this blog last week, I will say, there were alot of fake CraigM names floating about 1 day.

I vividly remember 1 linking CraigM's husband to Odinseye in a possible match making attmept.

Quite humorous!


If the guy would just say, oops, I called that wrong, sure would make it a lot easier to debate with him. Whenever he is wrong, he avoids and evades all questions about the matter. Really childish.

No matter what Armando writes or what the subject here is Seminole Sam's next 20 blogs

Henne sucks. Wahhhhh
Henne sucks. Wahhhhh
Henne sucks. Wahhhhhhh

On and on and on
Nothing else

Seminole, I agree. Was it catchable? Yes. If the pass was placed better, would it have been easier to reel in? Yes.

Fatc is the pass was slightly off enough to cause Fasano to bobble it.

Another fact is, based on Fasano's track record, he probably still would have bobbled it.

the excuse that poor play is a product of limited practice time is bogus because other teams, including ones that are playing well, are practicing the same amount
The same amount of time yes, but what we are working on are the basics as opposed to the others. You know running the proper routes and such... We need a O-line, which opens wholes for running backs, then play calling can be more balanced and aid our QB. And finally I thought Rich Incognito was going to be a right guard or center because thats were he is best suited?

Joe, your a waste of sperm. But please write another blog novel, we all so enjoy reading your epic blogs

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