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Chad Henne still a loooong way to go

The line between a really good NFL quarterback and a JAG (Just A Guy) is so thin you often cannot see it with your own eyes.

Think about that.

That line has to be studied. It has to be viewed on tape. You have to capture what happens in a millisecond and slow it down to understand it.

That is my intention here.

You know I've been hard on Chad Henne for failing to become a good quarterback at the end of last season after 27 NFL starts. But I assume you also are aware it is not personal. When he plays well, I tell you. When he plays poorly, I tell you. Unfortunately for him and Dolphins fans, the guy has more often played poorly than well. And so much of what I've written about Henne has been critical.

The truth, however, is the truth. It is a great sword and a mighty shield.

Well, the last two weeks you've read and heard from me that Henne has improved. He played much better against Carolina than he did in the preseason opener against Atlanta. Did he play great? No. He played well enough.

Then last week against Tampa Bay, Henne played better than he did the week before. I would tell you he played good against Tampa Bay in completing 10 of 13 passes for 175 yards and one TD. It was more progress.

But did Henne play great?

His rating (143.9) and completion percentage (76.9) suggest he was great. The pictures say otherwise.

To rise to the level of great, you see, a quarterback needs to maximize his opportunities. And at no time this preseason has Henne done that with consistency. He's missed open receivers on a handful of occasions. And he's missed almost certain touchdowns on at least three plays that I can recollect off the top of my head.

Against the Bucs he had one one play -- on third-and-goal from the Tampa Bay 4 -- where he missed two open receivers for a TD. Yes, he missed two receivers open for a TD. On the same play.

Here is the first picture:

Henne throw1 

As you see, Henne has time to throw. The Dolphins are in maximum protection with all five offensive linemen working on Henne's behalf as while tight end Anthony Fasano and running back Reggie Bush also are protecting. That's seven guys blocking for Henne against four rushers.

Henne has time.

And he has Davone Bess open in the end zone. Henne knows this because, as the picture above clearly shows, Henne is looking directly at Bess!

But the Miami quarterback doesn't pull the trigger. He misses the opportunity. He never even attempts the TD throw.

The next picture will show that Henne didn't just miss Bess.

Henne throw2 

As you see here, Henne has given up on throwing to Bess, even though he is still open. And he has given up on the pass play altogether. That means he is now missing the fact Brian Hartline has come wide open in the back corner of the end zone. What makes this frustrating is that Henne knows he has maximum protection and the pocket (indicated by the circle) is clean.

Henne has time. You can see that only one second has ticked off the play clock.

Yet Henne puts his head down -- ignoring a still open Bess and a now open Hartline -- and scrambles instead. He gains 1 yard on the scramble. The Dolphins' chance at a TD is wasted even though the protection is good and receivers are open in the end zone.

Everyone does their job except Henne.

So Miami kicks a 21-yard field goal instead.

Does this make Henne a bad QB? No. But it means he has miles to go before he's a good quarterback. You see, this was only a preseason game. It didn't count. The Dolphins lost this one 17-13 and no one cares. But what if this missed opportunity had happened in a real game. We just watched four points Miami should have had not get scored because Henne didn't pull the trigger.

Four points, a TD instead of a field goal, is often the difference between victory and defeat in today's NFL.

And this is just one play. He had Hartline open for a TD at the goal line against Carolina but threw a checkdown to Daniel Thomas instead. He had Brandon Marshall open -- as in nobody was covering him -- open for another TD against Carolina, but threw an incompletion to Hartline instead.

I, along with everyone else, still spoke of those performances against Carolina and Tampa Bay as outings where Henne improved from a year ago. And, to his credit, he has improved.

But he's got a long way to go yet.

Long way.

Props to Manny Suarez for e-mailing me the photos.

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#1

Dude, just because it looks open on a picture, it does not mean it is. It's the NFL, and the first thing they tell a young QB if that if you throw to the guy that "looks" open, it's going to go the other way as an INT.

Yeah Mando, just because this picture clearly shows Chad brainlocking and getting cold feet instead of making a throw to a wide open receiver for a touchdown, doesn't mean that's what he should do.

A lot of things could go wrong. Bess could drop the ball. The ball could suddenly deflate during flight. Tony Sparano might get angry he has lost his opportunity at a fistpump field goal.

Right CanesRUS?

Picture one, he has not two, but three massive line men directly in his way.

Wow, great way to take us inside the game. Excellent work.

CanesRUS

Henne is no longer a young QB, he is a 4th year pro, arguably a veteran now. His own coaches have said people are open but only Chad things they aren't.

TC,

Henne is tall too and with plenty of room to move into a better position if needed. Also, IF he had a touch pass, he could have looped it over the linemen if necessary.

As Armando says, Henne has a looooooong way to go.

Hartline was definitely open on the play but I think Henne's 'mistake' was not assessing his discomfort throwing it to Bess - who was not as open as you suggest - and finding Hartline. He waiting a second too long to see if Bess was a safe target before taking. Hey, I can't fault the guy for thinking he needed to run because good pass protection was not the norm for him. The fact he was 10/13 is impressive given the horrible protection on numerous drop backs and the drop by Bush.

Certainly the coaches pointed this thing out. And certainly they have done it for a couple of seasons now.

Henne has the arm. That's quite evident. But he misses NFL cognition speed.

It takes him too long to develop. We see plenty of other QB grasping the matters at a very acceptable pace. The Dolphins have almost all the peaces now in place. Yet our fate still hangs on Henne.

Only the Oracle can tell...

Picture two is more revealing. Henne decides to scramble (which has been working in his favor in these preseason games) instead of buying time behind the line of scrimmage.

Omar,

In the video you can see a DE getting his hands in the air hence blocking the direct throw to Bess. Ball would've been batted. You can't throw a soft to Bess either. Hartline got free a split second after, but Henne already committed to running and dropped his head. He could've seen him if he ran looking up, but that is a difficult thing when your pocket is collapsing. Maybe towards end of season... As far as the clock ticking a second, it could be one milisecond between one to the other - you can't be certain that a full second passed, only changed from one display to another. Henne's got ways to go, but I don't blame him on that play.

I totally agree!!!

Great point by Omar. That throw requires a lazer to get there in time, or the db behind bess can undercut that and potentially take it for six.

I actually like Henne a lot even while everyone was calling for hid head I wanted to driving with him. I noticed this too on the highlights. I wish Henne would have slid over in the pocket to buy more time. Hartline became open after Henne had decided to pull it down and run. The pass to Bess is a dangerous one cause if the CB jumps the route its six the other way

Hey let's count and see how many excuses bloggers can come up with for why Henne was correct in not throwing to two open receivers in the endzone. This shall be fun.

Mando, while I agree that Henne has some work to do to become a better QB it's not fair to say he is 'miles away' basing it on one play. First, you're showing a frozen picture in time...Second, you don't know if Henne was looking at Hartline or Bess in the first picture. Third, it's one play.

Mando give it up Dude.

Henne ain't great, but it's obvious here you're just trying to save face. Uh, did you mention truth in that article? ROTFLMAO!

First of all why didn't you post two Fim clips as opposed to two one milisecond pics? You've posted all kinds of film clips here before, Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I can answer that. Because your twisting it! I watched this play at least 10 times, in it's ENTIRETY. Two different speeds of slo-mo, frontwards and backwards.

When Bess makes his break, the DT jumps up with both hands Completely blocking the lane. By the time he hits the ground the DB has already jumped the route.

And um, Bess isn't "still open"(ahem)the DB is holding his hand-Hello?

Also, Hartline didn't come open until the pocket starts breaking down. When Henne tucked the ball away the defender pulled up-SHEESH!

I'm not defending Henne so much as I'm exposing SOMEONE'S shameless attempt at desperately trying to save face.

Posting two one milisecond pictures from a play that took 6 seconds off the clock? Hmmmmmmmmmm.......sorry dude, I'll go with the clip. It tells the WHOLE STORY.

The second picture is very, very, very depressing. Two guys open. Quarterback looking at his feet instead of buying time in a clean pocket.

You are right, Mando, much improvement still necessary.

When Miami has a QB with two numbers on the Jersey, the did well. Griese 72/72 Marino (Whole Career). I think the issue with Henne is he needs a second number on his jersey...

Kidding... If Henne was an elite QB, Armando would have time to analyze another part of the team. He is getting there (hopefully).

I'm counting. Let's see if we can come up with 10 excuses in the first hour.

1. Didn't see either of them
2. Defenders would bat it away
3. could have been a pick six
4. ball could have exploded and blinded him.

Please continue....

Judging by Hennes Reaction on the 1st picture, it was NOT BESS he was looking right at, it was the defender , #88, with his arms raised up gaining mimentum. Juts because you can draw a straight line from Hennes HELMET, to Bess, does not mean Hennes EYES were pointed that way. The fact that he RAN indicates it was the Defender he saw, not BESS. ANd, as you said, not even 1 second passed by between pic 1 and pic 2. He didnt have alot of time. Many times, there is more than one perspective on what people see, and you are taking the pessimistic perspective.

Hi Omar

Thank you for a wonderful post on truth and football but I fear it needs a slight modification. I agree with you and your premise but I think the reason is different. From your perspective in the photo Bess is open.

Henne's vision is blocked and his Conservative style is not very high in urgency, which is a problem. Richie needs Henne to take one step forward into the pocket. Then all becomes as it should be for him. Chad elects to survive but he could have moved forward a step and away from the perceived rush coming from behind without taking his eyes from downfield.

In essence, Chad ran out of perceived time, the clock in his head. Chad thought he was late, b/c usually his feet are.

Context matters Omar. By this point in the game Henne had already been running for his life a bit. That's a pretty good line they faced.

The bigger problem, imho, is Henne's lack of urgency getting away from center, slow feet maybe? The upgrade I really wanted to see from Chad this year was in his feet. He is more precise, but he is either a tad slow coming away from center or he thinks he is a tad slow coming away from center.

Chad ran out of perceived time because, from Chad's perspective, Chad ran out of time. Coaches should be working on Chad's pocket timing, his head clock, going into the season.

When Chad plays at a fatser pace he plays well. Get him moving. He's from Michigan for crying out lound and its August in So Fla.

Peace.

Since when did Armando Salguero become Ron Jawarski and become a NFL film guru? I can't remember how many games he started at QB. He's just trying to stir the pot

Plus, do you think any QB on the roster has confidence in this line being able to hold their blocks for all that long??? Hopefully later in the season that's a different story.

I stick to my original comment, NFL QB Basics 101!

And if I were BMARSH I would be waking his ass up with a damn whistle every day!!!

It's easy to point to still pictures, Mando. Truth is, the game, specifically players, move so fast that it just isn't fair to illustrate your point this way. Video? Ok. But not like this.

In live action, the time between Hartline getting open and the pocket collapsing was almost instantaneous. Mind you, Hartline was only open because the play was breaking down - that was not his intended route. The route call for a post for him to take his man to the back of the endzone and draw the safety, leaving Bess one-on-one with his man on the comeback. There was a TIGHT window there for him to hit Bess, yes. But again, the play is happening so fast a defender can still recover to get a hand on the ball.

One can only assume that Marshall (not shown in the pictures) was Henne's primary read on the play, and that he was doubled either with safety or LB help, likely a safety. After that, he looks to Hartline, who would've been next in his progression. Hartline covered. THEN Bess, who was 3rd in the progression. By this time, the pocket is starting to collapse, Henne has to make a tough decision to force one to Bess or tuck it and scramble.

That's a play where late in the game, needing a score, you see Henne force a pass there. As it stood, early in the game, it's a hefty gamble. Would you like to see him attempt, it being preseason? Maybe. But then we kill him when the DB jumps around Bess and breaks up the pass, and criticize him for ATTEMPTING the pass in the first place.

Henne does this time and again. If you're at the stadium, you can see WRs running open and him not getting them the ball.

Many of you guys who live out of state and rely on TV or simply guys that refuse to buy tickets don't see what we see.

This happens all the time!

I guess rolling out (improvising) to get a better view was not an option.

Hennes brain is too slooooooow.

Also, someone mentioned this, but the man Incognito was blocking could've easily batted that ball down.

I'm counting. Let's see if we can come up with 10 excuses in the first hour.

1. Didn't see either of them
2. Defenders would bat it away
3. could have been a pick six
4. ball could have exploded and blinded him.

Please continue....

Posted by: GOE | August 30, 2011 at 03:28 PM

Funny!


Hey let's count and see how many excuses bloggers can come up with for why Henne was correct in not throwing to two open receivers in the endzone. This shall be fun.

Posted by: GOE | August 30, 2011 at 03:25 PM


ROTFLMAO-Don't you watch this new fangled invention called motion picture?

You don't need excuses on this, just go watch it for yourself. Otherwise Mando will make you look stupid.

Henne has a long ways to go, but really Armando. Did you ever work for the Warren Commision-LOL?

Two questions?

What is Henne thinking?

And who is Omar?

"The truth is rarely pure and never simple".

Oscar Wilde.

Think about it before you offer a single frame of an evolving play as evidence of anything, please.


Mando give it up Dude.

Henne ain't great, but it's obvious here you're just trying to save face. Uh, did you mention truth in that article? ROTFLMAO!

First of all why didn't you post two Fim clips as opposed to two one milisecond pics? You've posted all kinds of film clips here before, Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I can answer that. Because your twisting it! I watched this play at least 10 times, in it's ENTIRETY. Two different speeds of slo-mo, frontwards and backwards.

When Bess makes his break, the DT jumps up with both hands Completely blocking the lane. By the time he hits the ground the DB has already jumped the route.

And um, Bess isn't "still open"(ahem)the DB is holding his hand-Hello?

Also, Hartline didn't come open until the pocket starts breaking down. When Henne tucked the ball away the defender pulled up-SHEESH!

I'm not defending Henne so much as I'm exposing SOMEONE'S shameless attempt at desperately trying to save face.

Posting two one milisecond pictures from a play that took 6 seconds off the clock? Hmmmmmmmmmm.......sorry dude, I'll go with the clip. It tells the WHOLE STORY.

Posted by: odinseye | August 30, 2011 at 03:26 PM

Sorry, wrong one

Here is the question:

Do Aaron Rodgers, Brady, Mannings, Ben, Rivers make that throw?

Me says YES!

I love it, faced with photo evidence, the Henne jocksniffers believe a picture lies!


Miami fans deserve to be abused, lied to and mistreated like this organization does every year.

a. mando has set himself a blog hits target today

b. it is personal, coz armando's had it in for henne for a long time, so any 50/50 look he gives half empty or he'll look bad for previous opinion

c. he forgets to mention its preseason , take good and bad with a pinch of salt

Sorry Mando. Wrong blog. Oops :op

It seems to me Henne has been a lot better with his footwork this preseason. But once he goes into that duck and run mode he doesn't seem to have the ability to pull out of it like say a Big Ben. And since so many big plays happen after the pocket breaks down Henne loses a lot in that respect.

My question is why is the pocket breaking down in a 7 vs 4 situation?

It does not look to me as if the lineman's hands are in the passing lane. If so step up and then make the throw low and to the sideline side of the receiver where only receiver can get it.
You can also see that Heartline is in the process of getting open. If I remember correctly this was identified in an article as one of the plays that Henne audibled so he should have known where Heartline was going to be a second later. Of course as the starting QB he should have known anyway where Heartline was going to be a second later.
Good point Armando and this is a great blog by you. Shows why you are a starting reporter for the Miami Herald.

Armando, I have never been critical of you. Though I believe you have shown a pattern of being down on Henne. You pick one play to support your opinion. How about the perfect throws to covered receivers such as the one to Marshall for the TD. You can say you are objective and Henne may never pan out, but how about supporting the team? Go to the Jets or Pats or Lions sport sections. Everyone is excited about their team and the season. How about a little optimism? Henne only had a QB rating of what? 143.9? Jeesh...

Armando..look at the db right behind bess looking at henne and waiting for him to throw to bess. If the throw was made it would have been picked off...going the other way for a td. You think maybe that is why he did not make the throw???

c. he forgets to mention its preseason , take good and bad with a pinch of salt

Posted by: The Wolf, ICU, semiconscious | August 30, 2011 at 03:39 PM


He does mention that. Maybe you should read the whole article.

Went to the Carolina game. Saw the play Armando talks about with Marshall running wide open out of the slot and Henne not seeing him even though nobody was covering him.

Convinced me this kid simply ain't it.

hey lets keep bashing Henne even though he's doing a good job! ya bunch of XXXXXXX Amazing how the writer and the fans can't be happy with improvements....ya got to keep picking!He could show great numbers and be a great leader 6 games into the season but some hack reporter or fan would complain he leaves the seat down when he takes a wizzz and say Marino never did that! bunch of clowns....

Here is the question:

Do Aaron Rodgers, Brady, Mannings, Ben, Rivers make that throw?

Me says YES!

Posted by: Speedy | August 30, 2011 at 03:39 PM


Agreed.

I agree mando
But using the old dolphin blog guy's word
JAG- Just another guy is funny( jason colEiTS PRETTY SIMPLE , IF THIS O LINE CAN BLOCK AND HENNE CONTINUES TO IMPROVE , WE CAN BE A PLAYOFF CONTENDER

armando sees what the non homers see.lol


I'm going to go ahead and post excuse #5, because I believe there is some truth in it.

Henne still suffers from a Henning Hangover and it will be a while before he crosses that conservative threshold where you choose to go for 7 points instead of protecting 3.

He's spent his first 20+ starts being told not to F it up...now go out there and don't lose the game for us.

Why not show a video clip that we can then pore over like the Zapruder film?

This is a joke, right? Bess has two defenders on him, including one who is ready to jump the route from underneath. And the lineman that Incognito is blocking has his hands up and is blocking Henne's view. Since Bess is double covered, this requires a bullet pass, but there isn't a clear passing lane for such a pass. And Hartline doesn't break open until the pocket has collapsed, and Henne has already been flushed. Watch the replay frame by frame, and it's pretty clear what happened. Nice effort though on your part to keep the Henne hatred flowing.

Every QB misses open receivers from time to time. The last footbal game I went to, was Dolphins at falcons, 2009. Chad PENNINGTON was missing open receivers all day, exept the 4 open defensive backs for the falcons he threw it to! ( 4 interceptions) Funny how people forget that OTHER qb's even the vets they respect, mess up at times.

5-11

3-13!

jay, my bad , but point was he doesnt qualify that fact ,i did read it twice, so i obviously can't read or have a very short memory....what was i saying

did anyone get my point?

also if you go to the next frame on that play, the guy Richie was blocking jumped into the air in front of Chad. He feet are better than last year but he took a weird step on that play. Not sure why he thinks his pace can change down at the goal line. Maybe he is overthinking it, he could have also called a QB draw on that play. Shenanigans.

bess was not open on that play. I watched. The defender would have intercepted. I'm glad henne doesn't throw that ball. It would be a pick 6.
Hartline was open but by that time he had tucked it in and started running.
But I agree, henne should have gotten a touch down on that play. But in reality we should have been able to get a TD from 1 yard line but bush lost 3 yars on the play before. They should have given it to thomas for short yardage situation.

Mando you really should be the coach not a sports hack - you know sooooo much.

GET REAL!!!!!

I can't believe Ross hasn't hired you yet.

It does not look to me as if the lineman's hands are in the passing lane.

-Go watch the film. I just watched it again. Mando's really stretching this one. He should be ashamed, for REAL!

If so step up and then make the throw low and to the sideline side of the receiver where only receiver can get it.

-I was thinking the same thing, but it would've been a tough and dangerous throw.

You can also see that Heartline is in the process of getting open.

-On the film you can see that by the time Hartline comes open four defenders are sitting like vultures in that end of the endzone.


If I remember correctly this was identified in an article as one of the plays that Henne audibled so he should have known where Heartline was going to be a second later.

-Hartline had broke off his route by that time and was improving.

Of course as the starting QB he should have known anyway where Heartline was going to be a second later.
Good point Armando and this is a great blog by you. Shows why you are a starting reporter for the Miami Herald.

Posted by: Mark | August 30, 2011 at 03:41 PM


Henne has a lot of improving to do, but on this particular point by Armando, it's a miscarriage of justice-LOL.

odinseye would defend Henne if he turned around and ran into the wrong endzone. Uh, he was getting away from the rush, oline's fault, he just didn't realize he ran that far back.

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