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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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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.

Posted by: slinky | August 30, 2011 at 04:02 PM

No I wouldn't. I'd just point the fact that Marshall did it for the Vikings and he turned out to be a Hall Of Famer ;)

Agree with you Pragmatic. Said it before - young QB's need to throw and learn - not live in fear of making mistakes.

If Mando was the coach we'd go like ... 7-9 and we'd all want him fired.

And Ross would then extend his contract.

Of course, that doesn't happen in the real world.

you can pick apart pretty much any qb's performance the way you do in this blog and find something that can be improved upon. henne played a great game and he needs to be given credit for that. the problem is his offensive line didn't provide him with adequate protection during the game. was he able to make the read in time or did he have to go to a different receiver due to pressure from the defense? gheez, the guy has a 143 rating and completes 76% of his passes and he's still talking $h@t about him. go write about some other team; maybe the bills.

Henne is definitely better out of the gun than under center. If he can keep the ball down this year and protect his guys this could work ... might be ok.

Fact: He missed 2 wide open receivers on the play.

all the other stuff: shut up.

He missed two passes all day and one them Gates got a hand on.

We want Moore! We Want Moore! We Want Moore!

Don't look now everybody, all the geniuses that wanted Vince Young are back-ROTFLMAO!

Call me when we make a trade for a lineman and sign O'Hara!

Armando, you're stinking it up in here.

PS: What Dm1 said! ValHalla!!!!

I really think we need to give Henne a season under Daboll's new system before we completely try to pass a final judgement on him. Hennings offense was so stale, outdated and predictable teams knew what we were trying when we lined up in our formations and it really did hinder Henne's growth IMO. But if he fails to grow under the new system THEN we hang him.....

all i know is i saw two pitiful performances at qb last night with sanchez and manning. even though the jets won 17-3 sanchez looked like he is getting worse, if anything. manning passed for a lot of yards in the first half but he threw 2 interceptions. neither qb impressed me. now, am i to believe that, when the season starts, sancez is going to get any better? he sucks in my book. he better hope the jets o-line stays healthy and they can run the ball because, if they don't, he will be spending a good deal of the season on his back.

Henne is definitely better out of the gun than under center. If he can keep the ball down this year and protect his guys this could work ... might be ok.

Posted by: AR | August 30, 2011 at 04:10 PM

What the heck are you talking about? Remember last year? ARMANDO told us Henne doesn't like working out of the gun. He said he got it from the highest authority-Danosaur HenningS-ROTFLMFAO!!!!


odinseye I have watched and rewatched that play many times as well. I don't see what you see about the hands being in the passing land to Bess.
Maybe it is just point of view judgment call? Why do you say that Heartline broke off his route and was improvising? I have looked at the tape when he came open and I don't see what you see with 4 guys standing around him. Shirley, you can't be serious? lol

News flash... dolphin is Armando...


O-Key-Dokey Then.

PS: You can see four defenders in the picture Mando posted for christsakes! Oops, scratch that, you can actually see 5, one's standing on near the hash, but in the endzone.

C'mon man!

I predict this is the last time Armando uses photos with circles in his blog....he is getting hammered by the troops for his Tuesday afternoon quarterbacking....and rightfully so.

Bess may look open but the corner is closing fast and unless that ball is LOW and AWAY, it could have been a pick 6 the other way.

Hartline getting open in the back corner as he tucks his head is just cruel to point out.

Bottom line...Henne has a strong arm that is fairly accurate in the 10-20 yd range. 30-40+ it drops dramatically.

Prediction: Bess & Bush have the most receptions with short outlet passes, Marshall close behind but still leads in total yards.

of course armando went through brees, vick and rodgers and other great(?) qb's who played last week, not managing to find any equivilent "questionable" freezeframes just to show that this article wasnt intended as being NEGATIVE or biased, just telling us the truth

like we all thought that the last game made henne a great qb, good is nearer to great than bad however looong u want to make the way to go, but a long road can be covered fast AT SPEED, if henne continues to be consistently good (not even better) we'll be in the play-offs and he'll nearer great

So henne still sucks right mando?


I have seen alot of good QB's this preseason not look to sharp and make mistakes but the difference between them and say Henne is they have loyal fans. Im not a HH(henne hater) or a HL(henne lover)...Im a IBAT(In between all that)and this IBAT thinks we need to be patient and see what happens this first 4 games of the season.

Mando, you suck. This is the true I hope you get the picture aswell.

Here's the video!

It's quite easy to see Armando's point.


odinseye are you saying then the guy on Bess is covering Heartline as well? Also are you count ing number 54 and the defender between number 54 and the guy covering Bess are also the ones covering Heartline? O-key-dokey then. C'mon man!

Give him a chance to learn Daboll's new system.
In reality, once Long is back at LT he'll have at least 2 more seconds to throw the ball because Murtha was getting owned last week.

I've now watched the play 10,689 times in slo mo. I have the verdict. A better than average QB makes the play, rolls out, steps up, steps back, but makes a play. He had time.

henne reeks

Get boned Mando. Seriously, Henne has been playing far better this preseason than he has since he got to Miami. He's acting and sounding like the leader of the offense so lay off. Who cares if he isn't a Manning or a Brady. Was Trent Dilfer elite? Was Brad Johnson elite? His improved play will be a difference maker this year.

Thanks Mr. Ross for showing us so much love. It's really to bad what happened to the U. Slap your hands for the GATORS.

Mark, NOPE.

Three defenders were relevent in any play in that end of the endzone. There was the CB, the nickle and the saftey.

The guy that initially covered hartline, the CB, peeled off on Bess and basically could've made a play on either one. He was in a perfect spot to defend both routes.

The nickle had inside and underneath coverage. He could have easily made the pick if Henne tries forcing it to Hartline on the post. Had Henne went to Bess with a quick throw, he could've had a pick six.

The safety was just sitting on top of the play and went with hartline when he broke off the post. By this time, the pocket had already collapsed.

I didn't mean to offend with the O-Key-Dokey or the C'mon man. But seriously, you didn't see Cognito's guy get his arms up and then collapse the pocket?

awesome post Mando. probably one of your best breakdowns.

Agreed, the kid needs to punch those in. No more fist pump field goals.

Henne,just throw it to Marshall for crying out loud!! it make your life a lot easlier. He's always open, even when he ain't.


I cannot see anything in those pics. lol. They are so small.

I'm no Henne lover by any means - and feel that he has played better in preseason than we will see in the regular season - but this criticism of this play is unjustified.

I just watched the play too. Bess is obviously the primary and Henne even cocks back to throw it to him before Incognito lost his man and the D line jumps right in front of Henne. If Henne hadn't started his throwing motion he would have been sacked right there because the D lineman wouldn't have jumped up to block it. Then, feeling that the pocket was collapsing he ran up and got taken down. Did he miss Haertlein? Yes - but I credit the D lineman for disrupting that play more than I blame Henne for what most of you (including Mando) are saying was a clear no-brainer. Does Brady, Manning, Brees, Rodgers make that play 100% of the time? No, they don't

I've now watched the play 10,689 times in slo mo. I have the verdict. A better than average QB makes the play, rolls out, steps up, steps back, but makes a play. He had time.

Posted by: HenneStinks.com | August 30, 2011 at 04:31 PM

Well said. With this I'll whole heartedly agree. He didn't have much time, but I could see Marino making that play or even a Farve.

At the critical moment, as the pressure comes from his left, instead of extending the play, he went the safe route and decided to tuck and run.

Like Pragmatic said earlier, this poor decision is probably from playing in the old Vanilla Safe system. Still it's on Henne to improve his decision making processes while under fire.

Eithr way, in three games under Daboll, Henne looks like he's showing some promise.

I watched this play over and over Sunday and twice in the last 10 min. alone to watch it from every possible prespective and believe as someone stated in the last page that Henne to a certain degree still suffers from a Henning hangover and fear to a certain extent of fan and press backlash making him hesitate and think things thru just enough to throw his game off a little. Aside from that I agree with odin and a few others about this post not necessarily telling the whole story.

If your going to falt Henne for something on this play, it´s the fact that the line of scrimmage was the 4 yard line and he tucked it around the 9 with a full 5 yards to look up because had he looked up he´d have noticed that by running he completely freezes the DB undercutting the route to Bess and his arm is plenty strong enough to have riffled the ball across his body to Bess. The DB behind Bess would have at best batted the ball out of Bess´s hands because he was in no position to jump the route being he´s directly behind him on the play and would have had to come thru him for the ball which would have been a pass interference, 1st and goal Fins at the one!!

Falt him for not having made the more agressive play if you like but not for his execution of that and any other play were he was under Center, we rushed for a pityful 17 yards on 18 carries and to me that´s the real story here not Henne right now!! We talked and bloged ad nauseum about the right side of the OL and the ? at RB with a rook and unconventional back leading the way and it looks ugly. If we can´t run it won´t make the slightest difference because Henne will be crucified by the blitz and then we could very well end up in the AFC East cellar, FIX THE F´N OL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All you dorks will be booing Henne after the fish start 0-2 at home running their streak to 1-9 in their last ten. Go ahead and take solace in his preseason performance against Carolina if it makes you feel better. Did you see the Bungals shred the Panthers? P King has this team figured out and most of the fans in Florida apparently do to as games are being blacked out. Enjoy your little celebration with the visiting 3rd string qb of the Broncos. LMFAO.

you are a hypocritical moron, why dont you go get Cole back so you can give him another high five when Henne makes a mistake?

So it took 5 days for Mando to come up with this new criticism of the guy when he posts a 148 passer rating called some great audibles, not to mention the 60 yds. to BM. Mando just wants to give the Henne haters more to hate about. Be supportive and positive!! Least his teammates believe in him, his coaching, and most importantly, he believes in himself. Go Henne, Go Fins so of us have your back!

Sorry Some of us have your back

Hey Mando, did you see Sanchez last night, now that was a bad QB and the NY press and ESPN are annointing him the next greatest QB in the NFL. So Henne may of played great on Sat night but he sure was about 1000 times better then Sanchise and even Brady against the Lions. If you give Henne some time he will pick you apart and seems to be growing into the position. Brees was not great either his first few years and now he is top 3. He was booed and written badly about in SD for years before he played pretty good for one year before he left for NO.

What a bunch of negative fuks.....go be Jets fans if you cant handle it


Thanks for the shout out. While you were writing your post Fin4life posted an EXCELLENT follow up!

Henning had to make a quick decision and he went the safe route. Not great, but definitey not bad.

Armando and his fellow VY supporters(ROTFLMAO)just wished he would have forced a pick six so they all could merrily come on here and crucify him declaring they were rightall along.

Not this time! Pathetic and Disgusting as far as alleged fans go............................

just watched it for the first time...my thoughts:

Henne felt pressure off the left side as he was targeting Bess...stepped forward and lowered his head when he CHOOSE to RUN.

Stop there....A great QB (Brady)would have stepped forward one step, the CHOOSE to shuffle left two steps to create a gap, then fired the TD to Hartline in the back corner.

This is what most seasoned football fans have been steaming about with Henne....he processes information at a slower level then great QB's.

If he had the scrambling ability of say Michael Vick, then he just might score...but this is Robo Henne and he takes the one yard gain to force the FG.

I've got two available players that would fit real good with the phins. The first is TE Schuylar Oordt who is 6'6" 260lbs and runs 4.6.40. Second player Derrick Locke RB. These two would be great.

I COMPLETELY disagree with Mando here and COMPLETELY agree with odin.

I too watched and rewatched this play, breaking it down in slo-mo. I too saw Bess/Hartline open. But, as odin expertly stated, Bess was far from "wide open." Also, Bess became more open when the pocket was getting pretty crowded (even if Henne did have a little space). But, if you look at the direction he needed to throw, and the space he had in the pocket, it doesn't exactly match up. So no, it wouldn't have been a "clean" pocket with which to throw a pass.

Second, this was after Henne was rushed, pressured, even sacked MULTIPLE times. Yes, that even effects the big boys (I've seen Brady inaccurate after getting pressure from JT too). So just because the oline protected on this play, DOESN'T mean Henne trusted them too (and do you blame him).

Third, again as odin stated, Hartline made his break and got wide open late. Almost exactly at the same time Henne tucked the ball and ran.

So, it's not as open-shut as Mando said it was. And based on the rest of the performance, I gave Henne a pass on this play because:
a) it didn't lead to a turnover in the red zone
b) Miami still got points out of the drive

Mando, that's a shameful play to breakdown, IMO. I mean, if you want to talk about how GREAT Henne is, what if Marshall didn't fumble that ball. That was on the way to another TD drive. That would have made it 14-10 by halftime, and the 1st-team offense would have done it's job against their 1st team defense.

Look, I'm just as critical on Henne as the next guy. But he IS showing signs of progression. He IS making good plays, seeing the field pretty well. Anyone else think he'll be Drew Brees TODAY? That's not realistic. Give him time. I give him all year to get better. Hope he does. And if this Preseason is any indication, I'll be loving Henne by end of the year.

Yes, he's got a way to go to being Peyton Manning. But if he plays like this during the season, then we'll be above .500, and the losses probably will have very little to do with the QB.

Don't criticize Sanchez here PLEASE!

Armando's already out on the ledge over Henne steadily improving.

When he starts to realize how truly awful Sanchez really is, he'll jump right off!

Bite ME all you HATERS-ROTFLMAO!!!!

Do you need Bread, Man? I can't lend you some.

c'mon Mando

U can go find plenty of pictures on Brees and Flacco, and guys like ryan that come across this situation all the time with missed oppurtunities and find fualts in that as well,

Look, im no Henne lover either and I believe he still has much to be prove to be the starter here...but this crap is just in hindsight of the game played...u can go find a million things missed on plays like this from any one player in the league if people took the time to even care...just sayin!!!

The only thing I care about is, Henne is improving! No, he's not Dan Marino, but with this team, he doesn't have to be to win.

I wouldn't worry about this. I'm not.


Thanks and you make an excellent point as well.

When you're up by seven inside the 5, don't force ANYTHING!

TD's are great, but leading 10-0 is better than a pick 6 and a 7-7 tie!


Mando is a day late and a dollar short- I already addressed this play yesterday and Armando decided to print his version- It's a biased analysis taken outside of perspective. First off Mandy doesn't care for me, secondly every single quarterback leaves plays on the fields- it doesn't matter if I had hit Brian on that pass and he still would have had found something to critique.

Lastly, and more importantly, and what is absolutely ridiculous... is that if you slow down action to a millisecond you can make anyone look open on any given play and it completely takes the perspective away. Bess was NOT as open as that freezeframe made it out to be.

NH, something to think about, the psychology of the QB. Brady has had probably the best line in the NFL protecting him for a decade now. Do you think he thinks he'll get caught from behind or sacked? Doubt it. Gives him enough confidence to wait the extra second or two and shuffle.

Now, Henne's been pressured 1/2 of last season, and most of this Preseason, and frankly has had a spotty line his entire career in the NFL. What has that done to him psychologically? He doesn't have the confidence in his protection (or probably his speed and mobility) to take that extra time. Let alone risk a sack with a possible strip and turnover (which would have been the worst play).

So he took what he could get. I agree with you, Brady, Manning, Brees, Rodgers all probably make that play. Henne isn't them. But we knew that. But if you saw the rest of that drive, who got the team to that point? Henne.

I'm telling you guys, he's finally gaining confidence in the system (Daboll is a GENIUS compared to Henning). That will give him confidence in his leadership and stewardship of the offense. That will give him confidence to do (in due time) what the elite QBs are doing now.

Give Henne time. Just a couple months. I think we'll all be satisfied with his play (again, if the Preseason is a pre-cursor to the season).


where's the freezeframes on the r oline plays? why not analyse them and see if they've got a loooong way to go from bad to average

oh yeah too many plays to choose from

u might even have got more hits

but go for the safe post - the TRUTH (?) about henne

Chad Henne's Ego says:
August 29, 2011 at 5:29 pm
“Henne’s stats were amazing, but they’re still just stats. Did anyone feel like maybe he took the 3sacks instead of getting rid of the ball. In the 2nd qtr he had Hartline and Bess open in the endzone, but he ran anyways.”

Hmm.. I didn’t think that goal line run was a sack… but I could be misremembering.

In that instance I thought I had a blitz coming from the left and audibled, but they all dropped back in coverage. My initial reads were covered, and with how quickly the pocket had been collapsing, I decided not to wait further and risk another fumble (and thus points off the board) and pulled the ball down and headed for the goal.

Your right though, Brian was coming open but at that time I had already committed to make a run for it…. if I had waited a bit longer I might have been able to hit him for the TD, but you know what they say about hindsight.

One thing we’ll be doing prior to NE is putting in some fake audibles and/or running out of them more, otherwise every time they see me doing my Peyton impression they’ll know it’s a pass and drop everyone back- Billibong is going to try show a bunch of fake stuff to try and get me to audible into doing what they want us to do.

That is going to be the hard part and one of the things that separates preseason from season, and I’m really going to have to be on my toes.

Somebody said here the other day that he's not convinced on Henne(being a Franchise QB, I guess). Neither am I. But, the guy, I feel, will do much better under the present Offensive scheme. What more can we expect at this Time?

I agree with NH on this one. The decision to tuck and run had no possible outcome other than a field goal. Why not try and prolong the play a bit longer in that situation? If you end up getting sacked or throwing it away the result is exactly the same, a chip shot field goal. It's risk vs reward.

That being said Henne will ultimately be judged by Dolphin fans on his body of work, not a couple miliseconds of film.

I dont know whose O-line is worse off right now....us or the bears...time will tell...not much a QB can do about that...No time, No throw!!

I'm not worried about Columbo. I saw the tape. He's our starter.

Lastly, and more importantly, and what is absolutely ridiculous... is that if you slow down action to a millisecond you can make anyone look open on any given play and it completely takes the perspective away. Bess was NOT as open as that freezeframe made it out to be.

Posted by: Chad Henne's Ego | August 30, 2011 at 05:15 PM


You are making WAYYY too much sense for this blog.

You're also 100% correct (and I'm not even a Henne fan).

Lately, it seems like Salguero is doing the same thing some fans here do. Namely, trying VERY hard to sound authoratative and 'coach-like' in his analysis. Up to and including "tough talk" that comes across as laughable as it is pathetic.

odin, i just read your post from 8/29 2:03 about pigeon-holing; i agree;thats my main complaint with the regime. parcells,ireland,sparano and henning can all share the blame. i wrote about watching henne in 3 training camps. he went from having promise to slowly becoming a programmed robot(game manager). it was really sad to see a QB getting worse as each week passed. henne was told above all to never make a "mistake". he killed plays early,threw it away,threw late etc. he was over-coached ad nauseum;only interacting with coaches. no chemistry was developed between henne and the WR. now daboll must resurrect him with an up-tempo offense with less thinkng. this is what the doctor ordered. lets hope it works! i could go on and on about FO mistakes but this one was bad. my faith is in daboll and nolan! henne does have alot to prove but he should welcome that challenge. it should make him determined. he needs to show that passion that they took away from him over 3 years.

Mando - I like the idea of you adding tape-breakdown to your column but your chosen focus today just wasn't a good one.

For you to simply call it "the truth" - as if it were so painfully obvious that Henne effed up here - makes many of your readers question your ability to effectively breakdown a play. You should have let this be open to interpretation rather than labeling your analysis "the truth."

Did Incognito and Pouncey "do their job" as clearly as Henne didn't do his - as you said? No.

And why are readers comparing Henne to Brady, Rodgers, etc when not even the most ardent Henne lover would say that he is hoping Henne to turn into that some day? He may have a "looooong way to go" to be great, but his route to being good is much shorter.

I guess this is the Era of Fakes.


I actually watched this several times over when it happened.

FIRST_ Henne is on the field. He doesn't have the luxury of a video game POV like your pictures. The guy covering Hartline broke away at the last second-- leaving Hartline open. If Henne threw too soon he could have had it picked off. MAYBE NOT. But that's also with two guys in his face obstructing his view. There's no way he could have seen Bess, Hartline AND all of the defenders at once. It would have been impossible. That's a REALLY big stretch. If it got picked off, suddenly Henne is making "bone head" plays again. He would have had to throw a dart in there-- but because of the lineman in his path, he would have only been able to send a touch pass-- which would have for sure got picked off. AND THIS IS ALSO happening at NFL game speed. The bottom line is that we should have been able to pound it in from the 1 yard line.

Mando-- you are going to have to face it along with every other writer from the local media that you have been wrong about Henne being legit. And PLEASE -- spare the comparisons to Marino and Brady and Manning. We're not looking for a hall of fame QB-- just a QB that can get us points on the board and limit interceptions and can make plays. Henne is that guy.

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