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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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Man, we don't give a Fu-k about milliseconds. Just win the goddarned Game, will you?

I was at that game and had a clear shot of the play evolving. i believe Henne made the right decision, its easy to show a still image and draw some arrows. But, with the speed of the game if Henne would of thrown to Bess or Hartline the throws would of been picked off. Instead of writting about Henne's decision making which on this play was correct, why don't you write about Miami's lack of scoring in the redzone. Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas nor Sparano were able to run the ball up agaisn't the Bucs on 2 and 3 in order to score the TD on the same drive. Yet you write about Henne like it is all his fault. Not so, Sparano nor Ireland have been able to put an O-line on the field that is capable of opening up a hole for even a squirrel to run through...that is the issue..not Henne!

Marino has been ominously quiet on the subject of Henne.

Folks this diagram is dead on as far as Henne's vision..I saw it..HE saw it..he just didnt pull the trigger and I assume he wasnt comfortable with the degree of them being open especially Bess and I doubt he even saw Hartline..On that play he reverted back to the OLD Henne. He had the arm strength to muscle it in to Bess but didnt wanna risk the pick. IF he improves on this we have a shot because the Jets didnt look all that on offense last nite. This really seperates the good ones from the JAG;s

Marino has been ominously quiet on the subject of Henne.

Posted by: Trigo | August 30, 2011 at 05:28 PM


Is four days ago recent enough?

(from CBS Sportsline):

"Chad Henne did not have a good year last year but I still think he has the talent to be a good NFL quarterback. It's just a matter of time as far as continuing to put people around him.

Armando and all the couch couches need to take thier act to another team....I'm sick and tired of all these clowns looking for fault in everything and everybody on the team. Watch the flippn game, be a fan, be supportive and stop acting like you know more than the ones doing the flippn job! Trust me you don't!!! If you did you would eother be playing or coaching. By the way Great job offense, looking good guys. Much imporved over last year. Have a great year team!

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.

Posted by: Montana Fin | August 30, 2011 at 05:06 PM

I happen to agree 100% with this post, Locke is a 4.3 burner we could stash on the P.S. who could eventually push Sheets big time, great upside!! Oordt is athletically better than all of our TE´s already during his Pro Day there was actually someone on here that was there and supposedly this kid impressed. I youtubed and would put him as the 3rd TE on our team tomorow. I wonder what these 2 are still doing on the street??

Hahahah look since we're looking at pictures and acting as if we're expert football analysts I would like to chime in as well. Get the f**k outta here with this BS! Roflmao. Bess is open? Look again dude. The DB is two yards away from Bess and making a move toward the receiver when Chad looks over. That means before he even throws the ball the db is going to take a step closer which would leave him one to two yards away from Bess as Henne would've released the ball.

Where did you play football Mando? How is that open? Do you know how fast the DB can close on that pass and turn it into a pick 6? Come onnnnnnnnnn get outta here with that garbage. I would have accepted you saying he should have thrown it low and to the outside so as to give Bess a chance to make a circus catch without allowing the DB to get to the ball but that's it. There's an arrow showing the direction of the one DB but not an arrow showing the other db covering Bess was moving toward him.

And did anyone notice the guy in the second picture being tossed to the ground? Well that was after he got so far in the pocket that he reached out and grabbed Chads arm. That's when Chad took off. Yes a great QB might have done something different but this is a second year starter who is working with a brand new offensive coordinator and play book. No s**t he's not good enough yet. Big friggin news.

The circle that is drawn to show the supposed wide open pocket is drawn beyond the line of scrimmage. That is not the pocket, that is an escape route.

Can we judge Henne on things that aren't this trivial and contrived please?

Oh I almost forgot, Hartline didn't get open until the play had already broke down. His route was a crossing one starting on the right side I believe. He was Chads second option from what I saw that night and when Chad looked the first time he was in the middle of zone coverage and not open, he moved on. He got nervous when the dman got close and he saw what he thought was an open running lane that closed quickly. He had taken off and was already across the line of scrimmage when Hartline came open.

Henne would have had to rifle the ball to Bess and if it gets tipped or isn't perfect it's a pick 6 the other way. Pennington NEVER WOULD HAVE MADE THAT THROW! And you know what, no one would have ever held him at fault for it.

Lastly and once again, no crap Henne has a ways to go,,,,,,,,no crap.

what you see is what you get, he might have made SOME progress but in the end he will still be the same old henne!

Just when I finally was seeing "hope" in Henne, I read this very well written article with it's facts clearly spelled out and OH NO! NOT AGAIN! PLEASE!

Thanks Frank.

Sheets was cut last week.

I'm doing my "bit" here , Armando. How'bout some Season tickets(even if I will use them occassionally).

Philly signed Derrick Locke udfa, then cut him. One would think they had a good reason to?


Thanks, I missed that one works had me out of town for a few weeks been watching on firstrowsports and keeping up online with the Herald.

Apologists vs. haters, still. Sad.
The truth is this as I see it. Henne doesn't like throwing to his left. History has him favoring his right by a huge margin when there is no iron-clad plan of the play to his left. The good news is that he is now LOOKING to his left more. But for some reason he didn't throw it. Yes, there's a chance that it's intercepted (towards Bess). But I'd need a calculator to tally all the TD passes Marino threw to that very same spot. Low and hard, so the defender can't make the play, only the WR. Incomplete or TD. Once Henne learns that... then we have a QB.

Philly signed Derrick Locke udfa, then cut him. One would think they had a good reason to?

Publicado por: Trigo | August 30, 2011 at 05:49 PM

Philly has a log jam at RB and Locke´s other strong suit is in the return game which gets scrapped with Desean Jackson back on the team. They could use the depth but with their Offense loaded the way it is they need to focus on bringing in every and any option available at LB, DT because even with Cullen Jenkins there D-Line is no were near Championship level and there LB´s flat out suck!! There going to start the season presently with rookie Casey Matthews at MLB and he ain´t Clay.

This is crazy I never seen a columnist write as if he was a coach. You are wrong in so many ways. Henne made the right play, regardless he didn’t turn the ball over which is a good sign. If he would have thrown the ball and it got pick. You would be talking about his poor judgment, but instead he made a solid play. Tuck the ball and try to get it in the end zone. This article should be about the poor job the line did in that game, not Henne when he was on fire. Go Fins and Henne man don’t worry about the haters.

the way i look at it is like this. henne has a history of throwing the ball to bess and fasano and hitting them in the hands only to have them miss the catch and deflect the ball directly into the hands of a defensive back. i think he was saying, "sorry guys. you screwed me too many times."

Welcome to real life Mando.. Henne had been under constant pressure and doesn't have the luxury of a freeze-frame to make a quick decision. His improvement under Daboll's system has been quick

""""Low and hard, so the defender can't make the play, only the WR. Incomplete or TD. Once Henne learns that... then we have a QB."""

Umm, yeah JS.... just exactly how do you throw that pass low and hard when there are lineman in the passing lane?

Any throw in that direction would have required a lob over the lines head.

Good, "billy", good.

JSinLA, that's what I said. Low and outside was the only throw he could have made and it would have had a low chance at being caught, but at least there would have been a chance. I just think he really wanted to run that one in. Also you forgot a group in your fight club. They're called realists and I'm the leader! Realistically we want a Tom Brady but we have a Chad Henne and he has shown some progression this year. A realist will wait until there is actual proof this year and a body of work to judge by before making an analysis. Last year, in his first year starting, not great. This year, new OC, let's see what happens.

Mando, I would to see you throw a football! I'm sure we will be calling you Mandi after!!

Mando, I would love to see you throw a football! I'm sure we will be calling you Mandi after!!

Dumb Henne!!! How could u not c the defenders toes were going away from Bess like Mando saw in this freeze-frame!

Oh crap I didn't even notice that. Yeah low and hard would have been impossible considering there are two mountains (one with his arms up) standing directly in the passing lane.

Nothing is Henne's fault. Ever. Victim of circumstances. Henne would be a pro bowler on any other team.

if you want to use this kind of analysis to make a point about the way the team played on saturday use this point of view to watch the offensive line. it would be much more revealing.

I don't know about anyone else, but I definitely saw a muzzle flash from the grassy knoll.

Even his recent mistakes can be directly traced back to Henning.

All future mistakes as well will be directly traced back to Henning.

Thanks Lou for some honest critic.

In addition the route was a curl, with our luck if Henne had tried that Bess would have stopped in his curl route and the DB would have grabbed it for 6 the other way


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.

Henne's next interception will be Hennings fault. Because Henne still has scars from those handcuffs, mental and physical.

When you dissect in Medical School sometimes you forget that you will deal with real and lively People.

angry elf,
your analysis of the situation is flawed,if for no other reason, because there is no grassy knoll anywhere within the confines of sun life stadium. therefore, your argument has no basis in fact.

This is terrible analysys. As mentioned by several people here the pass that is needed to hit bess for a td is a dart. He cant throw that pass because of the dl in his face. The second open td you speak of requires a touch pass with an arc to it. The problem there is the pass takes too long to get there and becomes a jump ball between hartline and the coverage. What i see in these photos is a qb who is making progress. Havent we all said henne needs to take care of the ball more, especially in the red zone? Kudos to henne for his decision making here and on a solid preseason start. While its a small step, at least its in the right direction.

Typical Fin Fan sounds like a typical Jets fan- here's a thought, have anything constructive to add to the discussion?

Henne's first child will be born 70 years old due to the Henning trauma in his brain at the time of the childs conception.

I am VERY wary of "billy".

mando needs to be hooked up to electrodes and given a shock for every fan post which disagrees with his opinion. that'll fix him.

in increasing intensity, mind you.

oscar surely u dissected real people and surely u didn't forget that the point was keeping the rest alive!!!

the only thing i see in the picture is a "cluster" generally referred to as an offensive line.

tff, don't like most of your posts but at least u got a sense of humour lol @6.10


If u freeze frame every single receiver is open every single play in the NFL... In real time, d-backs can close that gap.. With someone right next to Bess, ur risking a pick 6..

mando needs to be hooked up to electrodes and given a shock for every fan post which disagrees with his opinion. that'll fix him.

dm1dolphan | August 30, 2011 at 06:12 PM


I was thinking we could all get in line and take our turns hammering at him with our weapons of choice, thinking the original Airplane movie here. I personally will go the route of a pair of pliers with a blow torche and rubbing alcohol!!

Sure, Wolf ICU, in Internet.

u da man oscar!!!

great stuff insulation up the nose.

don't be so excited billy. the entire offensive line made poopy in the last game.

If you blow up the photo you can clearly see the Line Judge isn't even a line judge.

Just blow up the picture, it's really Bellicheat in disquise!

PS: If you listen closely you can also hear three whistles blowing, not two like most are claiming.

great stuff insulation up the nose.

dm1dolphan | August 30, 2011 at 06:21 PM

When were all done we stick him in a barrel full of water and take our turns electrifying it before tossing a hair dryer in some 20 hours later!

i thought it was belliceat wearing a richard nixon mask. oh well.

If you blow up the photo enough, you will just see meaningless colored dots and therefore irrelevant.

Picture 1 is an INT, picture 2 maybe, but he is already running for his life. I saw the same play, only throw was to Hartline

If he threw to Bess and was an INT you would rail him for that too

here's the call: henne throws it to bess. the ball deflects off bess's hands and is intercepted. again!

I watched this play over and over again on the NFL channel today. Bess would have been a TD, but the timing would have had to be perfect.The ball would have to had been thrown as soon as bess broke left. Henne was getting rushed by that D lineman who actually jumped and may have knocked the ball down. The guy covering Hartline moves forward to take Bess out of the picture which is what makes Hartline come wide open in the back. If he would have let go of the ball in the first picture it either gets batted up in the air at the line or it's a possible pick 6 all the way down the left sideline. Then all we would hear is that sometimes it's better to get 3 points instead of making another bad decision, and how Henne has regressed since the Carolina game and he is so inconsistent from game to game, blah, blah blah...By the second picture, Henne had already decided to tuck the ball and go. So Hartline being open doesn't matter. Quarterbacks have a clock ticking in their head and the longer they prolong a play, especially around the goaline, the better chance something bad will happen. Maybe if this was the 4th quarter, in a real game and the final drive, in which we needed a touchdown to win, then I'd be upset that he tried to score on his feet, knowing he's far from fast. It actually looks like, in the first picture, that we have 2 linemen doubleteaming the d-line guy up the middle and the d-lineman in on one knee. Henne should have been able to get to the endzone. But, just one second later, as you pointed out, in the second picture that d-lineman is not only on his feet, but he is the one that makes the tackle on Henne. I can't believe that 2 O-linemen can't keep 1 D-lineman down. The outcome of that play could have been better but there are several ways it could have been worse. I'll take the 3 pts and at that point of the game, the lead.

agreed. as long as i get to use the great stuff.

Great Stuff! how's that for sinus congestion.

If you blow up the photo you can clearly see the Line Judge isn't even a line judge.

Just blow up the picture, it's really Bellicheat in disquise!

PS: If you listen closely you can also hear three whistles blowing, not two like most are claiming.

odinseye | August 30, 2011 at 06:23 PM

If you freeze frame you can clearly see smoke billowing over the Goal posts, then move a frame foward and catch the two camera men in Patriot caps, the side judge is clearly clutching a detonator under his jersey. The Ball was actually a BOMB!! Henne makes a mad dash for the nearest Bucs player in an effort to avoid detenation and if you see at plays end quickly throws the ball to the back judge who can be seen motioning desperatly to the side judge, WEEEEW!!

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