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

dm1dolphan | August 30, 2011 at 06:28 PM


What is this Great Stuff? I have tried mostly everything else.


I´m not sure but given were talking about torturing somebody I doubt the "Great Stuff" is anything you want to be on the receiving end of.

Armando, your a hater... Henne had a really good game, and most importantly he is getting more confident.... Stop bashing the guy because you don't wanna go back on what you say... If that's the case, you know how many QB's miss open recievers do to pressure, or just plain missed them.. Don't make this a "Chad Henne" thing.... It happens league wide...

fin4life, you actually called the only play Henne could have made there. He could have run up in the pocket to escape the pressure. Like you said he had 5 yards. Try to get a defender to leave his man and come towards you, and then lob it over his head to Bess or Hartline. That would have been the best play he could've done.

But, and I think we're all mostly in agreement, that's really splitting hairs. For a QB that was on the bench last we saw, this is a HUGE improvement.

I'm not ashamed to say I'm very pleased with Henne's progression right now. And even happier to say I'm EXTREMELY optimistic about Daboll's playcalling. What a difference 8 months makes.

The defender's stance in the first picture is definitely to the LEFT of the passing lane, Girls.

Henne could have easily drilled the ball to Bess because the defenders' momentum was pulling them away from Bess, NancyBoyz. Bess faked them out of their cleats.

You homers are such dummies.

Mando for Prez in '12!!!!! Seriously, good stuff, Mando. Thanks.

Oh, you mean peanut butter in my Ass? I tend to stay away from that.

wow dc, easy sell huh.


Super impose one picture over the other. It's amazing! You can clearly see Henne's head moves BACK and to the left, BACK and to the left.........

dusty, don't get it twisted, in the last blog where Mando asked for predictions mine was 8-8 for the Phins, so I haven't drunk the Kool-Aid.

But, you can't tell me Henne has looked markedly better than last Dec. Stevie Wonder can see that. And Daboll's offense isn't C4 to Henning's sparkler offense? C'mon, be honest dude. Read Hyde's piece in the Sun Sentinel. Sparano yelled at Daboll against Carolina, "can I get ONE run play for the old man?" Daboll's offense opens the field, uses its weapons, and is intended to score points...QUICKLY. I really have nothing to complain about there.

Now do I think we're going to the SB, or even Playoffs, doubtful, we've had to come too far. But that doesn't mean I can't get excited when I see my team going in the right direction, right?

fins released donahue today.

Oh, and Mando's technically right with this blog. Henne IS a loooong way to being Peyton Manning, agreed.

But at the same time he's come a loooong way from that last game in Dec. when he was benched. That too is factual.

From Steve Wyche on nfl.com:

Well, say what you want, but Henne has looked like a totally different quarterback the past two preseason games.


Out chaps. Tomorrow's another day.


You talk about "studying him, viewing tape, slowing it down to a millisecond".... YET YOU CANT EVEN DO THAT CORRECTLY!!!!!!

Why did you OMIT the millisecond of tape that actually COUNTS????!! you know--- the exact moment where Henne decides to tuck and run?!!.... the same moment that shows a COVERED UP HARTLINE not even looking at Henne!!!

How CONVENIENT of you to use a picture of what occurred AFTER the coverage reacted to Henne tucking!!!!!


I'd have to say that after eventually moving over to the darkside and becoming a Henne hater by the end of last season, I'm actually feeling pretty optimistic at this point regarding our staring QB from what I've seen in the preseason. Jets fans like to talk about Snachez leading their team to 2 AFC champ games, Last night he looked like crap. Only got a TD thanks to a 70 yrd return by Cromartie. Eli, a "Superbowl Winner" looked pretty bad as well. Even the great Tom Brady was looking not so good in this weeks game. All of these QB's, plus many more, are looking bad in this 3rd preseason game. The one that's "supposed to matter". Meanwhile "Horrible Henne" posts a QB rating of 149 in his third preseason game, with a new OC and an O-Line doing a piss-poor job. The sky is definitely not falling.

Sup fellas, been a few ticks.

What I can glean from the overall play is that the Fins should be little better at most positions. You can only take so much from preseason. The running game I am not high on. Safety play will have to be seen. Henne has faster guys but he still has to hit them. He will need to be sharper in "Pocket Awareness" or it will be a long season.

It looks like at times the OFF is making strides and then they will not get the first down or they can't get off the field on a third and long on D.

Can't believe Cameron Wake couldn't run down Freeman! Wake is a much more awkward runner than I thought...thank God he can run the arch like his hair was on fire.

Liked to see Henne uncork the long one to Marshall and the stiff arm comes out so he can score. That should be something to build on.

Bottomline is, I believe that Henne can make some improvement this year but I still see him coming up short. I think it will be deja vue at times this year.

The absolute patient ones that continue to give Henne mad rope will say let's go ahead and have a sacrificial truth seeking year. If Henne doesn't haul the mail, then let's draft a QB next year.

That plan sux but it is exactly the plan the Bifecta are going with. They didn't get Orton, or Hasselbech or VY or even take a stab at ANY QB in the draft?!?!?...they went with a lesser known commodity in Moore. No sense in having Henne feel actual pressure in a real competition...it's bad for his acne.

Colt McCoy was found in a middle round. I said he "WAS FOUND" as in you have to take shots in order to unearth players. There are first round busts ALL over the place as this flesh roulette is an inexact science. I would even tread lightly on the science part.

Like winning the lotto...you HAVE TO PLAY TO HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN. The premise is: Gotta take a shot! If you have all your 1st and 2nd round choices spoken for in OL's and RB's...try your best shot with the next pick at a QB. Even if your not convicted, at least you have a shot to do better than you thought and land a good triggerman type such as a McCoy.

Alas, I will watch and pray for some victories.


Any sane person HAS to see how much better Henne looks right now. The last 2 games have been VERY encouraging.

The OL? Not so much...


Me knows what you be doing, Mandito. (wink-wink, nudge-nudge)

Your arrogant, inflated self doesn't like to appear wrong, so you're subjectively & consistently continuing with your irrational Henne hatred hoping that Chad eventually screws up and proves you right. (nudge-nudge again)

Little do you know you're digging your grave...... deeper & deeper!! I wish I could only watch all the middle fingers you receive this year.

You can't analyze Henne's performance this preseason based on one play where you think he missed an opportunity. If he went to Bess I'm guessing it would have been intercepted. Even great quarterbacks have an off play. The Delta between where you are now and being a good journalist is greater than the Delta between where Henne is and being a good NFL quarterback. You just don't come across as a very credible NFL analyst. It's only pre-season and time will tell, but it looks to me that Henne has turned the corner and will at least move into the middle of the pack this year. With our defense, that's all we need to have a shot at the playoff's.

tigerphins = odinpoopeye

I don't need any freaking pictures to comprehend fully that Henne SUCKS. I have witnessed 27 NFL games that Robot Henne has done just that.

How many times have we seen open.. WIDE OPEN recs that Tin Man blew.

We have provided the Tin man 55 gallon drums of earl and he still squeaks SUCKS.

Anyone who thinks Henne is going to be anything more than average and beat Manning,Brady,Rivers,Flacco,Rothlisberger, or even Sanchez to lead this team to a Super Bowl either ate paint chips as a kid or has some type of brain injury.



Wow. Dolphin nation has ripped off Mandi's head and shyt down his neck. Seriously Mando, whoever you are repeatedly pleasuring at the herald to keep your job MUST be getting his money's worth. You can't write, but you certainly have other skills.

Glad Henne is doing better but let's get one thing straight: We're not going anywhere without a O-line. Even a predominatly pass offense (like the Colts) needs a few runs to keep the D honest.

Got it?

It's not about being good, it's about being great. Good teams don't win the Super Bowl, great teams do. We had the greatest grace the field for 17 years and he was only able to take us to the big dance once. So now all the Henne lovers are trying to convince me that Henne is the guy that will lead us there? Are you kidding me? Really, Marino couldn't do it, a first ballot HOF but Henne will? You are all delusional at best!

Have to agree with some here that Bess wasn't really open, at least not in that first picture when Henne was still holding the ball. Now MAYBE Henne could have thrown him open if he had anticipated the break. Hard to say if Bess is his first read though.

On the other hand Hartline definitely was open and I could see that in the game too. The decision to tuck and run was a poor one given the yardage needed and the number of backs in coverage. He should have tossed a ball to Hartline where only he could get it. Given him a shot.

Our guy is doing much better, but he still struggles in high pressure situations like this one. I'll still take Henne 3.0 over Sanchez and about a dozen other starting QBs any day, and I'm hoping he develops more in this area. Red zone is hard for a young QB. The compressed field requires instinct and knowledge of the play and your routes. Hand up or not, your vision is never going to be that great.

People have said worse about Dilfer.

He's wearing a ring.


Henne just needs a full oline, Adrian Peterson, Cris Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Antonio Gates and he will be a fine QB. Can't expect much from a QB with no support around him.

Has anyone else noticed Hartline struggling against press coverage?

LOL, Dilfer is the exception not the rule. Look up the winning Super Bowl teams of all time, tell me how many Dilfers are in there. I rather try to win the way the majority of teams have not the minority, who plans to take the less successful path to a SB?

Somehow--I just know it was Henning's fault or the OLine's fault or the WR's fault.Would someone show the pix to Sparano and tell him to give Moore a real chance to start!Everytime I've seen him play I've been impressed with his gunslinger attitude.

DC @6:42,

I am also pleased with what I`ve seen so far from Henne but unfortunately for him with no run threat (we could actually be worse at it this Season) and a very shakey right side of the OL. It`s MHO that Henne will see blitz packages galore along with alot of shifting from the LDE or WLB over to the right like we did to G.B. last year with Wake when Bulaga was in at RT ect..

This could very well be the last time we see Henne under Center for any team in a while. The #1 killer of young Q.B.`s has always seemed to be over exposure to unrelenting pressure which throws them in the perverbial bubble for the rest of there careers. Remember D.Carr, J.George, Art Schlister and a host of others who had the talent but took to many sacks early and never rebounded. The OL and RB situation is far and away the biggest problem we have and if we want to take a step n the right direction fixing it would go a looooong way! (pun intended)

When all is said in done, we will have a few good games this year, a few party victories, but fall short in the end. We are looking at regime change again come 2012. New coaches, new system, minor rebuild...and...uhg...2 or 3 more years...

That is just the way it is going to be.

i also reviewed this play quite a few times and the reality is, he did have hartline wide open, he sensed pressure that wasn't really there, and darted. i like that he didn't force it, but he could have kept his eyes downfield and ditched it to hartline. that said, a great improvement from last year.

FO said you can never have enough dlinemen. Ok. But you can always have not enough playmakers at the skill positions.

I think they botched the running game, botched not picking up an available prime TE, and botched the QB situation. Botched still not having the oline in order. Not only is Henne gun shy, but Ireland too.

Ever since Shula left, ever FO since has not properly addressed the offense. For every step forward JJ brought the defense, he took two steps backwards on the offense and we never recovered. JJ, WannWart, Satan, CamBum, Pukecells, just ditched building an offense like the plague.

The Henne Club will need to find more excuses on opening night agains the Pats. Let's see....it will be...

1 Receiver should of caught the ball, it hit him right in the head.

2 O Line sucks and Henne was protecting franchise by kneeling down.

3 It wouldn't matter if he scored because the refs were paid off by Pats.

Opposing teams will give the DC the week off when we are the next game on their schedule.

Fpffg. Guess you will need a new screen name now.

fin4life thanks for pointing out the line of scrimmage. I was wrong and thought the red flag at the ten was the line of scrimmage so that takes away from my original post. You're right about him tucking too early and so was Armando. With that being said the nitpicking (not by you) is still annoying.

...Rob in OC....WHAT UP!!!!!!!!!!!

Fin4Life... I'm hoping that the running game can be effective enough to keep the pass attempts to around 25-30 a game. We have to be able to play in favorable down and distance. So execution on first down is more vital then an inflated yards per carry average. If we are constantly playing "behind the chains" offfensive football is going to be a challenge here.

We ran it well in preseason game 2. Obviously the Panthers are a train wreck so that makes the performance a little questionable. The first game we used backs that aren't going to be on the roster for the majority of the carries, so again tough to judge. The bad taste in our mouths from last week is still fresh and lingering. So all he mistakes are going to be magnified more then they probably should. It was clear that we could not run block to save our own lives. We need to see what adjustments are made before declaring the end of the world.

The final preseason game probably won't give a real canvas to paint the picture we want to see. We haven't seen Jake Long yet, snd his presence will no doubt solidify one side of the line. The problem is the right side. I think it woul be in the teams best interest to play the projected starters(lineman) for more than 2-3 series. They need the reps. This goes for Pouncey as well. I know injury is a concern. But at this point, perhaps a ding to one of those guys(with the exception of Pouncey) may be a blessing in disguise.

Some want perfection or a very high standard, others are eager to gaggle happily with just 'ok'.

Typical fin fan is a typical woman. He's just mad we don't have a pro bowl QB and not because it would make the team better. He's mad because he/she wants to be able to brag to all of his/her friends that his/her team has the best QB with the cutest butt out of all of them. He/she wants that poster hanging in his/her bedroom.

Mr Ross, why don't you trade for the best QB ever Tim Tebow.


LOL! Easy tigerphins! It's an opinion piece. All though I'll give you that this blog comes off as all knowing sometimes!

When did Mando Become Omar? Get your websites straight armchairs.

Mando Checker, I'm glad you are such a big fan. I see you read every word I write. I read a couple you wrote and the one you mentioned was way off -- coward.

I'm not the one that comes to a blog anonymously to rip people.

The people I criticize know who I am and know where to find me. I'm around them every day. And I've been around for 20 years.

A puke like you will be here five minutes under an assumed name and then sink back into the shadows.

So you tell me ... who is the coward?

He's mad because he/she wants to be able to brag to all of his/her friends that his/her team has the best QB with the cutest butt out of all of them. He/she wants that poster hanging in his/her bedroom.

Posted by: LouD | August 30, 2011 at 08:07 PM

Who is the sick twisted one here? Talking about mens butts and signing your name to it? Yucko. Icko. Man you need a life big time, or a boyfriend.

At least your Consitance Mando, I'll say that for you.

so, i'm sitting here taking in the steelers/falcons game. it's near the end of the first qtr. the falcons are driving. they get into the redzone and matt ryan has a receiver wide open, i mean UNCOVERED, in the corner of the end zone and he throws the ball too high for the receiver to come down with it. no db's even close to the guy. all he had to do was take his time and throw the ball to him and it was an easy 6. and, matt ryan is considered one of the best in the league.
then, it's early 2nd qtr. big ben, also considered one of the best, on a 3rd and 20 has hines ward wide open downfield, no db's even close to him, and overthrows him. again, easy 6 if he hits him in stride. he was so far ahead of the db's he may have been able to underthrow ward and ward still may have made it to the endzone.
the defense rests.

Armando, don't let him get to you. A lot of douche bags are pleased with 7 to 8 wins year in and year out. The minute you say something about it, it's the end of the world. I've been saying many times that YES I'm pleased with the fact Henne is slowly getting better but the real test remains the regular season. I don't really care about beating Atlanta and Carolina in preseason. We'll see what happens. I'm not going to get too excited just yet. Some people think because the guy had 2 good preseason games in a row we should call him the next Dan Marino or something. Get real folks.

you know, i also did a film study last year of henne's interceptions and i was able to find that half of the interceptions that were attributed to his play were actually due to receivers not making the catch and deflecting the ball to the db or a receiver running the wrong route or a receiver falling down. in all of those cases henne put the ball exactly where it needed to be but because his receivers did not make the play he gets credit for the INT. if you're going to argue that this guy isn't a good qb you need to know what you're talking about first.

there will never be another Dan Marino. however, i truly beleive that henne will have a good enough year this year that, assuming the remainder of the team plays well, he will lead the team to the playoffs. there is a definite maturity to the guy at his position that you didn't see in the first two seasons. there is no reason to believe that he will do anything but continue to improve and, if ireland continues to make the right acquisitions and draft choices, this team will continue to improve also. therefore, i'm convinced that it is possible this team can make the playoffs for the next five to six years. there are some problems with the offensive line and the running game but the defense is solid and they are deep at receiver. if they can solve the problems with the o-line they should be a force in the afc.

Didn't realize Armando was a QB coach and was qualified to evaluate QB talent. Must have been hard giving up all that money from the NFL to become a Sports writer, huh??? Armando???

gheez, i've watched the play again. 3rd and 20 for pittsburgh and ward goes down the field uncovered. nobody even sees him and snottsyburger just blows it. BAD! but, big ben is one of the best. so, noboby is going to fault him for missing one pass. even if it was an easy td and put pittsburh up 17-3 in the 2nd.

Is the game blacked out down in So. Fla like a earlier post said?

I usually enjoy your blogs Armondo but dude, your really looking at still photos. Come on bro. Look at the big ass defensive end with his hands up right in front of henne. God, you piss me off some times. However I will still be listening to your show in the morning.

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