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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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Aloco, DC is Cuban. They only eat black beans and rice and fried crap. Nothing for the brain.

aloco.3-13. got it?.lol

aloco,planet of the humans is the worst movie ever.lol

Did this hack reporter just try to watch film?

Get back to rewriting Coach Sparano's press conferences.

Henne goes to pro bowl this year. You will see.

FOR THOSE OF YOU who dispute mando assessment of these pix, you flat out DON'T KNOW FOOTBALL. He was on point. those receivers WERE OPEN. he has to throw the ball - throw away from the DB , throw low were only his man can get. HERE IS HIS PROBLEM STILL.....HE HASN'T GROWN THE 'STONES' to make those throws. differene between henne and say phillip rivers.....CONFIDENCE IN HIMSELF AND HIS RECEIVERS!!! But this is the guy the brain damaged management (ireland, ross) stuck with!! and they've got some of you fans so wrapped up and fooled about developing players, etc. THIS IS THE PROS, IT IS NOT COLLEGE! IT'S ALL ABOUT WINNING GAMES NOT DEVELOPING PLAYERS!! either players cand play or they are SUPPOSED to get cut! PERIOD.

A good QB would have thrown it to Bess low and towards the sideline. Only Bess would have had a chance at it. A good QB would have done that.

He's probably afraid to throw an interception and be crucified by Sporano.He should be encouraged to throw the football and not to play scared. Interceptions are part of the game. No big deal. You take a shot and play to win. Check out Elway and P.Manning their first 3 years in the league.

The pics are the pics....and the pics don't lie...or make excuses...

If/when Henne is is going to move to the next level he will have to be able to process that information and pull the trigger on that throw with CONFIDENCE and CONVICTION......the difference between open and covered is a blink of an eye.....and Henne's job is to anticipate the reciever comming open....or throwing the reciever open.....

Not waiting for them to come open,,,,

Moore would have made that throw. Brady Quinn would have made that throw.

And here is why Mondo is a moron, because I can show you why Henne didnt throw it to Bess... http://img847.imageshack.us/img847/6808/getattachmentaspxog.jpg the DB covering Hartline is looking into the backfield as Bess makes his cut. If Henne makes that throw the DB would have jumped it and probably goes the other way for 6. By the time Hartline is free and open Henne is already running. I have the tape and have watched it 35 times+ Not only was teh DB looking at Chad he also had to throw AROUND Frank Okam. But lets just play the sky is falling a little longer..

To the GOE

Ask yourselves...does Brady, Manning, Rivers, Brees, Rodgers, Ben, Orton, Fitzgerald make that throw?

All of you people that agree with Mandos article are idiots, just like he treats you. He writes down to you, and expects you to follow him like the sheep that you are. Please, please play this play in real time video and you will see just how fast that defender was coming in and blocking the passing lane. this may be one of the worst articles I have ever read and a giant waist of his time writing it, he should be ashamed. There is no way this paper will allow him to write for much longer.

It's time for Andy Cohen's annual column featuring his fearless predictions for the upcoming season. Enjoy.

"There's a buzz around the Dolphins' camp this season. Many signs point to this being a very different year for our beloved Dolphins.

Granted, the Dolphins may not be ready to supplant the perennial powerhouses in Boston and New York, but they are on their way to making a bold statement.

Did you see the improvement in Chad Henne's play? I think there's a good chance Chad might make alot of his naysayers seem fooolish. Granted, he's no Tom Brady. But all signs point to Chad being a quarterback that we can rank somewhere between #2 to #32.

I really think Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas will be able to make Dolfans quickly forget Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. With Bush's flash and Thomas's power, Miami's running game may really take off. Sure, it will be difficult to replicate the halcyon days of Csonka, Morris and Kiick, but I honestly believe that our running attack could average anywhere between 45 and 130 yards per game. I don't mean to be so bold, but sometimes you have to go out on a limb."

Okay, I can't do this anymore. I'm too tired. But you get the idea. Andy Cohen is the most optimistic writer I've ever read, but his "predictions" are so general, and so ambiguous, that ultimately he is "right" about every one.

I HATE HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, that's harsh. But how the hell did this guy ever get his job?

I'm tired. I'm tired of hating on Andy.

Nobody has called this right. This picture is cut off at the top. If you see just a little higher, one of the fans was mooning Henne. That is what he was fixated on and so he didn't realize half of his receivers were wide open in the end zone.

What I noticed about Henne in this game more than any other is that he made some great check down plays. He looked aggressive in the pocket and made throws with conviction. In other words he played fearless. Last year he looked tentative and was afraid to throw interceptions. I put a lot of that blame on the coaches and play calling. This year, He looks like a leader!

*deep sad sigh*

Chad Henne has a LONG WAY to go:(

Hopefully lady luck and a positive team effort will help us win game.

I just want my Fins to be competitive.

LETS GO FINS!!!!!!!!!

May be the one who can make the TD throw to Hartline is Michael Vick because is left handed and he sometimes scrambles to the left after begun to run forward, IMO is very diffitult to any QB make the throw to Bess. If all the play where develop to right (as in a mirror) Roethilsberger, Matt Ryan, Brady coud make that throw.
Henne only in this preseason I rememer him using his legs, and asking him to scramble as Vick is too much.
By the way Armado only put his opinion, I don't think he is a Henne hater, many others and me are not agree with him this time, but is what this blog are made of, to discuss.

Pouncey is quoted on SS saying Henne is our leader. Last week Bush said it. The week before Marshall said that.

When the whole offense has to say publicly Henne is their leader...kinda makes you wonder why they even need to say that.

Nathaniel Dodsworth,

Andy Cohen in my opinion has a mandate in his job were he has to write the most HOMER FINFAN friendy dribble that he can. If not then he`s the Dolphins biggest fan apologist in the Sports writting community. I quit reading his the glass is half full lets look at everything through rose colored glasses cumbaya articles a long time ago. The article you mention is actually the most down to Earth lets keep our feet on the ground piece I`ve read from him in a while.

I still remember during our 1st Training Camp in the Parcells era 2008 that he wrote and I quote.

"The Genius that is Bill Parcells has pulled of one of the major Coup`s in this years draft. In doing there due dilligiance the Dolphins have managed to draft 3 OL who will anchor this team for the next decade (Long, S.Murphy, D.Thomas)"

We all know how that went with the OL still in flux entering the 2011 Season. He went on to write the following year about how brilliant a move drafting Pat White was to the evolution of the Wild Cat taking the formation to 2.0 and I remember him distinctly writting about how White could change the teams plans for there other potentially Franchise Q.B. C.Henne making him trade bait that could net a KNGS RANSOM in the future. He is fun to read if you want to dillude yourself in late August but unless you want to be reaching for a XANAX prescription by early November then you can`t take anything he writes very seriously.

Dr. Octavio Albondigas = fin4life

"""When the whole offense has to say publicly Henne is their leader...kinda makes you wonder why they even need to say that."""

Really want to know the answer to that? Because Omar keeps asking them, that's why.

ESPN, SI, and now PFT have the fins finishing 4th in the division.

NOBODY on the national media front believes Reggie can be an every down back, besides Sparano. Will be a good test for Reggie.

Dr. Octavio Albondigas = fin4life

JJ | August 31, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Wrong!!! Try again

Yes meatball, we understand your Spanish and it is just as boring and tiresome as in English. You should spend the time you waste here finding someone to take care of you.

fin4life-backwithabigSTIFFone, Tom and JJ,

You Boys need to read my Gospal in the New Testament, then and only then can Jesus come into your hearts and cure you of your sinful homosexual lifestyles

Man, there are some serious idiots on this blog in need of therapy!! I`ll check back when the talk has shifted back to Football.


WOW!! I was on my way out but it seems we have a bonafide expert on what`s knowledgeable and what isn`t about the game of Football. With all due respect as well why don`t you breakdown what you see as derivative dribble and school everyone on the facts and maybe your point of view can be taken with more than just a grain of salt.

Chad does have to be accountable for extending plays though. One of the responsibilities that come with your own audibles and taking control of the offense is that 50% of the time, you have to improvise and become the playmaker yourself. On this play, if he takes 2 steps forward and 1 step left, and keeps his head up, he buys himself the extra second to hit a wide open Hartline because the corner/safety were frozen from his movement in the pocket. Its a mental thing. He just has to tell himself he won't ever give up on a pass. Him running should be only happen if he sees the red sea part.

Are you F'ing kidding me with this Mandocrapp??
$12 a year for your always wrong opinions!!!
This is BS. Didn't you just cry last week about needing people to read your stupid column?? Because you had a family to feed?
And didn't you post 7 months ago about record views on this app in the 200,000??
This will be the only month I sign up for in order to call out everything you post wrong!!!

Your family eating good now aren't they!?!?!?

FYI the dolphins official app is free and better!!!

F'ing Tool

Yes. No.

First off if you watch the film Bess was not as open as this picture indicates. Henne would of had to throw a low left bullet to bess in order for it not to be deflected or picked off. Bess was double covered this whole time. Secondly the only reason Hartline looked open in this picture is because Henne felt pressure and decided to try to take it in hisself which the defender noticed and decided to pull away from Hartline. The guy who was covering Bess could've easily pulled away and covered Hartline if the ball was thrown to him, therefore a double covered situation once again. So the only thing I fault Henne for in this play was the fact that he felt pressure when it wasn't there. But if you think about how the line had been playing up to this point in the game, and the fact that there was a player in his blind spot who wasn't blocked by Long, I don't fault Henne for this either. If you want to get on anyones case Armondo get on the offensive line and Reggie Bush's for getting a 3 yard loss on 2nd and 1 from the freaking 1 yard line!!!!!

On second thought Armondo it's reads like these that should get you fired. You don't see the big picture and write just something just to stir the pot. Come on man get a grip.

The debate will rage on through this season... To Henne or Not to Henne, that will be the 2011 season's $1,000,000 question.

Hopefully Henne can prove naysayers wrong. Myself included I think if he has a litany of writers, broadcasters, ex jocks and fans that are doubting him bigtime. If he doesn't have motivational fire now, he never will.

As for the still picks I believe they show Bessie and Hartline are working hard to get open. It's Hennes job as a QB to make sure he has the visiob to see the routes, adjusts and resets his feet to be able to make an accurate throw. He should be either throwing his receiver open or putting the ball where his guy can get it.

I will say that Henne looks lighter and thus may be able to get his throws out faster. If indeed he has lost weight it may help his robotic actions.

At the end of the day, it's year 4 of Henne. He has to get it done or he will be an eternal journeyman.

The idea of starting over at QB next year is not appealing but, if Henne doesn't progress, offers more future hope.


He just has to tell himself he won't ever give up on a pass. Him running should be only happen if he sees the red sea part.

Posted by: Faz | August 31, 2011 at 12:52 PM

I basically agree, but now were talking hindsight and the play is still a 50/50 proposition.

If Henne steps up and slides left, maybe the DB come off the coverage. As it was, by that time, they setting on the play with the eyes set on Henne. Not a great situation with guys that run 4.4 fortys.

Anyway, I think what happened was Henne had some nice and surprising runs this pre season and I think he thought he had a chance to make it.

Either way, he has to improve in these situations. When he's forced to bail like that, he has to keep his head up and eyes downfield. He could've even created a little running room with a fake pump or two.

Ultimately we came away with a 10-0 lead. Not great, but definitely not BAD. All in all, he seems to be picking up Dabolls new offense pretty well. Lets all hope the improvements CONTINUE!

Lol, this is why you don't look at still pictures. You can also find lots of frames where a WR is blanketed and looks like any throw would be picked yet by the time the ball gets to the receiver he has three feet of separation.

If Henne throws that ball to Bess it's a hundred yard pick six. Henne can definitely improve but your analysis is worthless.

jim, glad you come on here for the ALoco posts.

FYI, ALoco is an idiot. He really has absolutely nothing to add about football. By the way, to you and everyone else, this is a Miami Dolphins blog. So, if you say the football talk is boring, ever think maybe you're on the wrong blog?

I'm with fin4life, will check back when the football people come back on to discuss the Dolphins.

@you betcha.. no they don't. Aaron Rodgers and rothlesberger would run it in because they were covered, peyton manning would've thrown a screen pass on 2nd and 1 for a touchdown, rivers, brees and brady have players behind an offensive line that can poke it in from the 1 on 2nd and 1 or they would've score from 20 yards out, and orton couldn't make that throw period since he doesn't have the arm strength.

If Armando and his "fans" react this way when Henne plays well, I wonder how they'll react when he lays an egg.

In just over a half of play he missed on TWO passes and one of those was arguably catchable(Gates on the sideline). To boot, he had a passer rating of 147.

Not many post numbers like that, at least not on a consistent basis. BUT, when Henne does, in a brand new offense, it cause for derisive condemnation?

Alrighty then............................

I've said this a thousand times and i'll say it again. Henne is a 2nd tier QB and will stay at that rate till his football career is over. He is not a calibur starter and will never be. When are you fans gonna accept that? I'm a HUGE fan of the dolphins and on here everyday but it sounds like you peeps cannot accept the truth! I totally understand that Henne's our QB so we have to support him but until we pick up an elite qb starter we ain't goin nowhere! Sucks to admit it but it's true.........

First, or is it Second, or is it childish?

oh btw, A good QB would have not hesitated to throw that ball to Bess, and even if he was covered a good qb would have bought jus a little bit of time to throw a nice touch pass back in the endzone to hartline......... ala Brett Favre!

Henne's major problem is that he thinks at the speed of cement drying. He rarely anticipates. From the time the receiver is open to the time he realizes it to the time he sends a postcard to his arm to throw the ball is often just too late or too wild.

henne does this from time to time, other QB's do it as well. but clearly as you say, the GREAT ones have that quick reflex to zing the ball right in there. we know henne has a strong arm, but maybe he uses IT improperly, maybe he thinks if he throws the ball hard on average it means he has a strong arm, when he should be using that strength to quickly throw it into a small but open window! i'm all about getting it right, cause like all fans i want to see my team win, that said, i hope someone is working to fix these glitches and not just saying "henne, you missed two open guys in the endzone!" further more after last years red zone drought, i seriously hope they are practing red zone drills twice as much as last year, they should also do more with the shotgun as well, be it practice and plays during the regular season. i hope henne audibles to shotgun with frequency. all that being said, it does look like henne has improved, he looks more in control and more INTO the game, maybe now that he is actually able to audible and run the offense he can become what all fans are hoping him to be!
good article by the way, it's good to see people who are in contact with the team bring problems into the light so that problems can be labled and corrected! good work!

odin, Rob,

I believe that Henne can actually look at this play and learn from it. If you watch the replay he had more than 5 yards of realestate in front of him before reaching the line of scrimmage and had he looked up field he would have seen the DB under cutting the route initially freezes then breaks towards him eventually getting in on the tackle. If he stops at about the 7 yardline he could have thrown a catchable ball to Bess we all know his arm is plenty strong enough

With regards to Hartline that pass was alot more risky than throwing to Bess because he would have had to float it in to him giving the DB on Bess time to break off his coverege to make a play on the ball along with the man covering him as well. It`s also worth noting that Hartline was running out of realestate in a hurry that pass would have had to have been pin point perfect while the pass to Bess if thrown toward the outside shoulder had a better chance given the DB was directly behind him and in no position to pick it off an agressive mistake by the DB and it could easily have been a pass interference call.

I won`t Bash him for deciding to run, I just hope in looking at it himself he realizes that in that type of situation his movements can freeze DB`s just enough to make a big play downfield in the future.

By the way ALoco, I have a B.A. degree from college, thank you very much. Frankly, though, I know a bunch of people who are geniuses compared to you and never even graduated high school, so I'm not sure what intelligence has to do with how far you went in school.

What makes YOU in particular an idiot is your nonsensical statements first and foremost (and I've been reading you for a few years now, and still don't understand why you come to a Dolphins blog to post). But also your horrible grammar. And many of the regulars on here have just ignored you (like me before and after this group of response posts to you).

Does it make you feel better that you're completely ignored because you bring nothing relevant to any conversation that may be going on? As for me, a bunch of people respond to my posts. Why? Because I usually stay on topic and have something worthy to say (not that I'm always right, but it's usually something others can and want to debate). Maybe you should try that sometime. Maybe people will stop ignoring you if you do.

With regards to Hartline that pass was alot more risky than throwing to Bess because he would have had to float it in to him giving the DB on Bess time to break off his coverege to make a play on the ball along with the man covering him as well.

Posted by: fin4life | August 31, 2011 at 01:38 PM

Seems to me some are not evaluating Henne as a FOUR YEAR PRO but more like a rookie. A PRO QB that is worthy of starting either throws to Bess low and outside where only he could get it, or he pump fakes it early to Bess, drawing in the defender and then floats it up to Hartline in the deep corner. Hartline if necessary could then have stepped up blocking off the defender from the deep corner and have had the best position to make the play. This is what pros prepare for.

I say its time to have higher standards for this QB and not continue evaluating him as though he is still on training wheels.

Like I said when I wrote it, you guys will react angrily.

Already knew that and could care less.

I never said there wasn't ANY good football insight here, only that (in my opinion) most of it is pretty insipid and yawn inducing. And I don;t know how anyone could deny it's repetitive. Seriously, the same thing over and over and over ad nauseum. Why should I pretend that's interesting?

I enjoy the weird characters here a lot more than the ones who act like a silly child's game is deathly important or that they are "experts" on the subject (which is kind of comical in itself, actually).

For actual football analysis/news, I go to a variety of sites such as PFT, ESPN, Pro Football Weekly, etc. as well as Herald, Sun Sentinel, PB Post for more specific Dolphins news and analysis.

Here? This is comic relief. Sorry.

For those saying that the DB who was running away from Bess at the time could have undercut the pass let's use a little math to dispel this myth. First I point out again that the db was running away from the play, you can see the distance increase between him and Bess in the second picture. Second the DB behind Bess does not have a play because Bess has position on him, he is blocked out, the only play he has is to run through Bess which would be pass interference. Finally, an average NFL QB throws the ball at 55 MPH, this means the ball travels 80.666 feet per second, Henne was 10 yards away from Bess so if he throws the ball it would get to Bess in .375 seconds. So unless the DB running away from Bess is either a vampire or a mutant who can magically appear in front of Bess in .375 seconds there is no way he cuts in front of Bess to intercept the ball.

As much as I hate to break away from Armando's Warren Commision Worthy breakdown of two still photographs(lol), I'm forced too.

Sometime around 8:00am from Armand's tweeter:

Dick Stockton: "The Dolphins are not worried about the offensive line. Coaches tell us [in production meetings] they'll be fine."

I hope this is smoke while Ireland finds some gas for a fire.

Fine isn't the word I'd use to describe what I've seen from the right side of our offensive line this pre season.

I'm alreay starting to sweat the New England game going in with Carey and Colombo.

Granted the pats went 14-2 last year so I have to temper that with some hope, but also with some realistc exectations.

However, of all the coaches we will face, can you imaging how Bellicheat will game plan for these two liabilities?

If we go in with Carey and Colombo, I'm going to go out on a limb with a predicton:

It'll be UGLY, early and OFTEN!!!!

It's not like were talking about young guys that have yet to reach their potential or that are having troubles transitioning to the NFL. These are veterans that have peeked. They're on the downslides of their careers and gaining momentum.

There not going to all of the sudden start looking like pro bowlers.


Just a tip, for comic relief, or any other kind of relief, there are far better options than a sports blog.

until we pick up an elite qb starter we ain't goin nowhere! Sucks to admit it but it's true.........

Posted by: loso204 | August 31, 2011 at 01:27 PM

Yeah, everybody always just "Picks Up" an elite QB. Jst like picking apples from a tree.

Who has time to develop QB's in this day and age.

IS THERE A PRACTISE TODAY? If so, can we get some camp notes!!!

I fully understand those who say things get repeated endlessly here and things get too boring because that happens. At the same time, to come here and scoff about it and belittle it is basically saying you still don't have anything better to do, so be glad you have this option or you'd really be bored!

Whatever, Simon. You have your opinion and I have mine.

I'll give you an example of what I consider good analysis here. Saw a post yesterday from someone (don't know who) who pointed out that football in REAL TIME is a lot different from isolating nanoseconds in still pictures. I found that to be an excellent (and entirely accurate) observation in contrast to the kneejerk, predictable responses I see in 90% of the posts here.

The "crazies" provide me some laughs amid all that dreariness. If others disagree, that's fine. There opinion is just as valid, but it won't change mine.

Nope, Henne is clearly no Dan Marino. He hasn't yet played 19 seasons without a title.

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