You remember one of the major knocks on Chad Henne last season, right? No personality. No emotion. No swag.
People called him robotic.
Where was that automaton in the regular-season opener against the Patriots? Thankfully, he seemed not to attend the game.
Henne didn't look at all robotic in this game. He moved around. He had life. When he and Brandon Marshall got together on the sideline, it was Henne doing much of the talking instead of most of the listening as it was last year.
And that rushing TD on the quarterback draw? Henne wound up windmill style and spike the ball with so much emphasis, his shoulder pads popped out from under his jersey.
“I mean, we’re just excited," Henne said this week. "Just excited to get in. Again, we’re not going to talk a lot about New England. We’re trying to move on to the Texans so, you know, we just got to improve on what we did and improve on it.”
Well, maybe not all the robotic nature is gone off the field. But on the field? For this one game at least?
"He played with, I thought, a lot of passion in the past. But I think that right now the environment that’s being festered on that side of the football is one where there’s more enthusiasm … just all around," coach Tony Sparano said. "The line coach is a guy that has a lot of enthusiasm and passion but then the tight end coach comes in and now (Brian) Daboll comes in and (Jeff) Nixon.
"You got guys on that side of the ball that play, that coach with a lot of passion and I think it’s kind of rubbing off on the players."
It is obvious to anyone watching that Daboll, who is the coach primarily in Henne's ear, has brought to the player a spark he didn't have last year because, I believe, Daboll is simply younger and more enthusiastic than some of the coaches that were in Henne's ear last year.
Last year? QB coach David Lee was more worried about Henne not making mistakes than making plays. And Henne's at-times tentative, careful play showed that.
That's not how Daboll wants Henne playing.
"What I told Chad and what I tell all the guys is that as an individual you need to be yourself," Daboll said. "Don't throw your arm out if you spike it. We need it. That was a play that was designed for him and he was excited that it worked and he showed emotion. I'm glad he showed emotion.
"This is an emotional game and you need to show emotion. If you don't show emotion, sometimes you're a little too flat."