The new season is two days away for the Dolphins and one of the storylines that interests is the relationship between Brandon Marshall and Chad Henne.
Remember that dynamic last year?
Marshall talked about he and Henne weren't really on the same page. I guess it was because Marshall often ran impromptu routes based on what he felt or saw and Henne is not really an impromptu kind of guy. Henne is a precise guy that expects a 12-yard sideline route run at exactly 12 yards -- not 14 yards, not 11 yards.
Marshall is more emotional and reacts to the issues as they happen -- spur of the moment.
See the disonnect?
The relationship also was seen on the sideline on a number of times, with Marshall yelling at the quarterback and the quarterback ignoring the receiver's words.
So this year the question of how these two will get along has been important because, well, Henne is still the quarterback and Marshall is still Miami's alpha wide receiver.
Both players say the relationship between them is great this year. But to see how these view things and operate, one need only see how they answered the question of how they get along when the issue was brought up this year.
"I’m so tired of that question," Marshall said, "... how long are we going to go over that question? Maybe if I answer it differently for you guys this time, man.
"Caught a ouple of nice long balls in the preseason ... targeted a bunch of times ... what more can I ask for? He’s spinning it well. We’re communicating great ... I don’t know, is that good enough for you?"
Marshall's had perhaps four media availabilities since July but when he was asked about state of the chemistry between himself and Henne this week, he acted as if he goes to sleep with the question at night and wakes up with it every morning.
Henne also has been asked about the relationship, including this week. And his answer is a little more encouraging.
“I mean it’s going great," Henne said. "I really think Brandon has come a long way; I’ve come a long way. And I think it’s just a new attitude this year. A lot of frustrating points last year which kind of created that mis-relationship that everybody saw. But I believe this year is a new person in Brandon a new person in me. We’re just excited to get back on the field on Monday."
Anyway, I really want to believe. I want to think these two vastly different individuals can find common ground -- at least on the field, if not all the time.
But I believe the true test of this relationship will be the difficult moments, the times when defenses are pressuring and double-covering and confusing the two men. At that point, when the proverbial bullets are flying, will they remain patient with one another?
Will each understand that the other is dealing with difficulties -- Henne in reading defenses and getting away from the pass rush and Marshall in finding open spaces in tight defenses and trying to detach from men named Revis and McCourty and Asomugha?
In the crisis moments when adrenaline is pumping and emotions are high and nerves are frayed, will this duo find understanding? Will they maintain their "new attitude?"
Or do they resort to that "misrelationship?"
It will be interesting to see.