UPDATE: According to Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel:
Sources told me the Dolphins made this change because they really need to know if the problem’s the OFFENSE (Henning) or the trigger man.
UPDATE: According to Ricky Williams in an interview yesterday, Chad Henne is not allowed to audible at the line of scrimmage. Argue either side if you want, but how can a QB lead a team if he can’t change a play that he knows won’t work?
Read Patrik Nohe’s Breaking News article on this benching, here.
Today, Tony Sparano announced that Chad Henne will be benched this week in favor of Chad Pennington for the Tennessee Titans Game on Sunday. Henne has been beaten down in the local media and some fans have been screaming for a change for weeks. Henne played a poor game last weekend against the Ravens throwing three interceptions and missing a wide open Anthony Fasano for a touchdown that would have kept the game a lot closer.
“After making long evaluations of all the details involved, what I’ve decided to do here as we move forward is Chad Pennington is going to be the quarterback,” Sparano said. “Took a lot of things into consideration, weighed an awful lot of options out. This is not an indictment at all. This is not an indictment on his future. This player has gotten an awful lot player right now. He’s come two-fold from where he was. But this is something I need to do.”
This decision can be taken two ways. One, Sparano is mixing it up to try and spark something offensively or two, he simply doesn’t know why his offense is failing. Either way, Dan Henning supporters will have little to back up if this little mid-season experiment fails. It should be noted that I fully expect Chad Pennington to play better than Henne as this system and the Dan Henning offense is far better suited to Pennington’s short yardage game style.
Personally, I don’t like this move as I think that it could potentially have detrimental effects on Chad Henne’s development as I strongly feel that Henne is a product of the coaches trying to make him more like Pennington instead of building their game plans around Henne’s strengths instead of his weaknesses. Which is also why I think that Penny should fair better in this offense.
The issue to me is that the Dolphins are not coaching right now. I am a fan of Tony Sparano but this to me seems more knee jerk than an actual thought process. Why not give Henne the opportunity to go out and win games instead of asking him not to lose them? This will surely spark a lot debate as their have been numerous fans on this site begging for Henne to be benched and will not only applaud this development but will use any Pennington success as proof to their opinions on Henne. That, I believe will be an unfair comparison.
There is not doubt that I support Henne 100 percent as the QB of this team and the one I see leading this team in the future. It would be a mistake for the Dolphins to think that Henne is not the answer. I strongly believe that the answer to the Dolphins woes on offense are more in line with the play calling and the lack of rhythm that this team has as result of the decisions to call certain plays at the wrong time, couple that with the execution of lineman and WR’s, drops by the WR’s, an ineffective running game, and a QB who is still raw and you have the mess that we call the Dolphins offense.
I fully expect Pennington to play well out of the gate, and I will say that at the very least, we should say a lot more spark from him as a leader behind center than the often stoic face of Henne who is utterly emotionless as a field general. Another reason why I don’t feel he is comfortable within this offensive style. However, all that being equal, if Pennington falls flat we know exactly who to point the finger at next week.
So is Dan Henning’s offense a Chad Pennington offense or just a failure? We’ll find out this Sunday.