Chad Pennington will start for the Dolphins Sunday.

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.

Number 53

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Next Dolphins Game View full schedule »
Thursday, Aug 2828 Aug7:00St. Louis RamsBuy Tickets
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Brandon Marsahall Chad Henne Chad Henne Benched Chad Pennington Dan Henning Miami Dolphins Tony Sparano

  • alabamaphinfan

    Think this is a good move. Penny looked good in pre-season (the little bit that he played)and i think at the very least he won’t be as prone to throw the INT. Several of the Phins losses have been close…and without the few Ints Henne threw who knows? I think Henne is a good QB but he looks like he is playing scared, not sure what this move will do for his confidence though.

  • David

    Henne is not a premier QB but I think the FINS need to run the ball more. Ronnie had 9 carries and Ricky 1 in the last game and they threw the ball 34 times. That is not how this team is built.

    • alabamaphinfan

      I agree they need to run the ball more.. But the running lanes don’t seem to be there like they were last year. I guess i just figured when Brandon came to town that the running game would get better not worse!

  • http://[email protected] Cody

    I completely agree with this article. Henne is a good quarterback, and he also possesses what I think it takes to be a great one. His passer rating is very impressive and to be honest, a good portion of these interceptions haven’t been his fault and can be attributed to his receivers not pulling through. That being said, obviously he still isn’t where he needs to be yet. He has to continue to develop and grow. That takes time. I believe the reason why he hasn’t flourished as quickly as everyone expected is because Henning. The play calling has been very suspect, Henning is constricting Henne to short game passing instead of letting him use that cannon of an arm he has downfield. Henne isn’t even allowed to audible at the line of scrimmage, another sign of coaching holding Henne back. Seems to me they’re telling Henne not to lose games, instead of trying to win them. Hopefully this move to Penny is just to incite of positive reaction out of Henne. Henne is the future.

  • http://[email protected] Cody

    because OF Henning***

    And yes, we need to run more. Ronnie looked great early in Baltimore, and then….no more run calls?

  • David

    Ronnie: 9 ATT 59 yds 1 TD 6.5 yards per carry against the Racens for Ronnie. ONLY 9 Carries with 34 pass attempts, are you kidding me.
    Ricky was better than 4 yards per carry agains the pack and the first series on OT they throw the ball 3 strait time and go three and out. Lucky the pack didn’t score. The next series they run the ball, drive down and kick the winning field goal. The numbers don’t lie. RUN THE BALL. The lanes are there but they are not getting the carries. This is not the Marino are. You can’t abandon the run after no gain on the first series of the game. If that were the case, we wouldn’t throw the ball either.

  • Txmedic5

    I think when you look at the play calling run vs. pass ratios you can take away that the inconsistency is the fact that there is no consistency in Dan Hennings offensive system. It’s antiquated and not suitable in todays NFL.

  • daniel

    This article is right on. I am not a big fan of the dolphins play calling and always just trying to stay close and not lose games. The only drive I have liked this year was the one against the Bengals where they drove and scored. Pennington is not going to open up Marshall, Pennington is not going to increase the yardage of Ricky and Ronnie. Last week the fins were pounding the Ravens on the ground and stopped. I am not a fan of Henning and am becoming less and less a far of Sporano. These coaches dont have a clue. Bring Gruden to Miami!!!!!

  • Jetro

    This call is starting to confirm the Parcell’s rumor that he wasn’t happy with Henne’s development at the start of the season. Granted, Henning’s play calling and the lack of being able to call audibles doesn’t help things either but the Dolphins haven’t had a QB since Marino that could lead a team back in the 4th quarter.

  • Bill

    I think Sparano knowns that it’s Hennings offense that’s the problem, but the issue is, if you want to be competitive this year (realistically this team probably isn’t that good, but the playoffs aren’t totally out the of the picture), Pennington is the better QB for *this* offense. So maybe he thinks: 1.) I can bench Henne, 2.) I can tough it out with Henne and maybe go 8-8 or so and not make the playoffs in a competitive AFC, or 3.) I can change the offensive coordinator in the middle of the season. Sparano wants to win this year (they do have talent on this offense) and realizes Henning needs to go, but maybe thinks the offensive playbook needs a drastic overhaul (something you need an off season to re-learn) for it to really be of any benefit to Henne. If you’re not willing to drastically overhall the offensive playbook, Pennington is the best option to run this offense if you want to make a run at the playoffs this year. I think it shows Sparano’s willingness not to give up on this season in the win-column, for the sake of giving Henne some practice. I agree it’s somewhat risky because who knows how it’ll affect Henne, but I really do think it’s Sparano’s way of making the best of a poor offensive system that doesn’t fit with Henne at all (not to mention some weird play calling). Maybe once the season’s over, he can hire a new offensive coordinator and create something that is actually designed to work with Henne, rather than shape him into a Pennington-like QB (which he’s not and never will be).