4 & 4 Is Not Good Enough?

At the start of the 2010 season, expectations were high.  The Miami Dolphins came out of the off-season with a stellar All-Pro LB and an All-Pro WR.  The running game was going to be fantastic, Chad Henne was going into his second year, and the return of Vontae’ Davis and Sean Smith had the makings of something special.  Yet, for all that expectation, many fans and members of the media thought that the Dolphins would be a 4 win 4 loss team at the half-way point.  So here we are at the half-way point and guess what, we are 4 and 4 and everyone is complaining.

And rightly so.

The first half of the season was going to be tough.  Road games against playoff teams, home games against tough division opponents.  While the Phins won the games on the road they faltered at home.  Surprisingly, only two games all season were out of reach by the midway point of the 4th quarter.  The Special Teams Monday Night Meltdown game and last weeks Baltimore game.  In every other game, home and away, the Dolphins have been in position to either win, or maintain the lead.

What has everyone upset is the lack of offensive production.  The running game, so dominant in years past, has scored three times for touchdowns.  The passing attack which simply looks lost isn’t putting Brandon Marshall into the end-zone.  The coaches play calling and time management is horrible and has yet to improve.  Dan Henning and Tony Sparano are so conservative that they make Dave Wannstedt’s offense look like Shula and Marino.

While fans have expected a .500 mid-season record, it’s the way the team has lost that has them irate.  Special teams, defensive breakdowns, poor play calling, Chad Henne’s lack of enthusiasm as a field general.  I can hear Chad getting the mic calls in his helmet.  “Don’t run, take your time, don’t throw any interceptions.  Just make smart decisions.”  And that isn’t working.

Fans are disappointed over the run, pass, run mentality that leaves arm chair QB’s calling the plays before Henning does.  Find a scheme that works and instead go with something else.  Move the ball and toss in the Wild Cat to let the other team know you brought it to the NFL.  It’s no wonder fans are upset and wondering what’s going on.

The latest of course is the release of Jason Allen and the benching of Chad Henne.  While Allen comes as a little less of a shock, the truth is something is going on down in Miami that we don’t understand or know about.  Moves like these are “win now” moves and this regime has never done that or believed in that.  So why now?  Why when they are so close to turning the next corner into something great.  Seriously. They are close, looking at three of their losses leaves you realizing that turning a couple of FG’s into TD’s makes the difference in the game.  It also puts your young QB in a position to play not to lose deep in the fourth quarter as opposed to playing to come back and win.

So again, why now?  Why when you see the turn ahead do you make a change now?  Stopping for gas maybe?  Chad Pennington will get dinged up and Chad Henne will come back in.  Not because he was the starter and had the confidence of his coach but because the team had little other choice.

These Miami Dolphins coaches and managers made the decision to move forward in rebuilding this franchise and along with that they said would be patience.  Apparently, their patience has worn out and maybe that’s because their welcome is running out as well.

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Tags: Chad Henne Miami Dolphins Tony Sparano

  • drdoctormd

    4 and 4 is not good enough when the ‘Phins lost games they shouldn’t have, won games they shouldn’t have (almost by accident), and they got embarrassed in two important games. When we have to depend on Carpenter for offense–(no offense–really I love the guy)–it feels like we’re going backward.

    Yeah, the record is 4 and 4 which doesn’t look bad on the face of it, but we’re not as good as our record, and going forward it looks like more of the same. Benching Henne, starting Pennington, etc. these are desperation moves from a desperate coach, who probably wishes he’d followed Parcells like a rat off a sinking ship.

  • Ripp

    I am one of the few people who is not in agreement of cutting Allen. I mean sure cut him for a player that will impact the team but cut one of our best ST players for a injury prone player on the decline? These are desperation moves and desperation moves are made by coaches who are on the hot seat. Mark my words, if the offense dose not produce this week Henning will be fired and if they fail to make the playoffs I would not be surprise if we have ourselves a new coaching staff.

  • Brassmonkey

    I feel bad for Henne- the kid has played very well if you take a step back and put his INTs in context:

    Of the 10 picks he’s thrown, two bounced off the receiver, two occurred when the WR slipped and fell on a comeback route, and one wasn’t even an INT but we never challenged it. Two or three of the remaining five happened on 4th down inside of the 2 minute mark, when you basically have to put it up no matter what.

    If you knock off the 5 picks that clearly weren’t his responsibility and put the others in context, you’ll see that Henne is playing very well this year. He may miss a throw here and there (like Fasano last week), but what second-year QB doesn’t? And how many second-year QBs have to run Dan Henning’s lame offense?

    We have the players here- Henne is solid and the WRs, RBs and OL are far better than most teams’. What’s left? The coaching. Most of the OCs in the league would have no problem scoring in bunches with our personnel.

  • idahomer

    I think Henne has the physical tools. What he seems to lack is the “fire” that we see from great QB’s. Even Sanchez (as much as I hate to admit it) carries himself with more passion and fire. A perfect example was when Henne missed Fassano last week. They show him on the sidelines after the FG and he has a big smile on his face. He should have been ticked. I have yet to see Henne undress a wr after dropping a ball or falling down on a route like Marino did. Can you learn to have the “fire” or does that come in your DNA? Henne needs to find the “fire” or he will not succeed in the NFL.. He has the physical tools – does he have the gumption to be great though? To me that is the question.

  • Txmedic5

    That is the only knock on Henne I have. He has no lights out get it done energy.

  • supt

    Your post is all over the place…lay blame..then take it away…up your dosage..make a choice….so what is your point here?

  • http://thebottlenose.wordpress.com/ Tofu Dan

    Nice post.

    Hopefully the Dolphins will cut Supt loose next.