Can It Get Any Worse?


The Miami Dolphins came out of New York with an early Christmas present. The play of the defense was almost perfect but two drops by Jet wide receivers, one in the endzone by Santonio Holmes surely helped. While the game scores a win for the Dolphins, it underscores the problems on offense with a unit that collectively ran for just over 100 yards and passed for 55.

Yes, I said 55 passing yards. Can it get any worse?

Some of the mistakes in that aerial feet of slop can be directly attributed to Chad Henne who looked worse than last week against the Browns. It almost appeared that he regressed to his first few games as a pro…but he played better then. His passes were not sharp and aside from a 20 yard pass to Anthony Fasano and the 8 yard strike to Brandon Marshall for the games only touchdown, Henne looked absolutely horrid.

Henne is losing more and more fans each week that support him.

Henne looked bad but Dan Hennings’ play selection was once again a focal point of disdain for the ultra conservative offense.  When Chad Henne finally looked as though he would turn the corner towards mediocre, Henning surprised no one by instituting the Wild Cat.  In fact, Henning called the WC formation on two separate occasions in the red-zone.  Not simply at the 20 mind you, around the ten.

The Henning called plays were run on first and second downs for little gain and then Henne was thrown back on the field to clean it up and score.  Hard to find a sense of purpose or become a leader when your yanked off the field in scoring position.  It either highlights the Dolphins lack of confidence in the three year QB or underlines the ineptitude of an aging OC.

Still there are others who would argue that Henning isn’t to blame here.  A very few minority.  In a recent unofficial poll taken by a media outlet over 70% of the fans polled believed that Henning should be fired.  It did not discern from now or after the season.  So while the number of Henning supporters is almost nil, there are still some who blame either Chad Henne…or the offensive line.

When the subject of the offensive line comes into a conversation two fingers get pointed.  The first is at the Oline itself.  Outside of Jake Long who despite his shoulder injury is still having a Pro-Bowl year, the rest of the Oline seem to be going through the motions.  Blocking in the running game is nowhere near what it used to be and pass protection is an up and down event.

The other finger gets pointed at HC Tony Sparano.  Sparano is supposed to be an Oline genius in the NFL.  Yet after three seasons rebuilding the Dolphins, that is one of our worst units.  His continual tinkering with personnel has left a void of continuity.  Yes, injuries do play a part but going back to each of the three off-seasons, Sparano interchanges his lineman daily and that doesn’t seem to stop when the games get started.

This is an ongoing issue that will eventually start costing jobs on the coaching staff.

While the Oline has been at times horrible, it makes for an interesting triangle of debate.   Is Dan Hennings’ play calling causing the line to play poorly?  Is his conservative nature allowing opposing defenses to know the play the offense will run before they come to the line?  Thus putting the offensive line in a bad position?  Or is it the poor execution of the QB that can’t seem to run the OC’s plays that is causing the problem?  Or is the offensive line not executing the plays being called and thus creating the problems all together?

Likely, it’s all three.  Lack of talent on the Oline.  A QB who can’t run a system built for a different style.  And an OC who seems so removed from todays’ game that cornerbacks can call the routes of his receivers.

It all adds up to big changes at years end.  But we all know that math isn’t always as simple as 1+1+1=3.

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Tags: Chad Henne Dan Henning Miami Dolphins NY Jets

  • Dave

    When was the last time the Dolphins ran on 3rd and 3? I can’t remember a single occurrence this year. They usually line up with an empty backfield.

    The Dolphins offense isn’t good enough to let the defense what they’re going to do and do it anyway. They have been in the past with the wildcat, not this year.