Henning Wants To Criticize Henne?


It's Not My Fault...It's Henne's

So today is Coordinator Thursday in Miami where the local media get access to the OC and DC for some Q & A.  Today, Dan Henning didn’t spend much time apparently defending his poor play calling but instead decided to milk the Chad Henne jug.  I’m sure that many fans can read into the quotes the way they want and it would be justifiable to put your own spin on the comments depending on what side of the fence you stand on.

I try to take a more middle of the road approach which is difficult because I do like Chad Henne and want him to experience the NFL from someone other than Dan Henning.   So if this entire article appears to be more sympathetic to the three year QB rather than the supposed offensive genius, then complain to me in the comments, but you have been warned.

Let’s throw out the quotes first, provided by Mike Berardino of the Sun-Sentinel.

“We can’t continue to exist with as little a passing game as we had last week, We have to do better than that.”

I agree with Henning here.  We can’t win in this league on a weekly consistent basis without a passing game that can generate more than a 100 yards.  We generated 55.  There is no missing the fact that on Sunday, Chad Henne had his worst statistical game as a pro.  Regardless of the quality of defense he faced or the conditions in the stadium both in nature and in the fan atmosphere.  Henne looked lost at times and his decisions were not very good.  Holding on to the ball too long didn’t help either.

“We work on the protections,” Henning said. “We had a gaffe in the protection where [Henne] got hit. Really, that was his fault and he knows it. He’s got to set the protection the other way.”

Mike Berardino says this was in regards to a 2nd quarter play that resulted in the fumble after one of Henne’s 5 sacks.  Ironically, I find that Henne is now supposedly allowed to change the protection screens, which is also called a protection audible.  Which, if what Ricky Williams said was true and Henne was not allowed to call audibles, then suddenly he is allowed, it will take some time to make those adjustments.  Either way, Henning is right here, if Henne was supposed to change the protections, he did a very poor job of it.

“We think we had a pretty good pass there,” Henning said. “Brandon [Marshall] won on the left side and [Henne] was about to throw it when he got hit. Well, that turns out not to only be not a big play for you but to go the other way. You know what I mean?

“And then we come out and the ball was slippery on that naked bootleg [from the Jets' 17 in the third quarter] and the ball came out of his hand and we lost it there. We had [Anthony] Fasano open on that.”

This was regarding the fumble Henne had when the ball slipped from his hands.  He spoke further on this.

“We’re talking about one time since he’s been here that’s happened,” Henning said. “He spends a lot of time on it. We have certain plays that are two-hand fakes and certain ones that are one-hand fakes. That’s the first time it’s ever happened to him. You can say, ‘Well, the ball was wet,’ and all that. It’s not supposed to happen.

“If you feel like you don’t have control of the football, then you ought to use a two-hand fake even if it was called for a one-hand fake. Those are judgments that guys make that they have to live with when the results happen the way they happen. I don’t know that it hit anybody. I think it just slipped out of his hand when he went to extend it.”

Difficult to argue the point here but if this was the first time that Henne has made this mistake then I think he is doing pretty well holding on to the ball in these kind of conditions and types of plays.

“Those things would have gotten us started, so to speak,” Henning said. “You can’t allow those things to happen. Those are not only bad plays but they’re turnovers in the other direction. They go from having a possible good play to having completely the opposite. In a game as tight as it was the other day, it was critical.”

Here is where I get critical.  “Would have gotten us started”.  The above quote was regarding the same play being discussed about the slippery ball.  That play happened in the 3rd quarter.  Why did it take so long to “get started”?  Is it not the job of the OC to get the offense moving up and down the field?

I will accept that it’s hard to move the ball when your QB’s day is so bad he can barely hit the broad side of a barn, but then why not change the way you run your offense?  Good coaches make changes to fit the plays to their strengths and limit the plays by a player who is having an off day.  We see this same thing when Ronnie Brown starts to fumble.  They put in Ricky Williams.

The issue here is that yes, Henne had a bad game and the Cleveland game wasn’t all that better.  But the play calling all season has been horrid.  From running the Wild Cat in the Redzone and forcing the team into third and long to running the ball against top run stopping teams with poor secondaries to passing the ball against top passing teams.  What is the point that you are trying to make?  That you can do whatever you want and find success?  Well, you haven’t thus far.

Henning can come down on Henne as much as he wants but the fact is this will do nothing for Henne’s confidence and I wonder if Sparano would openly have made those same questions.  Since Sparano arrived, no player has been tossed so clearly under the bus.  While Henning isn’t being overly critical and saying Henne sucks, the reality is that the perceived impression is exactly that.  Which is odd coming from an OC who is talking like someone that may be trying to deflect blame off of himself.

If that were the case does it mean he is contemplating staying after seasons end?  Or is he hoping to clean up the final year of his NFL legacy?  Either way, it’s apparent that through his voice (Berardino said that he had frustration in his voice), he is not happy with Chad Henne.  Which again brings me back to wondering if Chad Henne has ever really been given a shot to run this team or if he simply is a QB on the roster that can’t play the Dan Henning offense.

Considering how well Hennings’ offense worked with Chad Pennington, I would say that the Dolphins OC has failed their young QB instead of the other way around.  But then again, I still support Chad Henne.

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Tags: Chad Henne Dan Henning Miami Dolphins Mike Berardino Sun-Sentinel

  • mmartian

    I never liked the hire, never liked his play-calls, never liked his schemes, never liked his decisions and now after reading his comments- I DONT LIKE HIM. He is a man WAY passed his prime

  • Brassmonkey

    Whatever the case and whoever may be at fault, it’s pretty lame for a 70-something coach to throw a 20-something second year QB under the bus. He can blame Henne for two bad plays if he wants, but what happened on the other 30-40 offensive snaps?

    I agree with the author- Henne has shown enough that he deserves a chance to play under a different offensive coordinator. Henning, on the other hand, has shown himself to be an arrogant, bitter, out of touch old fogie who doesn’t know how to fix this crappy offense but is desperate to blame someone else for it. A real coach would say “Yes, Chad made some mistakes out there but the entire unit has to share the blame. And the buck stops with me.”

  • JC

    All of you are full of it. The bottom line is that when the same play calling works its “creative” or “inventive” and when it doesn’t its horse sh!t. First Henning failed to run, now he fails to pass. You cant have it both damn ways. The bottom line is that our offensive line cant run block, our running backs cant make people miss, our quarter back cant hit open receivers and sometimes our receivers cant catch. If our line gets another 1/2 yard push, Ricky and Ronnie average 4.4 instead of 3.7 YPC, Henne hits a few more receivers in the hands and the WR catch a few more we are easily 8-4. Hell a few breaks and we’re 8-4 even with our crappy offense. If you people really think you can overcome that type of execution with new plays you’re high.

    You see its easy to wonder if a better play would have had a better opportunity for success. But when you flat out miss open players as Henne has all year there is no question about what went wrong. The play worked, the player couldn’t execute. Henne is worse this year than last and has better weapons. Henning is old. I wont be upset if he leaves. But all of you second guessing the wild cat missed the fact that when the team re-committed to it, it worked as well as the rest of our paltry running game.

    Get a life. I hope for a better OC. But not nearly as much as I PRAY for good QB, an run blocking O-line and some godd@#n execution!!

  • DandyDolphin

    How can people watch Henne and even think for 1 second that he’s good?

    He is terrible!
    Just how many more interceptions thrown at double and triple covered WR’s do you need to see before you finally see what a PUTZ he is?
    We MUST draft a QB early and often in the draft.
    We MUST try ANYONE other than Henne because I have seen enough.

    He makes Jay Feidler look good!
    He even looks like a drunk WILL FERREL.

  • Klenton McLemore

    Henne is the reason we will not make the playoffs. Henne, is horible, Thigpen gets one chance with really bad situation, and you bash him saying he aint the future. Give Thigpen the same or half the chance Henne gets, and he will surpass him. Henne runs the 40 yd dash in what? 2 minutes?. he can’t even throw a routine pass. Henne has the highest 3 and out percentage of any QB in the NFL this year.

  • mmartian

    A coach with 42 years of experience blaming a QB with not quite 3 years.

    Even when Hennings plays work they look basic, they look LUCKY, truthfully he looks and acts his age. I have never liked the hire. He has proved himself a simpleton getting by simply on his past reputation.

    If he is does not retire after the season he should be FIRED ASAP because even if we had BRADY, or MANNING Henning would make them look bland, tasteless and we will forever finish the season just out of reach of the playoffs.

  • josh

    Ridiculous post. Personally, I appreciate the honesty about the issues in the game. Henne made mistakes…a lot of them. Stop worrying about Henne’s delicate ego. If he can’t listen to this and learn from it, he’s not fit to be an NFL quarterback. Do you think he’s not hearing this during the week and they’re not applying heavy pressure on him to perform?

    They just played the top defense in the league in awful weather conditions. Anyone who has played a down of football knows that ball security is the number one priority in these types of games. And Henne was terrible.

    Say what you will about his play calling, but in the quotes above, he was just calling it like he saw it. And I agree with it.

  • Angry Elf

    Both Henning and his bastard son need to get out of Dodge. I’ve never seen a worse coaching/QB tandem in Miami . . . or anywhere, for that matter.

    • Chuck C

      Exactly! I agree 100%. Send both down the road, the sooner the better.

  • http://ymail.com phins66

    Henning is braindead!Bad play after bad play,this is what an all pro tackle said of Henning’s playcalling,IT WAS A GARBAGE GAME PLAN,a qb with one win in 12 tries an injured o line and with everbody knowing he loves the pass he runs playaction,without ever running the damn ball,goes with an empty{like his head}backfield,telling the bears defense its a pass so go blitz crazy and when that pass fails why not do it all night.Results a complete shutout.BRAINDEAD OC

  • Joe Y

    I think Henning’s position is clear: “When things go well it’s to my credit; when things go poorly, it’s Henne’s fault, because otherwise, thing’s would have gone well, because everything I do is right.”

    Get him out of here. He’s no leader, and no football genius either.

  • Joe Y

    To elaborate: If you can’t admit to making mistakes, you can’t improve performance. Ergo, since Henning gives no sign of recognizing any need for a change in his own performance, his performance won’t change, which is why we keep seeing the same dumbass game plans and play calling over and over again.

  • Brian Miller

    Well, I don’t know where to begin, but I do like being called dummy and what not. So I will just address this as a whole instead.

    I’m not saying Henne isn’t part of the problem, he isn’t playing well. BUT, he also is not being given a chance to play. It’s like drafting a QB who is suited for a West Coast offense and then told to play the dink and dunk offense instead. Henne was a different QB at Michigan who is being asked to play like Chad Pennington. It doesn’t work. That’s not his makeup.

    Secondly, in terms of play calling, I will address that like this. If you are running the ball well or playing a team who doesn’t cover it well, why switch the pass most of the game? Henning has done that several times this year and vice versa. In one game, I said in a game preview three days before that the Phins offense wouldn’t be able to pound the ball or go deep (against the Steelers) but that the short mid-range passes would work that pick of 5 to 7 yards. The Phins didn’t do that until the second half. They found success with it and moved the ball. Then, Henning went right back to the same gameplan he started the game with and the Phins lost…regardless of the bad call at the end.

    The point is that while we can say Henne is mistake, the same can be said about a few HOF QB’s who had similar issues…say Steve Young who was practically run out of Tampa for basically the same reasons.

    See here is one fact that is being forgotten, Henne is being asked to change the way he has always played football and Henning is not changing his offense to support Henne. That was evident when Penny came in and the offense did not change, but did change when Thigpen came in…and failed because the Henning gameplan sucked.

    The only QB Henning has found success with in Miami has been Pennington and it’s the only offense he runs…even without him.

  • Brian Miller

    Just some FYI, there are another 10 comments on this topic in our Forum that do not appear on the main site. For all topic conversations you can usually read more by hopping over to the forum. It’s located here: http://phinphanatic.com/forum/dolphins/

  • phinfan86

    all in all everyone that has anything to do with the offense is to blame. but the 2 main problems are henne and henning. now i support henne, we have seen how bad he can be but we have also seen how impressive he can be. he hasnt had the best season but the entire offense has been bad as well. and thats where henning takes almost all the blame. you cant force a gameplan that fits penningtons strengths down henne’s throat and expect good results. then when he gets asked about the teams offensive troubles he immediately and completely blames henne. and for the life of me i cant figure out why ireland or sparano are letting this continue. henning is old and his gameplans are outdated with the amount of talent in the league u cant have a basic gameplan and expect to win day in and day out. Anyways what i think, is henning needs to go and henne needs to be given a fair shot with a new o.c that is willing to change his gameplans when they dont work.

  • Joe Y

    I believe it was Bum Phillips who said Don Shula was a great coach “becuase he could take his’n and beat your’n, then take your’n and beat his’n.”

    That’s what being a great coach–a great, even a good leader of any kind–is about: adapting your strengths in order to win. Anything else is vanity and ineptitude. Every Dolphin fan has seen Henne do marvelous things-and mediocre things–and horrible things. You know, like every other player. It’s the coach’s job, and I mean it is his ONLY JOB, to develop and optimally utilize his players’ abilities.

    Three Dolphin teams went to Super Bowls: the original ground and pound teams (Griese threw something like 7 passes in the Minnesota SB), the KIller B’s with an offense QB’d by, uh, David Woodely, and Dan Marino’s flying circus. Now that’s coaching.

    No one’s asking Henning to be Don Shula, but there’s no reason for him to be his opposite, either. Here’s another quote: “It’s a poor workman who blames his tools.”

    Our offense is suffering from injuries, poor personnel decisions on the OL, and a young QB, but that’s no excuse for Henning’s blind rigidity. Quite the contrary; What happened to the brilliant tactician who utilized the Dolphin’s limited strength to create the Wildcat?

  • Joe Y

    People who keep critizing Henne are missing the point. This is about Henning’s poor performance. Henne has played well enough in the past to win games, as well as quite poorly (though the Jet bad weather game, which included numerous drops, fumbles, etc., is not a reliable indicator). It is Henning’s job to maximize the offense’s performance.

    Was it Chad Henne who stopped Ronnie Brown’s running the ball down the throats of the Baltimore Raven’s defense after the first series, and decided it would be a much better idea to attack the Ravens at their strongest point?

    Was it Chad Henne who decided to keep Tyler Thigpen in the pocket against Chicago, once again attacking them at their strongest point, their deadly pass blitz, instead of letting him run around so the Dolphins could attack them at their weakest point, their trouble maintaining pass coverage for more than a few seconds (hence the necessity to develop the blitz)? The Pats decided better to attack them that way, and destroyed them in a blinding snowstorm.

    Does Chad Henne also dictate Henning’s inexplicable devotion to the power sweep that our backs lack the speed to make work; his arbitrary rhythm-destroying deployment of the Wildcat; his pathological compulsion to call slow-developing plays that begin ten yards behind the line of scrimmage, which appears as soon as the Dolphins are in field goal range in close games where every point counts?

  • Brian Miller

    Georg you got banned for the way you presented your opinion, not for your opinion, and I would have done that if you were criticizing Dan Henning the same way or anyone else for that matter. Act like an adult when you come to our game chats, not a child. Or you will get banned.

    As for Henning and his 50 years of experience, yeah he should have left the game 4 years ago. It’s so completely passed him by that it’s ridiculous. He can’t figure out a gameplan going into the game, can’t make adjustments at hafltime and when he does find a formula that works, he deviates from it and tries to get cute.

    As for Henne losing to AP State, so what, it happens. Funny that Henne ran the same style of Offense that Brady did and Brady didn’t have much luck at Michigan either. But look at what a solid OC will do for you.

    Here are some stat numbers to prove my point:

    Tom Brady

    Junior Year: 61.1% Completion 15 TD’s 12 INT 2636 Yards
    Senior Year: 62.8% Completion 20 TD’s 5 INT 2586 Yards

    Chad Henne

    Junior Year: 61.9% 22 TD’s 8 INT 2508 Yards
    Senior Year (7 games) 61.5% 14 TD’s 6 INT 1469 Yards

    The difference comes into play with the games against OSU and the bowl games. Henne never beat OSU and Brady was 1-1. Brady won two bowl games and Henne was 0-3.

    So don’t give your crap about what he did at Michigan. They both played the same system with similar results.

    And yes, I would take Chad Henne over Dan Henning now, last year, two years ago. PERIOD

  • Brian Miller

    And since this keeps coming up so much, it’s not that Henning doesn’t have the right to call out his QB, it’s a question of whether he should.

    The HC does not and will not call out members of his team so why should a coordinator? Especially a coordinator who has as much hate mail in his mailbox as Henne does?

    It was uncalled for and should have stayed behind closed doors. That is why I came down on Henning on this article…team first should be first not his opinion or excuses.

  • daytonadolfan

    I must be stupid. I only saw 1 person get banned today and he acted like he was 15.

  • Piff Piffington

    All Dan Henning proved is that he not only is a horrible OC he is also a horrible human being. If Chad Henne was allowed to change blocking schemes, which is a complete lie, then Henning is a moron for putting that kind of pressure on a third year QB who is starting for the second time in his career. Henning should be fired immediately as he is the one who decided we need to pass 45 times a freaking game instead of running it. He doesn’t care about this team or the players. If there is a god he will suffer a heart attack or a stroke tonight because he deserves to die that way.

  • Piff Piffington

    Oh and tell that dip shit it was raining last week and Henne threw the game winning TD. My grandma could call better plays than Henning.

  • The Michael

    Can anyone see that Henne just doesn’t care and is a worst coaster than Tony Romo! He is a loser—he was a loser in Michigan and now that he threw away another game winner–which looks to me on purpose and oh by the way Chad those guys lining up right behing the defensive end means there is a blitz coming and you change the play—you know those big guys stacked behind one another yelling at you telling you they are gonna blitz–are you F****** blind. You are such a loser go home quit—we have no time for you here in the NFL. I am serious when I say my grandmother could have seen the defense–come on—you are such a loser!!

  • daytonadolfan

    Actually, Georg it’s pretty easy since I think only 2 people have been banned all season.

  • Brian Miller

    Your IP address. For what it’s worth, I have notified the other Webmasters of all the Dolphins sites as well so if you think you will try this same stuff over there, good luck. They will ban you too. May have to go the Herald, they would love you there.