Over the next two days I will examine the major players in this mess we call the Miami Dolphins. Take an in depth look at who is to blame for the play on the field and the decisions off of it. I will look at why the Dolphins are 1-7 at home and not only out of the playoffs but looking at major changes over the next couple of months. Including the possibility of finding a new head coach and maybe a new GM.
I will defend those that I think deserve defending and I will clearly explain my point as to why the either A: Deserve a pass or B: deserve to be fired.
On the agenda, Chad Henne, Dan Henning, Stephen Ross, Wayne Huizenga, Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland, and Tony Sparano.
I will start with the much maligned and almost universally despised QB Chad Henne. Why? Because every debate seems to start with the QB.
So let’s blame Chad Henne!
Yesterdays meltdown in Miami started with the change from an attacking offense to the conservative offense that has plagued the Dolphins all of last season and all of this one. Get into the redzone by allowing your young QB to throw the ball with well designed plays and then play for a field goal. I defend Chad Henne, have all year, and I will irritate quite a few people by saying that his two late game interceptions were not his fault. Say what you want but Mickey Shuler stopped his route and Davone Bess fell down. Take the hate glasses off and look at reality.
That aside, the lack of emotion and leadership in Henne is hard to pass up. His blase’ attitude towards directing the offense is horrid. It’s as if he doesn’t seem to care one way or the other. There is a serious lack of fight and fire in his play. He also lacks a killer instinct. A “flight or fight” response that all people go into when against a wall. His inability to “feel” pressure is getting in the way of any progressions that he may be trying to make.
His footwork is horrendous and he often drops his shoulder while throwing which is one reason he has balls tipped. The other reason is his inability to throw “touch passes”. While he has improved in that area, he will often lob a ball rather than throw it. Those are easy to defend and I have found that he often confuses touch passes with slow moving passes. In other words, he floats the ball.
His inability to read the defenses and coverages is a major debate issue. It’s a definite problem but is it all his fault or is it the coaching?
Henne has been coached down in my opinion and this is one of if not the main reason I still support him as a QB. Ricky Williams spoke on WQAM at one point this season and said that Henne was not allowed to audible at the line. That is a major problem for any QB. Tony Sparano has said that they are bringing him along slowly so he doesn’t fail, but in the process he is failing. Dan Henning has said that Henne has problems running this offense and has also stated that Chad Pennington was who this offense was built around. So to that degree, how do you blame a QB who is playing with shackles on his feet? Being told to go out and not make mistakes but then as the game comes crashing down, to go out and win it? It’s difficult.
That does not absolve Henne from blame. His lack of enthusiasm, regardless of whether it’s been beaten out of him by the coaches is hard to overlook. You can’t rally around a guy who looks as though there are 40 million other things he would rather be doing. Especially when you watch younger QB’s and back-ups around the league having fun while they lose. Chad Henne doesn’t look like he is having fun at all. And that is a major problem.
But it’s not all Henne and a lot of what we see on the field is a result of coaching. It’s very likely that Henne will be here next year, and in my opinion he should be. He should be pushed and challenged by not only a new offensive coordinator, but by a new offensive style and a younger, hungrier QB. In all honesty, he should also be pushed by another more seasoned veteran.
Chad Henne may fail as an NFL QB and all indications thus far point to him being a journeyman back-up for then next five years before he is out of the game. But he has talent and at times he looks like he knows what he is doing. Ironically it’s those time of the game that the offense opens up. I don’t know if Henne is lost on the field because he just isn’t cut for the NFL or if his lack of enthusiasm is because of the chains around his legs and the leash around his neck.
What is for certain is that barring a complete overhaul of the offensive coaching and the system and perhaps the HC as well, Chad Henne will never be anything more than a failed NFL QB. Regardless of whether he ever “gets it” or not, right now, I’m not so sure he gets it and my support of him as the QB will be predicated on what he does in a new system, provided there is one.
Next up: Stephen Ross