Believe it or not, there are many Dolfans that still believe in and support “current” Miami Dolphins QB, Chad Henne. Even up until the last game of the year against the Jets at home, some folks were still sporting their #7 jerseys to the game. If I had a Henne jersey, it would be on Ebay with a “buy now” tag of $5 with free shipping and handling. I could use that profit to at least purchase a $5 foot long at Subway before it becomes completely worthless in the upcoming months.
In case you couldn’t tell by the tone of my opening paragraph, the “Chad Henne experiment” is coming to a close. I hate to be the bearer of bad news to all of you Henne supporters, but it’s time to face the music. Like a dud firecracker, he was never able to sparkle or shine. He was a failure here at Miami and he will not be retained next year. To most of you, this should not come as a surprise.
Drafted in the second round in 2008 out of Michigan, Henne was suppose to be the answer to the Dolphins’ long search for a franchise quarterback since the Great One, Dan Marino. Additionally, he was “groomed” his rookie season from playing behind one of the most accurate passers in NFL history, Chad Pennington. Henne had one of the league’s best left tackles in Jake Long blocking his blind side and the Dolphins made a huge free agency splash by providing him one of the league’s most explosive receivers, Brandon Marshall. The wheels were in motion and the Dolphins were trying to lead Henne down a successful path that never was.
The last time Henne suited up to start a game for the Dolphins was against the Chargers in week four of the 2011 season. At the time, Miami was 0-3. Early in the first quarter he separated his left (non-throwing) shoulder and had to be placed on injured reserve. In came journeyman, backup QB Matt Moore, who was signed right before the kickoff of preseason.
Moore didn’t even take snaps with the first team receivers in practice until AFTER that San Diego game. He was forced to quickly learn the playbook and get on the same page with his receivers overnight. After getting off to a slow start, he won six of the final nine games and threw fifteen touchdowns to just five interceptions, while posting a 98.9 passer rating during that stretch. By the end of the season it became evident that Henne was the issue, not the system.
As a Dolphins’ starter, Henne was 13-18. He threw a total of 31 touchdowns and 37 interceptions with an overall passer rating of just 75.7. In a league where doors to a Super Bowl are only open for elite quarterbacks, Henne didn’t stand a chance with his mediocre production. His lack of mobility, sense of urgency, leadership, red zone execution, and fourth quarter comebacks will be the driving forces behind his release in the very near future.
The number one priority for both Jeff Ireland and Stephen Ross is to go out and find that franchise quarterback this year. They both made that very clear with their statements in recent interviews at the Senior Bowl practices this week in Mobile, Alabama. Ireland said “We need a quarterback that can get us over the hump.” Ross would contribute as well saying “I’m looking for a franchise quarterback” and “that’s the highest thing on our agenda.”
Today, there are more questions surrounding this team’s quarterback position than in any point in franchise history. There is a lot of uncertainty about who Ross and Ireland will target for our QB this year. There are rumors about the likelihood of Peyton Manning bringing his talents to South Beach. Most fans and local media who cover the Dolphins believe Matt Flynn will reunite with his old offensive coordinator and now Dolphins’ head coach, Joe Philbin. Others still think Miami will trade away multiple first and second round picks to move up and draft Baylor’s Robert Griffin III. Right now, no one really knows the answer. The only thing that is certain is that Chad Henne won’t be a Dolphin in 2012.