Posts Tagged ‘dan henning’

Dolphins Bench Henne for Pennington

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Like most Dolphins fans, I was surprised (somewhat pleasantly) by Coach Tony Sparano’s announcement that quarterback Chad Pennington will start over Chad Henne going forward.

chad-penningtonA little over a year ago, when Miami started 0-3 and Pennington averaged only 138 passing yards per contest while committing four turnovers, the fans wanted him benched in favor of the up-and-coming Henne.  21 games later, there’s a growing sense of excitement about Pennington’s return to the field as a 4-4 team clings to its fading Playoff hopes.

According to beat writer Omar Kelly, the coaching staff felt that “Henne had become extremely predictable,” leading to decreased confidence in locker room.  Henne made too many bad decisions and committed far too many costly turnovers, throwing four interceptions without a single touchdown pass in Miami’s last two games.  Whether he’s still the Dolphins QB of the future remains to be seen, but it’s certainly not inconceivable that Tyler Thigpen will get an extended look later this year or during the offseason.

Offensive coordinator Dan Henning’s play calling has certainly raised a lot of valid questions, since his system has been more tailored to Pennington’s “water pistol” arm all along.  Henne averaged 6.9 yards per pass attempt and 10.8 yards per completion his season, both of which are below Pennington’s career averages.  After three surgeries on his throwing shoulder, Pennington doesn’t have the arm strength to throw deep passes, but then again, Henne has only two completions of over 40 yards in eight games.

One factor that can’t be understated is Pennington’s accuracy, which is miles ahead of Henne’s.  Pennington holds the highest completion percentage (66.1%) in NFL history among players with at least 1,000 pass attempts, and led the NFL in that category during his last full season in 2008 (67.4%).  He has the 12th-best career Passer Rating (90.1), and ranked second in the league behind Phillip Rivers two years ago.  While Henne has thrown four more INTs than TDs, Pennington has nearly twice as many scores as picks over 11 years (though it should be noted that he threw four costly INTs against the Ravens in Miami’s last Playoff game).

It’ll be interesting to see how the 34-year-old fares against the Tennessee Titans defense, which has given up the 10th most passing yards but leads the league with 3.3 sacks per game.   If Pennington improbably leads Miami back into the postseason, he deserves to win an unprecedented third Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Questions For Dan Henning

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Normally I take today to post pictures from the last Dolfans NYC meet up, but since I was at the game in Baltimore getting embarrassed by my team I don’t have club pictures to post. Instead I am going to post some questions I have for Dan Henning. Tomorrow is his media availability day and I have some questions for the guy. The press loves Henning because he is so charming when he talks to them, but they rarely get to the bottom of what the fuck he is doing out there. Today I woke up to find out that Henne was benched, which I think is a terrible idea. The real culprit behind this mediocrity is Dan Henning. He is the guy who needs to be benched.

  • Why the hell do you go empty backfield on third and short all the time?
  • Why have you stopped giving Polite the ball on 3rd and 1? I know he missed ONE 3rd and 1, but thats one out of 25.
  • Why do you not keep handing the ball to the running back who is actually gaining yards?
  • Why did it take you twice as long as we did to realize the Wild Cat isn’t working anymore?
  • Why during the Baltimore game did you have a 10 play drive without handing off once?
  • Why down 16 points with 3 minutes to go did you start running play action?

Seriously, our offense is garbage not because of Henne, but because of Henning. He is putting our players in a position to fail. Pennington might fare better than Henne, but it won’t be because he is a better quarterback. It will be because he is experienced enough and smart enough to play within this horrible system that Henning has created.  Everyone gives Henning all this credit for the brilliance of the Wild Cat, but that was all David Lee.  Let’s put David Lee in charge and send Henning to the nursing home.

What questions would you have for Henne if you were at his press conference tomorrow?

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