There will be a new “Chad” under center in Miami this week. Tony Sporano announced today that Chad Pennington would replace Chad Henne at quarterback this week as the Titans come to Sun Life Stadium. This is the first major shake up to hit the Dolphins this season, and Sporano hopes that it will be enough to save the Dolphins mediocre first half. A first half, which has included, no wins at home, four AFC losses including the two divisional opponents ahead of them, special teams disasters, and a predictable offense. So how this translates into supposedly the quarterback of the future losing his job, is mind-boggling.
Chad Henne has started twenty-one games under center for the Dolphins. He’s still a baby in NFL quarterback standards, and the benching of him in my mind is completely unwarranted. Yes, Chad Pennington may be a better quarterback at the moment then Chad Henne is, but not enough to turn the Dolphins into an offensive juggernaut and a member of the AFC elite. He’s a smart quarterback who led the Dolphins during their magical turnaround season in 2008, even though Ronnie Brown and the wildcat, which took the ball out of Pennington’s hands, propelled that season. Now Pennington is back under center and the wildcat has been put to sleep.
The Dolphins loss on Sunday showed that reviving the magic of the 2008 season is not exactly what the Dolphins need to compete with the likes of Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and their two AFC East rivals. Is Chad Pennington all of a sudden inspiring Dan Henning to become some daring offensive coordinator? No way. Henning, who didn’t allow Henne to play the position by stretching the ball down the field, is one of the reasons why he’s been relegated back to the bench. Pennington is exactly the quarterback Henning wants, a smart conservative quarterback who plays not to lose rather then to win. So don’t expect the Dolphins offense to all of a sudden start lighting up the sky with footballs. Looks like Brandon Marshall’s inquiry into the NBA may come sooner then expected, because his talents certainly haven’t and will continue not to be utilized.
When it comes to Chad Henne and his future with the team, well things are a bit murky now. What happens if Pennington somehow revives this season? Does this mean that the Dolphins will give him a long-term contract and we start to think of Chad Henne as the next John Beck? What if Pennington struggles? Sporano puts Henne back in and the quarterback carousel kicks into high gear? They really wouldn’t play Tyler Thigpen would they? AAAAHHHHHH
Ok lets calm down for a second here. Here are the facts. Pennington is the starter for now. Henne is the back up for now but according to Sporano the team still has faith in him. In my opinion Henne’s future with the Dolphins is most certainly not as guaranteed as it once was. The Giants didn’t give up with Eli Manning. The Jets aren’t giving up on Mark Sanchez. Alex Smith even got four years to prove himself in San Francisco. Now yes he is a bust, but at least he was given a shot. Chad Henne’s chance to be “The Guy” in Miami isn’t exactly over, but now Dolphin fans will all of a sudden pay close attention to Jake Locker’s progress in college.
About the Author
Written by Bill Dowling
I am a life long Dolphin fan from right outside New York City. I work for Sirius NFL Radio have some personal connections within the organization. If I’m not watching the Dolphins I'm watching all other sports around the country and have experience covering all these sports as well.