Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why the benching of Chad Henne is a serious mistake

I cannot even begin to express how pissed off I am about the decision to bench quarterback Chad Henne in favor of Chad Pennington.

It is a move of desperation from a head coach that is clearly feeling pressure from the higher-ups, because there is no reasonable way Tony Sparano thinks this is the best move for the Dolphins in 2011 and beyond.

Sitting at 4-4, Sparano is banking on a miraculous second half similar to the one Pennington engineered when the Dolphins won the AFC East back in 2008.

That's not going to happen again, though, because the division is tougher, the Dolphins' schedule is tougher, Pennington's long-term ability to stay healthy is questionable at best, and because the Dolphins simply don't have a roster than can contend for a Super Bowl in 2010.

Pulling the rug out from Henne, who has been through his struggles in his first season opening as the starting quarterback but is far from the team's biggest problem, not only hinders his development in the short-term, but also calls into question the Dolphins' long-term plans.

Henne has shown promise in his first 20 or so games as a pro, and needs the support of the organization if he is to continue to hone his skills and become the kind of quarterback the Dolphins can rely on for years to come.

Pennington is a solid veteran, but he's not going to carry and teams to the Super Bowl at this point in his career. He simply doesn't have the durability or the arm.

But if the Dolphins don't believe Henne is the answer, then the franchise is back at square one, and I'm willing to bet the current regime of Ireland and Sparano won't be around long enough to come up with another quarterback solution before they are shown the door by Stephen Ross.

The Dolphins have made a midseason hail mary—ironically, with a quarterback that doesn't have the arm to throw one.

If Sparano's (and by extension, Ireland's) fates hang on the rehabbed shoulders of Chad Henne, then we very well may be one day calling the entire Bill Parcells era in Miami a bust.

For more, here's my video rant on the subject: