Last week, I suggested on Twitter during the Dolphins third preseason game that Chad Pennington was one touchdown drive away from inspiring the first “quarterback controversy” article of the year in Miami.
Dolphins fans were upset. I didn’t say there should be a controversy or that playing Pennington was remotely a good idea, just that Chad Henne would have a short leash with the media.
Pennington didn’t convert the touchdown, so it turns out I was a week early. Venerable South Florida Sun-Sentinel columnist Dave Hyde, who we greatly respect, raises the issue on Friday after another shaky performance by Henne.
“Sparano has to be asking privately, ‘How long would I stay this season with a struggling Henne?’”
Hyde makes the point that Pennington is unlikely to stay healthy and touts Henne’s 2009 performance.
“There’s no reason to cast all that aside off a preseason,” Hyde writes. “But it’s a
performance-based job and if this shoddy preseason leaks into the
regular season there will be an unwanted decision to face. And quicker
than you might expect.”
Not to go all Allen Iverson, but these were practice games. Practice. Even raising the possibility of Pennington taking back the starting job seems premature. The Dolphins have Super Bowl aspirations and they know long-term Pennington isn’t the guy to take them there.
Perhaps Henne isn’t the guy either, but he should get every opportunity to prove himself before the Dolphins wave the Pennington flag. Based on everything Henne has shown in games that matter, this shouldn’t be a decision Sparano wrestles with for a long time, if at all this season.