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Dolphins say they weren’t desperate to draft a quarterback

JeffIrelandAP AP

The Dolphins were widely expected to take a quarterback at some point in the NFL draft. So why didn’t they?

General Manager Jeff Ireland says it’s simple: They followed their draft board, and a quarterback was never the top player on their draft board at the time their picks came up.

“The board didn’t fall right for us to pick up a quarterback,” Ireland said. “I didn’t feel like we were desperate for one and so we didn’t adjust our board to try to go after one.”

One thing that’s clear is that the Dolphins weren’t as high on Ryan Mallett as some people thought. There was talk that Mallett could be the Dolphins’ first-round pick, 15th overall, but not only did the Dolphins pass on Mallett then, they passed on Mallett after they had traded into a late second-round pick, No. 62 overall.

Ireland said that Mallett “wasn’t the right fit for us at this time.”

Now the Dolphins will think about adding a quarterback via free agency, whenever free agency starts.

“I think we’ll have to look in free agency if we’re going to do that,” Ireland said. “Certainly we’ll look at all the quarterbacks in depth.”

But while they’ll look at quarterbacks in free agency, the Dolphins have made it clear that they’re not desperate to replace Chad Henne.

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15 Responses to “Dolphins say they weren’t desperate to draft a quarterback”
  1. agelardi says: May 2, 2011 7:20 AM

    “…the Dolphins have made it clear that they’re not desperate to replace Chad Henne.”

    We’ll see if they feel that after an 0-3 start.

  2. ampats says: May 2, 2011 7:33 AM

    Great news in Foxboro, New York and Buffalo.

  3. dblockdedicated says: May 2, 2011 7:47 AM

    I am extremely surprised they didn’t draft a Quarterback, not even one in the later rounds like TJ Yates or Stanzi. After what they went through last year I was sure they were going to. But lets take a look back at things in a condensed timeline. In January, this is what Ireland had to say about the quarterback position and Henne.

    But do the Dolphins have a quarterback on the roster talented enough to make it uptempo, aggressive offense work in 2011?

    “We certainly hope so,” General Manager Jeff Ireland said after pointing out this regime hasn’t given up on Chad Henne, who is 13-14 in his two seasons as an NFL starter.

    “He’s shown some aggressive tendencies, and shown some exciting throws,” Ireland said. “Chad has all the ability in the world. We just have to put a plan together and an offense philosophy that fits Chad Henne and I think we’ll be able to do that.”

    Then a month later Ireland says this:

    When asked about the quarterback position, Ireland simply said, “For right now our starter is Chad Henne. Obviously he’s a player on our football team. We don’t have a lot of depth right now.”

    “He’s the guy on our football team that we have to be committed to because he’s the only one we have right now other than Tom Brandstater and potentially Thigpen. We’re committed to him right now, and that’s where we’re at.”

    Obviously this is a soft endorsement. But remember the players he gave a ringing endorsement to? Wilford, Ginn, Wilson. They are all gone. This is the opposite end of the spectrum.

    The next month, Sparano say’s this about Henne.

    Sparano said that while the Dolphins will open the quarterback position to a competition in 2011, Henne “absolutely deserves a chance” to prove himself again.

    “No question about it,” Sparano said. “There’s other players that are pretty good quarterbacks in this league, that if I remember correctly, like their first year in the league were 3-13 (Peyton Manning).

    “All you have to do is go back through the 900-and-something snaps that this guy has played and say, ‘Did he show progress, did he get better in different areas?’ And yes, he did.”

    “What he didn’t do was complete the deep pass more frequently,” Sparano said. “Some of that is on us for the number of opportunities.”

    “What you’re trying to do is develop young players, and I realize that (at) the quarterback position everyone wants (it) to happen yesterday,” Sparano said.

    “He completed a higher percentage of intermediate passes, which doesn’t make the fans happy and doesn’t make evidently a lot of people happy, but it should because it’s a sign of progress,” Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano said. “Other areas I thought he improved on was his ability to move in the pocket and create space. When you look at the number of sacks we had and the number of sacks avoided, the throwaways (league-high 26), those were the areas that he improved on.

    Look, obviously they aren’t completely sold on Henne, as no one is. But what they are seemingly trying to do is take away the molded offense for Pennington and cater it to Henne.

    Last year they had 3 possession wideouts with one speed wideout who has decent speed. This is fine and dandy for someone like Pennington because this allows a ball-control offense due to Penny’s RIDICULOUS ability with ball location. His ball location is just insane. You have a tight end who can create some space and has hands to pluck the ball out of the air and also caters to Penny. 2 RBs who cater to Penny even more. They get 4-5 yards per play which allows to eat up the clock. And finally an OC who is like a ball-control QB’s wet dream. Biggest sign was the Colts game. That was exactly the Dolphins blueprint and what they had in mind.

    In comes Henne, a quarterback who has iffy ball location but a cannon for an arm (I personally think he has a top 5 NFL arm) and can make every single throw in the field. You place him in the Penny offense and he fails. He cant manage a ball control offense. he’s too dumb and makes way too many mistakes. Henning is an OC who wants smart safe decision. Not happening with Henne. What you can do with Henne is get him an OC who loves to take shots downfield and use routes like 20 yard digs and 20 yard comebacks and double moves and create massive spacing through speed and mismatches. This allows Henne more space for ball location and the ability to use his arm. You get Daniel Thomas, a player who can run out of 4 WR formations and is excellent at catching the ball and making players miss. You get Edmund Gates, who is a BLAZER and will create exponentially improved spacing for this offense and finally Charles Clay who can possibly be a mismatch machine. What you get is basically an offense catering to Henne’s strengths and not Pennington”s.

    They admitted last year’s offense and philosophy wasn’t built around Henne.

    Look, I like Henne. I think he can turn it around. I’m not sure if this was the best approach to take due to his regression last year, but obviously the coaches believe it was the pieces surrounding Henne that caused our offense to suck rather than Henne regressing to the point of no return. Whether this a good idea or not, it still is to be seen. But we WILL get a FA QB and more speed weapons for competition.

  4. j0esixpack says: May 2, 2011 8:06 AM

    While it’s understandable teams would pass on Mallet in the 1st and 2nd, I doubt he would have lasted til the 4th round.

    He’s 1st round talent, but 5th round character.

    For the Patriots he’s low risk, high reward. He doesn’t even need to play a snap – just behave – and he’ll be worth a 1st round choice in trade to a QB desperate team.

    Given the Dolphin’s track record at QB since Marino’s retirement, I’d not put too much stock in their assessment at QB if I were a Fins Fan

  5. 1upberto says: May 2, 2011 8:24 AM

    I guess they don’t mind still losing.

  6. 8drinkminimum says: May 2, 2011 8:46 AM

    Good to see they didn’t reach for a qb they weren’t comfortable with. Henne needs serious competition and will get it from a free agent.

    Even if Henne plays better in 2011 and this management team survives my guess is they do draft a guy next year. As long as the right guy is there.

  7. poodawg says: May 2, 2011 9:08 AM

    The Bengals now have 4 QBs on the roster, and they’ll need money to keep Cedric Benson, the only running game they’ve had in 20 years.

    They’ll be getting Carson Palmer.

  8. FinFan68 says: May 2, 2011 9:11 AM

    The Dolphins front office guys need to learn to shut up. They sound ridiculous and they lose credibility every time they open their mouths. It almost seems to stem from the owner himself. This organization could actually be making solid decisions but it doesn’t seem that way because they say some stupid things for no reason. They need to be more concerned with putting a competitive team on the field and less concerned with trying to save face.

  9. jonirocit says: May 2, 2011 9:19 AM

    It doesn’t matter anyway because there isn’t going to be a season

  10. frankdatank23 says: May 2, 2011 10:00 AM

    Thank god they didn’t draft mallett or dalton, that would have been terrible!

  11. diehardfinfan says: May 2, 2011 10:08 AM

    Dblock, thanks for being a TRUE fan. I have been on many different sites and it’s the same old thing. People claiming to be Dolphins fans yet being so pessimistic with every move they make. If your a TRUE FAN like myself, you love this draft and the players we added. You root for Chad Henne to develop. Your either on board or not. Finfan68, I’ve read a lot of your comments and you might want to consider changing your name to JetBoy or PatsLover or BillsDude because your a disgrace and your comments are sicking to real Dolphins fans.

  12. dolfan34 says: May 2, 2011 10:43 AM

    the Dolphins had a really solid draft and did well not to REACH for a QB. This was a weak year for QBs and I think they recognized that. Henne needs a better supporting cast and they took steps towards that this weekend. He was alos be better with more familiarity and a better OC. He will never be a guy to carry a franchise and that’s OK. Look to FA to add a Marc Bulger or an Alex Smith type for competition….we’ll be fine.

  13. phinfan says: May 2, 2011 11:16 AM

    Its a smoke screen. He wants Devlin. Or Chappell. Or Potts.

  14. texasphinsfan says: May 2, 2011 2:22 PM

    :facepalm:

    Ron Wolf once said you draft a QB every year until you have your Brett Favre.

    Sorry, but the hope that Henne *might* develop into the QB they want is not reason enough for me to be satisfied with completely neglecting one of the biggest positions of need.

    Sure, Henne could blossom next year in a different system. But let’s be realistic, shall we? Say he doesn’t – what then? Now we’re another year behind because we didn’t have a guy in the pipeline. A veteran QB might make 2011 easier to swallow, but what about long-term?

  15. freedomispopular says: May 2, 2011 8:01 PM

    If only they had signed Brees instead of Culpepper…

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