Chad Henne inches closer to the starting lineup

Sure, Chad Pennington is still the starting quarterback in Miami.  And, sure, when the Dolphins devoted yet another second-round pick to yet another quarterback in the 2009 draft, some wondered whether the guy taken in the second round of the 2008 draft was still on track to become the starter.

For now, it looks like Chad Henne remains on deck, and that he’ll replace Pennington at some point in the future.

Coach Tony Sparano said Tuesday that, on Thursday night against the Buccaneers, Pennington will play into the third quarter, and Henne will go the rest of the way.

“I think he has come a long way,” Sparano said of Henne in quotes circulated by the team.  “One of the biggest things is that he has full command of the offense.  There is no — we are not hiding anything with Chad out there.  We are giving him everything.  He is able to do anything right now where a year ago, you were not able to do those things.  Game has really slowed down for him right now, I think.  He can come off the field, communicate pretty clear right now with what he is seeing.  That is pretty good, it really is.”

It’s good enough to relegate Pat White, the 2009 second-rounder, to spot duty at most on Thursday night, if Sparano decides to show his Wildcat hand at all.

And it could be good enough to put Pennington on the bench at some point in 2009.

Assuming Pennington doesn’t get injured (which, given his history, might be one of those “ass-you-me” assumptions), the Dolphins will have to remain in the thick of things in the AFC East to keep Pennington on the field.  If/when the Fins slide out of contention, it will make plenty of sense to see what Henne can do.

The tougher question will come if/when the Dolphins are fading but not yet finished.  Will Sparano at some point go with Henne in an effort to spark the team?

Time will tell, and it’ll be an interesting subplot if at the Week Six bye the Dolphins are on the wrong side of .500 after opening with the Falcons, Colts, Chargers, Bills, and Jets.

20 responses to “Chad Henne inches closer to the starting lineup

  1. White’s not going to be utilized in the wildcat soon, and he hasn’t yet if I recall correctly. Ronnie Brown has been running it as always in the first two preseason games. Right now, White’s just another third-string quarterback.

  2. The Fins are the division champions. They play some good teams but they’re pretty good, too. They’re either 2-3 or 3-2 at their bye. Certainly no time to panic about the season at that point.

  3. Don’t you worry your pretty little head about the Fins in 09, Florio. You are one of the media members I speak of when I say you have them as a fringe team, and they aren’t. This story here shows the depth we possess at QB, and it doesn’t stop there. We have possibly the deepest backfield in the game, and our WR position reminds me of the Patriots teams that won with no name wide outs. Our defense will return to top 5 form in the league, and our O-line is the only true question mark in this equation. I’ll be around to poke you about week 15 when we’re jockeying for a repeat division crown, or possibly our wild card spot.

  4. I won’t come here and pretend that I strongly believe that the Fins will beat out the Patriots for the division. I think the Pats are the favorites. But I think the Dolphins are a well-rounded team that should have strong odds to get a Wild Card spot, at least…

  5. Chad Henne isn’t starter material, and the Dolphins are still waiting for a QB that can actually make them a legit competitor. Matt Ryan was their chance.

  6. If it anit broke PLEASE leave it alone. Both Chads will be the MAN either way..

  7. What’s with the “if/when”‘s? It seems that you are unfairly expecting the Dolphins to fail. Why not just say “if”?
    Would love to see you use that phrase with the beloved Patsies. If/when brady’s knee explodes again.

  8. ChrisNelson,
    I don’t understand your comment. How do you know that Sparano isn’t going to use Pat White in the Wildcat “soon”, and no they haven’t yet because what they ran was just the same as last years plays. Why would Sparano ever show that until it is unveiled in the regular season?
    In fact, knowing your comment history as I do, I am surprised that that senseless comment came from you. I mean Sparano has hinted around it since the draft. Of course he is a Wildcat QB and a developmental player as well. Maybe not in every Wildcat play but the permutations are endless with this talent.

  9. I don’t get how you get to Chad Henne is closer to starting and will take over at some point this year from the 2nd string QB playing the fourth quarter in the 3rd preseason game. That’s pretty normal. Is it just because your boy isn’t getting any pre-announced slotted time? Sorry, that’s Sparano. He’s too far off to even bother looking at and anything that he’s going to be used for is going to stay under wraps. That is all. Nothing revealed about Henne in this at all.

  10. Henne can come in & finish IF Pennington goes down. All you so called “experts” said the Fins would not do anything & look they are the AFC East Champions!!! Pennington stats were better than the 3 popularity contest pro bowl QB starters last year & I’m sure will be better than last year!!! keep on hating!!! AFC EAST Champions AGAIN!!! GO FINS 2009!!!

  11. I’m not saying White’s not a wildcat quarterback. I’m just saying I don’t think he’s going to be use there soon. He hasn’t been in games and he hasn’t in practice. He’s not really to run an NFL offense, out of the wildcat or no. Brown will continue to handle that role for now.

  12. Pat White looks terrible. If the Dolphins hadn’t gotten rid of John Beck, Pat White would’t have made the team. White’s future in the NFL is as something other than a QB.

  13. Chad Henne lead the Detroit Lions to 3 straight Super Bowls on my Madden 09….my expert GM skills saw the potential in him and he came home to Michigan and lead the lowly Lions to GREATNESS! If it’s in the game, it’s in the game!
    Back in reality though, Henne needs to replace Pennington now, make my Madden dreams come true!!!!!!

  14. i think the depth chart at QB is pretty clear-cut – and has been for awhile.
    Henne has been amazingly solid & poised. He’d probably be able to come in week 1 and be the starter if need be, and none of us would have a problem with it. Under Pennington’s mentorship he has matured & worked on his game. He’s been patient & he’s not a prima donna.
    I am very happy with Pennington as our leader (when did you ever hear a Jets fan say that?), but god forbid if he goes down or something happens, i feel 100% confident in Henne. It’s a good position to be in, to have depth of this quality at the position – especially given our historic poor stock at the QB position.
    worldinmyeyes has no idea what he’s talking about.

  15. ChrisNelson,
    I just can’t believe you don’t think Pat White can run the option now? He will even be a decoy. I am just saying…does anyone really think, besides Florio, that White is there to be the backup only. He is as far as when Pennington moves on, but visions of Wildcat are dancing in the Trifecta’s collective Mind.

  16. Well how are the Dolphins going to get White on the field when he’s the No. 3 quarterback? I could see it happening next year when Henne’s starting and White’s No. 2.

  17. cnelson13:
    They won’t list him as a QB this year is my guess. For game purposes, you simply list him as a WR or RB and then he can come and go as he pleases. There is no rule stopping him from coming in at full time QB if, GOD FORBID, the other two should drop Any Given Sunday style.

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