This past Friday's preseason game against the Carolina Panthers was a good game for the Dolphins in many ways. Reggie Bush made his debut, ran the ball effectively mostly between the tackles and showed how dangerous he can be catching the ball out of the backfield. The offensive line also had a good night, they opened plenty of holes in the running game and did a nice job protecting the quarterback. The defense plugged up the running lanes after allowing the Atlanta Falcons to push them around in the first preseason game. Finally Chad Henne rebounded after a 2 interception game. Overall it was a good night for the Dolphins.
This leads me to the performance by Henne, he moved the team and made some nice passes. I have never hidden my opinion that Henne is not the answer at QB, not when your ultimate goal is to win a Super Bowl. So much so that I have been accused of not being a true Dolphin fan because I had the audacity to criticize Henne even after he has a good game. The problem is that Dolphin fans are so hungry for a great QB that they forget what one looks like, we see greatness in average. Henne had a good game yes and he improved but I have never seen a fan base get so excited over a preseason performance against the worst team in football that came into the game missing 7 starters. I'm not trying to knock a nice performance by Henne, I'm just asking for a little perspective.
It was a preseason game, a glorified practice that doesn't count. Why are we getting so excited over an average performance? His quarterback rating was a pedestrian 87.8. Henne hit receivers running crossing routs and slants with minimal pressure, an NFL QB should make those throws. His issue has never been the easy pass that makes you average, it's been the difficult pass that makes you great. I point to three throws in particular in the Panther game that he didn't make that shows me he doesn't have the skills to be a great QB. The first pass he missed was to a wide open Brian Hartline down the sideline, his throw was not only long but it was also out of bounds. Hartline didn't even have a chance to make a play, you can see his frustration when he threw his arms in the air. The second pass he missed was to Clyde Gates. The speedy 4th round pick flew past the corner and safety down the seem and even his 4.3 speed could not help him catch up to Henne's pass. Finally in the forth quarter he not only missed an open Anthony Fasano in the end zone but he compounded the problem by throwing the ball late to Daniel Thomas on the far sideline and almost had the ball intercepted. Fasano was being covered deep by a safety playing outside technique and underneath by a linebacker. Once Fasano cleared the linebacker and went to the post he came uncovered, those three plays should have been touchdowns.
Henne lacks accuracy in tight spaces and on long throws, that's why the Dolphins went to the west coast offense that puts more of a premium on short timing passes. He's also inconsistent, has been since college. You never know what Henne you're going to get. I know as fans we try to see the positive all the time. We are full of hope this time of year, we want a winner so bad that we've started blinding ourselves to the truth. I hope Henne proves me wrong, I'm rooting for him to become the player we all hoped he would be by now but at this point I've decided to stop lying to myself.