Love him or hate him, the odds of Chad Henne starting at quarterback for the Miami Dolphins are better than him being replaced. He’s definitely struggled as a starter by throwing just 27 touchdowns compared to 33 interceptions. However’ he’s also showed promise at the same time. He’s posted a quarterbacking rating higher than 90 seven times and has led the Dolphins to four game-winning drives along with three fourth-quarter comebacks.
Henne has also shown strength, accuracy, and precision at times and it looks like he has a good foundation to build on. Some feel he hasn’t had much to work with and receiver Brandon Marshall has had a hard time getting along with him, saying he trusts backup Tyler Thigpen more then Henne. Henne would definitely be better with a good supporting cast, but at the moment he’s got to battle his way through his problems.
The draft has come and gone, so it looks like Henne’s going to get another shot at starting again this year, partly due to the lack of competition at quarterback. Cam Newton, Jake Locker, and Blaine Gabbert are all great prospects, but even if the Dolphins had gotten their hands on one of them it’s unlikely they’d be starting games in the fall.
Some fans feel Henne is improving slowly while others feel he’s actually taken a step backwards after last season. But the opinions that matter the most will be the Dolphins’ new quarterback coach and offensive coordinator. If they’re not happy with him, the club will probably have to go the free-agent route to replace him or make a trade.
But at the moment there aren’t a lot of options. Veterans Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb might cost the Dolphins too much and guys like Kellen Clemens, Kerry Collins, Matt Flynn, Brett Ratliff, and Brady Quinn aren’t really much better than Henne at the moment. Plus, Kolb has also thrown more interceptions than touchdowns and has less experience and a lower completion percentage and rating than Henne.
The best choice for a replacement would be Carson Palmer, but it’s doubtful the Bengals would be willing to trade him. Other than that, there’s Vince Young, Marc Bulger, and Kyle Orton. Bulger can be had as a free agent, but he appears to be on the downside of his career. However, he might be refreshed after being a backup last year and turn into the next Kurt Warner, still having something in the tank.
Orton’s a decent quarterback, but not a franchise one. The Broncos might be willing to deal him if Tim Tebow gets off to a good start and could be had for third-to -fifth round draft. Vince Young should be available. He’s young and athletic, but comes with a bit of baggage due to his attitude. The dolphins might steer clear of him because of his reputation.
This means the 25-year-old Henne, with a new offense and coaching, will likely be starting come opening day of the season. Also, it looks like the Dolphins’ top brass are satisfied with Henne for now. CEO Mike Dee said it was tough to watch Henne struggle last season as he didn’t live up to expectations, but that’s life with a young quarterback, there are going to be growing pains along the way. He said nobody’s given up on Henne, but the club is always looking at ways to improve the team, including the quarterback position.