Yesterday, the Miami Herald reported that the Dolphins recognize that they must begin to put together a plan for how they will handle Chad Henne in 2009 as he prepares to eventually become the team's starting quarterback - at some point in the future. A "team source" told the Herald yesterday:
"We need to get Chad Henne ready to play. We don't think Chad Pennington has to play 12 quarters in the preseason to get ready for the regular season. But we do need to give Henne a chance to get ready because his time is coming."
Today, though, for the first time, we have heard right from coach Tony Sparano's mouth that the Dolphins plan to prepare Chad Henne to take over at QB at some point. Sparano had this to say to the Miami Herald about Henne:
"We need to get him ready. He'll play a lot and we'd like to see him a lot in the preseason...You see the ball jump off his hand."
None of this should come as a surprise to anyone here. We've known all along that this would eventually be Chad Henne's team. However, it does make me ask myself two questions. First - how would Chad Pennington feel about being a backup QB in 2010 and beyond? Assuming Henne takes full-time startin duties by 2010, it would be nice to have an insurance policy like Pennington behind Henne. His teaching and mentoring skills wouldn't hurt, either.
And two - what happens if Chad Pennington has an even better season in 2009 than he had in 2008? Yes, it may seemed far-fetched. But what if Pennington throws for similar yardage and more touchdowns while leading the Dolphins to 11 wins or more - including playoff wins. Do we just cast him aside because Chad Henne has "potential"? It makes for an interesting discussion, though I suppose we'll cross that bridge if we ever come to it.
If nothing else, though, the 2009 preseason should be fun as we will likely over-analyze every decision and every throw Chad Henne makes.