This week's Perspective is pretty easy, and is pretty much the same things most people have been talking about all week. A sad goodbye to Mr. Pennington and a warm hello to Mr. Henne.
First and foremost, Chad Pennington. What can I say that hasn't already been said? You led this team, and all of us as fans, back from the brink of oblivion. Eight days before the 2008 season, you brought hope to all of us. Suddenly, we had an established quarterback We were no longer tied to a quarterback with a questionable knee, a quarterback whose passes found opponents so often he may have been color-blind. We had a quarterback who could lead the team.
But first, we had to shake our well developed hatred of you. Maybe not you as a person, but you as a member of that hated team from up north. It's a hatred like no other. We "Dolfans" dislike the Patriots. We don't like the Bills. Your former team, we loathe. We despise that team. So much so, that I wrote about a month ago, that you had no career before August 8, 2008. You simply materialized from thin air.
However, you quickly showed us why you were brought to Miami. The Captain's C was placed on your chest, and you rose to a level of leadership this team has not seen since Dan Marino and Don Shula. You led a young, inexperienced team, a team that had only won once the entire 2007 season, and you turned them into winners.
Every week, this you took this team on your shoulders and you willed them to win. When the first two games turned into the same 2007 Miami Dolphins, you simply refused to lose. Then the magic started. Week 3 will be a game no one on this site, no fan of this team, will ever forget. You went out there and beat down the AFC East powerhouse New England Patriots. A beat down none of us could have hoped for. Your leadership and unselfishness was evident. Suddenly there you were, lined up at WR and confusing everyone. It was art. It was science. It was perfect.
The 2008 season could not have ended any better for us as fans, and even though you are too much of a gentlemen to really admit it, I am sure for you as well. There you were, walking out onto the field at Giants Stadium, facing the team that has thrown you to the side of the road for a retired quarterback. At the end of the day, you walked out of New Jersey as the AFC East Champion quarterback, and sent your replacement back into retirement.
Not only did you triumph, but you simply turned the attitude of this team from expecting to lose, to one who comes in each and every week and expects to win.
Your single season statistics make you simply the best quarterback this team has had since Hall of Famer Marino's retirement. You started all 16 games for the team, finishing with an 11 & 5 record, a feat we as fans called "Moving the Hyphen" - an For the first time since Marino, a Dolphins quarterback threw for more than 3,500 yards, as you finished with 3,653 yards on 321 for 476 passes, with 19 touchdowns and 7 interceptions (and a 97.4 quarterback rating). You also received your second Comeback Player of the Year award, and finished second to Peyton Manning for the AP's NFL MVP award.
This season, expectations were high. We as fans knew you would come back and lead this team again, continue to develop the young quarterbacks behind you, while continuing to cement the winning attitude your helped build last year. The Dolphins were on the up-swing.
Last week, facing the San Diego Chargers, it all came unraveled. Your twice surgically repaired shoulder once again failed you. Seeing you sitting on the sideline, shoulder iced and in a towel, sent panic through the fan base. Not only had the team just lost an outstanding quarterback, but a stellar leader, and more importantly man, had just gone down.
Mr. Pennington, I hope your shoulder heals. I really hope that you are able to return to the game you love, and I hope to see you walk out on the field in a Dolphins jersey again one day. But, if this really is the end of your career, I pray for the best for you. I hope you will consider returning to the Dolphins organization in some capacity, because your knowledge, your preparation, and your leadership can only help to continue to build this team.
Chad Pennington, "CP10," thank you.
Now, we all turn to Chad Henne. Some of us fans have called for you to be starting since day one of this season. Some even thought we needed to bench Pennington last year to let you get experience. I relate this because, you need to know, expectations are high.
These are fans who have not learned. These are the fans that demanded John Beck start for a 1&15 team, and when he failed, as did every other quarterback, it was deemed that Beck was a failure. I am not trying to compare you to Beck, and I do believe you are a better quarterback than Beck, but I tell you this because the fans that demand you start are the same fans that will be calling for your head next week when you throw an interception.
This flip-flop ability of some Dolfans was evident last week, as they already began saying you are a flop. We are a fickle fan base, and are not willing to give you the time you need to develop as a successful NFL quarterback. We were spoiled by Marino, and we have yet to realize that he was a once in a generation quarterback.
This week may be even more stressful than you realize. As you get all of the first team reps in practice, our expectations grow higher. You've lost the "he wasn't prepared to play" excuse. I hope that we as a fan base realize that one week doesn't prepare you for a career - nor does it represent what your career may be.
Now, you also have fans jumping on the Tyler Thigpen bandwagon. The trade had not even been finalize in the league offices before fans were calling for Thigpen to start. I wish we would learn, wish we would realize that we have had a train of quarterbacks walking through the revolving door that has been that position, and each time, we have bought into the hype. Since Number 13 retired, Jay Fiedler, Ray Lucas, Brian Griese, A.J. Feeley, Sage Rosenfels, Gus Frerotte, Daunte Culpepper, Joey Harrington, Cleo Lemon, Trent Green, John Beck, and Chad Pennington have all started games for this team. You are the fourteenth quarterback to take the first snap from center in a game in the last ten seasons. Yet, already we are calling for number fifteen.
I wish you the best of luck, Mr. Henne. I hope for your sake that our Wide Receivers quickly learn to catch the ball, especially as they transition from Pennington's passes to yours. Hopefully Buffalo's injured secondary and Miami's ability to run the ball keep your stat sheet clean and keep fans behind you.
Just know, this fickle fan base may not give you the leeway you're going to need.
Targets of Opportunity.
Okay, what was the worst uniform of the week? The Team that Shall Not Be Named (they share a stadium with the Giants) AFL Throwbacks or the Neon Puke Green Seattle Seahawks jersey?
I posted this earlier in the thread about CP10's season being over, and stole it from ESPN, but do you realize that between the Lions' last two wins, Brett Favre has played for three teams and retired twice?
Does anyone actually care that Derek Anderson is starting in Cleveland over Brady Quinn now? You know, the more and more I think about it, I am happier that we passed on Quinn. Maybe the entire Ginn family wasn't as bad a pick as it seems - at least Ginn is semi-prodective.
Speaking of Ginn, I agree that he needs to step up and show some consistency. I will also give him a couple of his drops from last week as not prepared for the difference between Pennington's passes and Henne's rockets. But, as a starting WR in the league, you have got to make more catches than that. Come on Teddy. Get it together.
Tim Tebow is still my pick for our next drafted QB. I know he may not be the "typical" NFL QB, but the guy just wins. Even when he is laying on the grass and barfing his way off the field, the guy can win. It's probably just me, but the more I think about it, the more I think of Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben's 6'5", 241 lbs. Tebow's 6'3", 240 lbs. And, both just win. Somehow, they win.
Apparently CP10 isn't completely done yet. He's going to go ahead and get the surgery and start rehab before making a final decision on his career. Here's the story from ESPN.com.
Decent story about player's changing teams - including our own #99 Jason Taylor. (Again from ESPN.com).
Hope you guys aren't planning to propose to anyone any time soon. The stakes just got higher for all of us.