I'm just going to attempt to bring some light to the curious case of Chad Henne and what has and/or what will become of him? This is purely an amateur attempt to briefly let you look at Henne in a different manner, but only for the short time being of this post.
This is not an attempt say Henne needs to be our QB, IS the QB, or anything to lobby his case as the QB of the Dolphins. I'm approaching this with no statistical raw evidence, simply just a point at what went wrong, or what can be righted. I want you all to be open minded and neutral about the situation for just a brief minute (for some of you that may be impossible because I've noticed some hard nosed closed minded individual around here).
So now that the disclaimer is over, lets make THE JUMP!
Let's think back to the NFL Draft of 08'. With the first Overall pick and 2 second round picks in the draft we selected Jake long, Philip Merling (with the first pick of the second) and then Henne late in the second round at the 26th pick.
Nobody expected Henne at that time (at least I was surprised to hear his name). So, like many of us around here we did our research on the kid and I'd like to say that my memory of the general consensus was that he was a strong armed QB with a lot of potential given the proper guidance and looked to be like the franchise QB of the future, waiting in the wing.
Well, we all know what has happened since then so I won't get into that. But, what exactly did go wrong with his decline in progression? Now, given, he has improved in certain areas of his mechanics and footwork, but has lacked what seems to be the consistency of his overall performance to rally his team (yes he did a some impressive comeback games), but not enough times. Where does this come from? It has been said that he was a good leader for Michigan and had a lot of support for his skills.
So, the fact that he had the intangibles and the skills to be a very good QB, who does the blame fall on? Personally, I would like to say it came from the play calling, QB coach David Lee (not all players can play comfortably with the style of play their specific coach is expecting/teaching). Dan Henning just got lucky with the wildcat in 2008, that's it. He is a geriatric that can't identify the proper formations/plays to keep defenses guessing. And here it comes, the other guy I'd like to shake my fist at is our beloved Chad Pennington. I applaud him for taking Henne under his wing and teaching him how to study film as well as maintaining an awesome work ethic. BUT! I think Pennington instilled too many ideals that were too conflicting with his natural play instincts, and that conflictual split second decision making on the field was a voice in his head that screamed "checkdown!" when he was at a point of the release to make a risky pass. It just didn't bode well and I think we all saw that there was something unnatural about his play.
Now I'm going to say this right now. I do like Henne and I'm rooting for that light bulb to go on and for the new OC and QB coach to find his strengths and comforts and exploit it at their discretion. BUT, I am also to the point that if our coaching staff thinks he isn't the guy and at any point during the next season (hopefully there will be one) we have a new QB on the field during a game, he'll be getting just as much rooting for. Why not? We have to support our players and hope they perform well, but it is a business and you either sink or swim.
I am going to show you as a reminder of who Henne once was when he was in his element. Pretend for a minute that this youtube highlight of Henne in college was a possible prospect for us to draft amongst the other QB's whom seem to be in contention for our 15th pick this year. Don't think about what has happened since, just what you see and ask yourself if you think this kid would be a good fit for us to draft.
Sorry I tried to include the embedded video but no luck.
My favorite play was the pass at 2:26.
Okay, so just to compare I'll toss in the ever more popular choice QB we have been discussing, Ryan Mallett.
the embedded code didn't work so here is a link to it.
Obviously these are the highlights so its skewed in the fact that they don't show poor performances, but it does display that they haven proven to be excellent.
Did Henne to any of you seem like a different passer in his college film than what we have seen out of his pro performances, too? I for one wanted to know if you all would have said yes to what you saw in the highlight if back then somebody made a post saying "we should draft this guy!" Whatever your answer is it most definitely should put things into perspective about whats happening now pre-draft. I'm about done with this rambling but whoever our QB is going into 2012 (yes not this coming season but next), do you think the position will be solidified after whatever happens this year?
Thank you all for reading and I apologize for any grammar errors. I'm pretty tired and barely proof read it.