As if we needed any more proof that the Miami Dolphins will be adding at least one veteran quarterback once the lockout ends and player movement can begin, now we have Chad Henne himself acknowledging this obvious fact.
Last week, Henne reportedly told the Miami Herald that though he sees the team's decision to not select a quarterback in last month's NFL Draft as a sign of confidence in him, he's aware there will be competition for his job. "It's not my job yet," Henne told the Herald. "I'll still have to compete."
Who Henne will have to compete with remains the ultimate question surrounding this team. Carson Palmer remains the team's top option. But he's being held hostage in Cincinnati. Not only would the Dolphins have to surrender a very high draft pick to pry Palmer loose, he's also owed an ridiculous $50 million over the next four years. So it's safe to assume any team that considers Palmer as a possible trade target would demand to speak with Carson about restructuring that deal prior to acquiring the 31 year old quarterback.
The fact that Palmer is at the top of the team's wishlist, though, should tell you something about how this regime feels about Henne. Was passing on a quarterback in the draft really a show of confidence in Chad? Or was it more about this regime possibly not being around long enough to develop a rookie quarterback if the team has another mediocre season?
Henne was also asked about the new offense that Brian Daboll will be installing in Miami this year. While Henne didn't go as far as Lydon Murtha did when he called it a "drastic change," Henne did tell the Miami Herald about one notable change that he likes.
"I like it and I’m comfortable with it. I don’t know the whole offense yet, but it’s very diverse, and there a lot of things you can add to it," Henne said. "Last year, we did five or seven step drops. Now, we have three, five and seven. It keeps the defense on their toes. As a defensive back, you’re not looking at the quarterback’s feet as much."
In other words, Henne seems to put some of the blame on his tendency to be "predictable" - as some opposing defenders said last year - on Dan Henning. But what about his tendency to shy away from taking chances. Did his fear of making mistakes get into his head last year?
"I don’t think I was ever afraid of mistakes," Henne responded. "There are things I have to improve on, but I’m not going to change the way I play."
I'm going to hope Henne was just too proud to admit that a fear of costly mistakes prevented him from taking shots at some big plays that were there down the field. I don't think he wants to publicly admit that the coaches did indeed pound it into his head that turnovers would not be tolerated, making him a bit gun shy.
Regardless of any excuses you want to make for Henne's play last season, there's one obvious fact that Henne seems to realize. This is his "crap or get off the pot" season in Miami. He'll have an advantage heading into whatever kind of competition he'll be in once camp opens because of his familiarity with his teammates and his head start studying the offense.
But nothing will be handed to Henne this year. He's finally going to have to earn it.