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Off-Season Positional Breakdown: Quarterback
By on January 5, 2011 at 7:19 am

As we continue our look-back at the 2010 Dolphins season, we introduce a new feature: the positional breakdown. With all of the talking about Chad Henne and Chad Pennington and Tyler Thigpen that we’ve done, we figured it made sense to start under center. Our own QB, John Congemi, shares his thoughts on the most important position on the field…

QB Breakdown, by John Congemi:

Chad Henne: When you fall short of the playoffs in the NFL, it is disappointing to the players, fans, and the entire organization. Most of the fingers get pointed in two areas: head coach and quarterback! When you dive into the numbers of Chad Henne, you see that he passed for over 3,000 yards (3,301) this season. If you would of had a target number before the season of what Chad needed to do to be productive, I believe that everyone would have been elated with that number. He didn’t have a consistent running game that we all assumed would be there, and I feel that exposed some overall flaws in the Dolphin offense. The touchdown to interception ratio is not where anyone would like it to be (15 touchdowns to 19 interceptions) and hopefully that will improve. The frustration lies with when some of the turnovers occurred, and at times, may have decided the outcome of games Miami should have won! The one thing that is concerning about the overall statistics is that Chad did not have one game when the Dolphins played well on offense, and he played a clean game. What I mean by that is he never had a dominating performance in a victory that you watched and said, “He was the difference!” Chad played well in multiple games (vs. Green Bay 23-39 for 231 yards, two touchdowns and one interception), Tennessee (19-28 for 240 yards, one touchdown and one interception) and Oakland (17-30 for 307 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and a 100.3 quarterback rating), but there must be improvement with his decision-making and fourth quarter play. Making one or two throws down the stretch are what dominating quarterbacks do to win games and leave no doubt about the outcome. In my opinion, Henne had an average season, and his 75.4 quarterback rating is reflective of that. He had his ups and downs, and probably will be a better quarterback by enduring the emotional roller coaster that he was on this year. The Dolphins are 13-13 in Chad’s first 26 starts of his career and that pretty much where this team resides, right around .500! If the Dolphins are going to take the next step and challenge AFC rivals New England and the Jets, they must get consistency and more productivity from the quarterback position, and sometimes a dominating performance!

Tyler Thigpen: Tyler’s numbers and playing time this season were limited. His performance off the bench against Tennessee in the fourth quarter was exactly what the Dolphins were looking for! He completed four of six passes for 64 yards and one touchdown to secure the only home victory of the season. His only start came the next week against the Chicago Bears, and the Dolphins offense struggled mightily. Injuries to the offensive line and a consistent Bears pass rush stifled the offense and Tyler’s production. His mobility proved valuable coming off the bench against New England passing for 169 yards and a touchdown in the final game of the season. It seems like there will always be a place for Thigpen in the NFL because of his style of play and his ability to extend offensive opportunities.

Chad Pennington: Chad was placed on Injured Reserve with a right shoulder injury on November 15th, and was lost for the season. He received the staring assignment against the Tennessee Titans and completed one pass for 19 yards before leaving that game with his injury. It would have been interesting to see what Chad’s experience and ability would of translated to on the field this season. Now, everyone must wait and see if Chad decides to rehabilitate his surgically repaired throwing shoulder and give it one more try!


Please Note:
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
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dolfan51 says:

Henne has no emotion. No fire, no leadership qualities. Sure he runs the offense, all QB’s do, but he is not a big play maker. He just can’t make it happen. I doubt he ever will.

Danilo Corrons says:

After this season, I feel as a fan that Chad Henne is not the quarterback for the Dolphins. Although I can see that he has potential, he never made me believe that he would do what ever it took to win. I didn’t see that urgency, that fire that a quarterback should have to lead and inspire his team.

With that said, I was really hoping that Chad Pennington would be healthy because I believe he has those qualities. He is a veteran so he has the experience to make the best decisions offensively. Unfortunately his arm gave out and it seems as he might be done for.

So if I were to pick one of the QB’s to develop, it would be Tyler Thigpen. I like his ability and his play style. He seems to have the desire to play and to win. He can make plays when there is nothing there. He seems to have a decent arm and just needs more play time to develop.

But for any of our QB’s to have any success, we need the offensive line and running backs to do their part. I think we had great pass-blocking for most of the season, but the run blocking was sub par and considering that we have several backs that can carry the ball well we should have had a better run game this season.

I am not sure whether Coach Sparano should go or not, but I don’t like the play calling from Coach Henning. Although he did make some good calls at times, the over all play calling was questionable at best.

I just hope they can really address theses issues by the time next season starts because I believe that we have a solid team over all and have the potential to be in the playoff’s.

Phinsrule says:

I just hope who ever the starting QB is going to be can get on the same page as the WR’s. I think Ireland will bring in a veteran QB I hope it’s Vince Young. He had really good stats leading up to week 9 then he got hurt an the Titans fell apart. Dont forget Vince can run with the ball too……..ANYONE SAY WILD CAT!!!! LOL

marvelman says:

I wouldnt mind seeing vince compete for the starting job.Him and Tyler compete would be fine by me.I think we should trade Henne straight up for Vince.Not sure if Henne is even under contract or not.I know Tyler isn’t I just hope we resign him.

JRock1176 says:

What of the possibility of getting Vince Young or Donovan Mcnabb?

tazwizard says:

I think the Fins would do better sticking with Henne or going with another young QB through the draft. As long as they do their job and evaluate the available QB’s and bring him up the right way, with time to learn under another more veteran QB.

marvelman says:

Don’t forget in that Bears game that the RBs only ran the ball a total of 7 times.Didn’t help Tyler at all when your up against a hot defense at the time and you only run the ball 7 times.Plus thats when Jake Long got hurt..right before the bears game.Starting center was out.Then the back up center went out during the game and Incognito went to center.Then Brandon Marshall went out hurt in that game.Tyler is athletic and a good young QB..give him a chance next season.That means you have to resign him but I think the Phins should do that and let him compete for the starting job.Time to let Henne go somewhere else.

vizion says:

I agree with Thigpen. Before coming here, he won a couple games with a very bad KC team. I think he’s got potential too, so he deserves that shot. He’s wiley and takes chances, and that’s a lot of fun to watch.

marvelman says:

True.when he was with KC he started 11 games and had really good stats.He had 18 Tds throws to only 12 picks.He had a 6.2 ave on the ground with 3 TDs.One catch for a 37 yard TD.That was his 1st year as a pro.He is very athletic.He was on a bad defensive team.They were ranked 31st in the league only the lions were worse.I think when they benched Henne they should have brought in Tyler for the rest of the year.Now Tyler is not under contract so we may never get to take a longer look at him to see what he has.I hope the phins resign him and give him a chance to compete for the starting job next season.When KC traded him to the Phins that year KC went 4-12 with the 30th ranked Defense.So it wasn’t what he was doing.I can only wonder what could have been.At one point our defense was 3rd overall now I think its 6th after that pats game.Just give Tyler a chance..I’m sure thats all he wants as well a chance to compete for the job.

Garry Moore says:

Regarding John Congemi’s braekdown on the quarterbacks, and specifically Chad Henne, John says “if the Dolphins are going to take the next step and challenge New England and the Jets, they must get consistency……..”

From what I’ve seen, they won’t get it from Chad Henne. In his third year, we should by now be seeing the signs if he is going to develop into a good quarterback. Unfortunately, we haven’t. I personally don’t think Chad Henne is the quarterback to get them to the Superbowl, I’m also not convinced about Coach Sparano. Yes, he has passion, etc, but crucially, is he a good coach? Right now, he can’t compete with the likes of Bill Belichick at New England who always seems to be able to produce a good football team irrespective of which players are available.
Some of the offensive plays have also been questionable, perhaps Dan Henning isn’t up to the task either. Unfortunately, I don’t have the answers – if I did, I wouldn’t be sitting here working in Highways in the UK!

vizion says:

Henne has a great skill set, but lacks the emotional attachment to the game which would give him the determination to make aggressive plays…a necessary component of a great quarterback. Thigpen has those qualities, but doesn’t quite have Henne’s skill set. Either one would make a solid 2nd string, but probably not 1st. Pennington has the mind of an elite quarterback, but his throwing arm which was already lacking in strength is now proven to be too fragile, and that’s a shame.

What I think really hurt the Dolphins this year, especially the quarterbacks, was a lack of run game. Brown, Williams, Polite, the o-line and tight ends should have been the work horses of the offense. We the fans here in Miami are used to the post-Marino low-scoring era. We’ve come to accept that we are a rushing and defensive team. We care more about the W stat than any other stat. Why then did we put so much pressure on quarterbacks that we weren’t certain about to move the football against defenses that aren’t tired or winded from a bruising rushing attack?

cudlow says:

Hard to have emotional attachment when the inept coach benches him for the worst QB in NFL history – Pennington. And after the last game with the Thigpen stupidity, his confdence is bound to suffer. Come on owner – fire Soprano and Henning. Get a real coach so Chad Henne can develop into the very good QB he can be!

tazwizard says:

I’m not sure what you use to call Pennington the worst QB in the NFL, what with him being one of the highest rated passers in history. Then there were his years leading the Jets to many victories over the Dolphins, unfortunately. I do agree with you in that I still think Chad Henne can be a great QB and with a great future. I’m just not sure if that will end up being with the Fins, though.