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Off-Season Positional Breakdown: Quarterback

Posted By Jesse Agler On January 5, 2011 @ 7:19 am In Football | 13 Comments

[1]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!

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