Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I'll take 2 Chads and a Pat of White on the side, please.

Seems like in 2008, the only quarterbacks we really talked about were Chad Pennington and the 'Primitive Weapon' mostly because the media runs through New York. But lately South Florida has been getting some buzz thanks to the addition of Pat White, and the question of where that addition leaves Chad Henne. On top of that we also have the question of Pennington vs. Henne. It's as if we suddenly have a REAL competition at quarterback. But it's not a competition over who will start versus the Falcons in week 1. It's a competition over how many snaps each of the three will get during the season. Let's rack 'em up!

Chad Pennington, # 10.
The incumbent starter had the best year of his career in 2008. Unlike some of the other starters who I'd like to see increase their production from the previous year, if Pennington could just MATCH his 2008, then we'd likely be heading in the right direction. Obviously it looks like he will not have to be the only arm out there, so he would have to match those numbers with fewer snaps.

Chad Henne, # 7.
As much as I like Pennington, and as much as he deserves the starting job, I would be secretly (ok, not so secretly) happy when Henne gets to step in. The throws are so different between the two Chads. Henne's passes come out like bullets, are lower, faster, perhaps a bit wilder on the short passes but the intermediate throws get their very quickly, and the long throws don't hang long enough to catch the wind. Pennington is more accurate because of his soft touch, but Henne's give the defense less time to catch up. I honestly believe his throws allow for more yards after the catch. He wouldn't have to launch it down the field to Ted Ginn. An intermediate bullet of 15 yards would get there in Ginn's stride and allow him to keep going at full speed instead of having to slow down for the ball.

Pat White, # 6.
It's become a growing consensus that White will change his number after training camp. From what little I could find about the jersey rules, he wouldn't have to chancge it until the Monday after the last pre-season game which would be September 7th. That day also happens to be Labor Day. Since the NFL is a union-run business, the actual day might not be until the 8th, but even if the offices are open, the players won't be back to work until either the 8th or 9th, and the Atlanta game is on the 13th. So technically, the little surprise could present teams only 3 or 4 days to prepare for White as a wide receiver, if that's what the Dolphins wanted to do. It's yet to be seen.

For now the Dolphins are happy to let everyone know that Pat White is only working as a QB and that they are installing a lot of Wild-cat into their offense. The Offensive line, of course, did not get the memo and has been blabbing about how they're not going to rely on the wild-cat.
But Pat White has had some typical rookie QB struggles (learning to throw without gloves, learning the playbook, beating the buzzer), and some not so typical rookie QB struggles (hitting Parcells in the flats, thinking he was the tight-end, struggling to climb into Randy Starks' freightliner, throwing a pass to Ernest Wilford, etc.).

We really don't know the full extent of what the Dolphins have in store for the three quarterbacks, but don't be surprised if Chad Henne gets the lion's share of the work in training camp and the pre-season.

The reason is that Pennington will not need as much work, and that the Pat White experiment can't really be 'Plan A'. Meanwhile, they drafted Henne in 2008, they'll want him to be ready this year, so if he eventually takes over in 2010 he'll be 'ready' ready. And if he's not ready, they'll need to trade him ASAP to get as close to that 2nd rounder in value as they can.

I know what you're thinking, why trade Henne, he's good insurance as a back-up. That's true, but he's not going to want to remain a back-up for long, and if they extend Pennington through next year and beyond, the Dolphins would have a lot of money and draft picks sitting on the bench at the quarterback position.

Hopefully they will wait until after the 2009 season to make a decision on all three of these guys.


  1. Is that really a photo of Pat White?  I think he is channeling that Erkle character from some sitcom I dont remember.

  2. Unless it's a blowout we won't see too much of Henne during the regular season. Like you said if our QB production was just matched we'll be in a good place. Nice not worry about who our starter is going to be for one offseason and to have some depth at the position. I'm interested to see Henne's arm this year too, but if I don't see it were probably going on a playoff run so it won't hurt that bad.

    Defense coming soon...

  3. Yes that is Pat White doing his best Urkel impression.  The sitcom was "Family Matters"


  4. That's right, defense is up next.  That's where the real tough competitions will be.

  5. The Knight who says Ni!June 23, 2009 at 9:41 AM

    Chad Henne might have a stronger arm than Pennington but that means little. Jeff George had a stronger arm than Marino. Who would you rather have?

    There is so much more to playing QB and being a leader and Pennington has all of it, except for the strong arm.

    Henne should benefit from another year of learning behind Penne.

  6. The Knight who says Ni!June 23, 2009 at 9:54 AM

    Tin, it really doesn't matter that Chad Henne may not want to sit for however long. He's signed for 4 years and we own his rights. Pennington didn't get his first chance to start until his 3rd year. Same for Aaron Rodgers.

    We're not going to invest all this time developing him to then trade him if he's not ready to take over. I don't see that happening at all. Also what kind of signal does that send to the league, why is Miami trading the QB they drafted and were high on in his 3rd year? Red flag!

    I do agree that Henne will probably get 50% of the reps in the preseason with Penne and White splitting the other reps. Like you said, Penne doesn't need as many reps to get ready for the season and White will get his chances to run the offense as a traditional QB as well as some Wildcat and spread stuff.

  7. I think Jeff George is the only QB that was a starter on Sunday and released on Monday.  what a dud!

  8. oh, btw, Marino had a plenty strong arm, he used to go deep more than any other QB at the time....remember when we used to use the fleaflicker about ten times a game?  LOL

  9. Since Culver got re-signed the competition at safety just got smaller...

  10. Most of the fans are anxious to get Henne in there as am I. Yet the last thing the team needs is a controversy at QB, that's never a good thing. Sparano said in the off season that Penny is the starter this year. With that said that's the way it should stay.

    My feelings are PW will always be a wildcat guy, and will make this team as WR or RB playing the QB position. I see him taking very few snaps in the first part of the year even as the wildcat QB, that will still be R. Browns job.

    So how much we see of Henne will be determined by the record as the year goes along. If the Dolphins are out of it anytime after the midseason point look for Henne to get in there. If we're still in the hunt for a playoff spot Penny will be the Man all the way through.

    One thing that has changed over the years is the way starters jobs are protected during the year. If they start the year as a starter they seem to keep it all the way through the year. Seldom do you see what happened to McNabb last year, a QB getting pulled from the game. Yet that happened all the time in the 70s and 80s.

    Todays players think they are entitled to the job, until they retire. Once you get paid to play a game then each week they must prove weather they belong or not. If anyone is having a bad game they should expect to get pulled from a game.

    So for now Henne and PW must wait and learn from a very smart polished pro QB, even if his arm is not that strong. As Knight says there is more to the game than a great arm, but it sure makes up for the lack of experience.

  11. ...so Henne falls flat on his face as a pro QB ...he can throw but he can't drive (so says O) ...and White figures out the buzzer and brings magic to the field ...and we make the playoffs.

    ...what now?

    ...or both Henne and White fail to get it done where it counts and Penne shows signs of wear and tear ...Tebow?

    ...just stirring the pot :)

  12. The Knight who says Ni!June 23, 2009 at 12:05 PM

    Yes Marino had a strong arm, but he wasn't the best deep ball passer. A lot of his deep passes were successful just due to his vision, anticipation and quick release. His best passes were in the 25-35 yard range where he threw laser beams. I remember the way DBs would react when they found out it was complete. They had no idea the ball was even there. LOL

  13. The Knight who says Ni!June 23, 2009 at 12:06 PM

    Million dollar arm 10 cent head.

  14. ...not sure what your point was re the number switch with White ...does it really matter? ...Penne wears a nominally WR eligible number ...no rule I'm aware of that says #6 can't line up as a RB or WR while #10 plays find the ball with Groves ...not the usual thing but iirc, the whole thing with 2 QB starters is financial, not any NFL rules.

  15. maybe we could draft Tebow as a long-snapper?

  16. It matters because you cannot have two QBs in the game together.

    I thought we went through all this a couple of months ago?  ;)

    If White stays at #6 he can only be listed as a QB.  If he changes it to #16, he can be listed as a WR instead, thus allowing White and Pennington/Henne to be on the field together.

    Pennington lining up at WR last year had nothing to do with his number being #10.  Any player with a number other than that between 50 and 79 can play ANY position at any time.  Yes, Pennington could've lined up at free safety if he wanted to.  Tearrius George can play QB if they want him to.  The difference isn't what you can do for a play here and there, but what the player's 'primary' position is.  If White is listed as primarily a QB, he cannot be in the game with Pennington because that's against the rules!

  17. The Knight who says Ni!June 23, 2009 at 12:27 PM

    lemmus, there are specific rules with positional numbers. A WR can't have a single digit number. Pat White is currently #6. Pennington is #10 so there is no issue with him lining up as a WR. Pat White currently could not line up at WR in a game.

    Remember Reggie Bush wasn't allowed to wear #5 and he took #25. RBs have to wear 20-49.

    Brad Smith of the Jets does some QB/WR stuff and that's why he's #16.

  18. true, but the safety competition was pretty much set anyway barring injuries.

  19. btw, i founf the 'plays find the ball with Grove' phrase a little disturbing!

  20. "It matters because you cannot have two QBs in the game together." tin

    ...I say BS! ...show me the NFL rule that says that ...go ahead! :-P

    ...and Ni, show me the rule that says #6 can't run a route, catch a pass, and score? ...only the QB that takes the snap directly under center is not eligible as a receiver afaik ...if #6 lines up anywhere else, he is eligible, even as the snap taker in the shotgun, he's eligible ...doesn't make a damn what his jersey number is as long as its not a lineman #.

    ...if you guys are going to jump on me with booth feet, I'm going to start wear pads :-D

  21. The Knight who says Ni!June 23, 2009 at 1:48 PM

    lemmus, have you ever seen a team have to declare a tackle eligible? If #75 just runs a route without the coach declaring him eligible it's a penalty. There are definitely rules for jersey numbers.

  22. ...Ni ...only for linemen ...EVERY ONE else is an eligible receiver EXCEPT a QB taking a snap directly under center.

  23. I don't know how much we can bank on this, but I remember reading that Penne's arm is stronger this year (two year healthy in a row) and that the deep ball has been coming out much better than in previous seasons when his shoulder was hurt / recovering.  It would be a nice surprise to spring on some teams banking on "noodle arm" and Chad comes out and strikes a couple deep!  oh, well I can dream can't I?

  24. The Knight who says Ni!June 23, 2009 at 2:15 PM

    I don't think Penne had a weak arm last year. It's not a rocket, but it wasn't his 3 years ago arm when it was obvious something was wrong. He said he feels like he's improved his arm strength this year. 

  25. I haven't read anything about Pennington throwing deep in OTAs.  PLenty about White and Henne, but not Pennington.  Maybe the first team isn't practicing deep routes?  ;)

  26. The Knight who says Ni!June 23, 2009 at 3:59 PM

    My posts are disappearing again.  :(

  27. I think the"wranglers" 1st pass completion of his career was to himself.. But the rules have changed since those days,and I don't know where to find them..  
    I believe #6 can only be carried as a QB,K,or P,therefore can INITIALLY,only line-up in those positions..  
    Just MY recollection!!  
    WHYYYY would they designate numbers for given positions,IF there weren't some logical rules to the designation's???

    <span style="">"""So technically, the little surprise could present teams only 3 or 4 days to prepare for White as a wide receiver, if that's what the Dolphins wanted to do.""" </span>
    <span style="">What,I get NO PROPS for this thought,or ANY of MY PW thoughts from the get-go(times a million)??</span>

    <span style="">I'm going to be astonished,IF he doesn't get a # in the teens!!</span>

    <span style="">TIN,thanks for FINALLY giving me the #change deadline,that I've requested from anybody for mnths!!</span>

  28. Penne said in one of his interviews,that this offseason his main focus has been on his deep throws!!
    Suggesting that he's finally healthy,and isn't concerned about reinjuring the shoulder by puttin some spice on the ball,for the 1st time in several yrs..
    I'm not suggesting that his arm was strong prior to the injury,(perhaps cuz he was always batteling nagging health issues,it all starts w'the legs)that made it seem that his arm was weaker than it really is,but this regime seems to strenghten everybodies weaknesses!!!

  29. Knight,GREAT PT on the RBush number deal!!!

    Didn't the WR number in the teens get recognition partly due to Keyshan Johnson??
    (I seem to remember)a big hoopla being raised b/c he wanted a # in the teens the yr previous to the #'s rule being revised,(allowing WRs to wear a # in the teens),and designating specific numbers for specific positions..

  30. The Knight who says Ni!June 24, 2009 at 6:48 AM

    Yes Keyshawn started the rebirth of the teen numbers for WRs.

  31. The Knight who has No Life! a.k.a. fanJune 24, 2009 at 11:58 AM

    is it me or is Pat White just the cutest thing. its probably me.  :-[