As bad a time that Pat White has gotten from fans and the media since becoming a Miami Dolphin, it's another quarterback who has taken a non-stop bashing from both sides, despite the fact he was an under-priced eventual starter who has flashed a coolness and leadership that no other QB other than his rookie-season mentor, Chad Pennington, has shown in a Dolphins uniform for the longest time - I can't even remember back that far - even the Great One, Dan Marino, was no cucumber - he intimidated those around him, and quite often scared me as a young teenager watching from the sidelines or on TV. Marino was excitable, flashy, a record-breaker kind of player.
Henne is focused, has ice in the veins, and is not the risk-taking gunslinger that Marino was. He is a team-player. He is a coach's quarterback. He has the skills to bring the Dolphins into the playoffs and beyond as long as he is not the only piece of the puzzle. Say whatever you want about Dan Marino, but when his Dolphins had a good offense, they had no defense, and once they got the defense, the offense were wearing orthopedic shoes and had traded in their Lamborghinis for the Shuttle Bus.
If the Dolphins of 2010 can match their offensive weaponry with a stout defense, there's no reason to doubt they can win the division - they did it in 2008, they had a winning division record in 2009 despite losing 7 starters to injury, and they swept the divisional favorites in the NY Jets.
So, why all the hatred for Chad Henne? This latest diatribe from ESPNs Tim Graham (who lately seems clearly on a mission to piss off all Dolfans, and to possibly get a job with the NY Jets), suggests that Miami fans are out of their depths by thinking Henne is the second coming. First of all, as a Dolfan who is part of a daily discussion about all things Dolphins, I don't believe this sentiment actually exists on a widescale to begin with. Secondly, his example of a 'Dolfan' is Stephen Ross, the owner of the team. Well, Mr Graham, that's like asking the CEO of Starbucks what coffee-shop he frequents, or President Obama who he's rooting for in the World Cup (apparently Hawaii doesn't have a separate team because it is part of the USA!).
You cannot consider the 'public opinion' of the head cheerleader as the voice of the people. And no matter what the voice of the people is, when it comes to football, everyone's got a voice and none of it has anything to do with what happens on Sundays. No matter how anyone 'feels' about Henne, he has more upside than Brady, Sanchez and (Buffalo, please fill in the blank here) right now, with probably the best O-line in the division, the best WR in the division (sorry Moss, your time has come) the best RBs in the division and a full season of sitting and watching time along with a full season of playing time under his belt.
Is he the next Marino - who knows - I loved Marino when he was playing as much as any other Dolfan - but he never brought an NFL Championship to Miami while guys I despised like John Elway, Steve Young, even Trent Dilfer and (insert useless Redskins and Giants QBs names here) won the big prize. If Henne won a Superbowl for Miami, will he still get the abuse he gets now? Two years ago when I was calling for the head of John Beck, people defended him in droves. And for what? What did he ever do to deserve it? At least Henne has shown something in his time here.
I'm not asking for everyone to lay down their lives and pledge their souls and wallets on Chad Henne here, but I do find it unusual to see fans unwilling to support their starting Quarterback - one who hasn't killed, raped, embezzled, held out, damn, he hasn't even bitched about a new contract that would pay him more than the bare minimum he's being paid now as the lowest paid starting QB in the league. What is the incentive not to support him and hope he does well and what is the incentive for fans of an NFL team to not believe their team can win the Super Bowl?
And to the media, what is the incentive to bash the same people who read your half-assed articles and subscribe to your half-assed newspapers and TV networks? This is football - it is gladiatorial. We all pick the fighter we want to WIN, not just the one we want to watch compete. There's no point in following a gladiator that you know logically cannot win - that would make for a very short-lived hobby.