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Tag:Chad Henne
Posted on: July 29, 2011 1:21 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 2:26 pm
 

Dolphins get Matt Moore, out on Kyle Orton trade

Posted by Will Brinson

Kyle Orton to the Dolphins was supposed to be a done deal as early as Tuesday. It made tons of sense for both teams ... until Miami decided the Broncos wanted too much for Orton.

That's when the 'Fins went out and agreed to a two-year, $5 million deal for former Panthers quarterback Matt Moore, who will compete with Chad Henne for the starting gig.

Moore's an interesting fit in Miami, because he had a lot of success with the Panthers at the end of 2009, but obviously 2010 wasn't the greatest year in the world for Moore and Carolina.
Free Agency Frenzy

That was partially because of injury, but also because Moore struggled to make good throws before being replaced by rookie Jimmy Clausen.

Things are also a little spicy, because in the middle of a staredown with the Broncos front office, owner Stephen Ross got firmly behind Henne in a public statement of support.

"What we've done so far is surround [Chad Henne] with parts that can open up our offense and make him better," Steve Ross about his would-be franchise quarterback.

He went further to discuss the "discipline" Jeff Ireland has shown in building a roster and hinted that Ireland wasn't going to get "desperate" when it came to inquiring players.

That was, for all intents and purposes, a direct shot at John Elway and the guys running Denver as an indication that the Dolphins didn't plan to pay full price for Orton.

Additionally, Mike Lombardi of the NFL Network reports that Orton's likely to push the Broncos over the salary cap anyway, which means he could potentially get cut later this afternoon, which could also explain why Miami decided to balk at the reported second-round asking price from Denver.

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Posted on: July 18, 2011 9:42 am
Edited on: July 18, 2011 2:02 pm
 

Ahmad Bradshaw 'very interested' in Dolphins

Posted by Will Brinson

You don't need a crystal ball to know that the Miami Dolphins -- who are likely to rid themselves of Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown this offseason -- will be chasing a running back in free agency.

Their top target will likely be DeAngelo Williams (yes, we're assuming a reversion to old rules here), but there's no guarantee the 'Fins can pick him up, particularly if the Panthers really do want to re-sign him and John Fox picks up his pursuit in Denver.

So, how about a fallback option like Ahmad Bradshaw? Is that something the Dolphins might be interested in? Because if they are, Bradshaw is also interested.

"I represent Ahmad. He's training here in Miami and would be very interested in the Dolphins," Bradshaw's agent Drew Rosenhaus told Sports Xtra, per Omar Kelly on Twitter. "If they (Dolphins) are interested in Ahmad (Bradshaw), we're interested back."

I'm not sure if this constitutes tampering or not (I don't think so), but Rosenhaus waved at the Dolphins from the set of the show, knowing that the Dolphins watch. And maybe that doesn't count either. Whatever, predicting what the Dolphins need and then assuming your client fits that need isn't quite like figuring out where Hoffa's body is.

Rosenhaus also made an interesting point about the 'Fins running-back situation -- they'll try and find someone who can compliment rookie Daniel Thomas, who the Dolphins moved into the second round to draft in April.

Conveniently, Sports Xtra had a relevant guest to that topic -- one Daniel Thomas.

"I can go every down, but if we get a [scatback] it will help the team,"said Thomas who, per Kelly, also said he's more of an inside runner.

So, yeah, you can tell why Bradshaw would be interested in this job opportunity -- it involves getting paid handsomely to carry the ball often for a run-first team that isn't going to make you get beat up by going between the tackles as often as you would elsewhere.

Of course, the quarterback setup may dictate the Dolphins spending ability at the running back position. If Miami can strike early and pick up a quarterback who will push Chad Henne for the starting gig and/or someone they'd feel comfortable starting the 2011 season with, you have to imagine they'll know more quickly what they can spend on a running back.

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Posted on: July 17, 2011 10:20 am
Edited on: July 17, 2011 10:35 am
 

'Nice market' in FA for Tarvaris Jackson?

Posted by Will Brinson

In Minnesota, Christian Ponder has become the unquestioned future at quarterback, and even if the Vikings end up pursuing and/or signing a veteran free agent, it will be in a "mentor" role.

What about the past, though?

We know Tarvaris Jackson isn't coming back to Minnesota, and we know that there's a need for quarterbacks around the NFL. But could there be a market for a guy like Jackson, who's got potential but has struggled so often to succeed at the NFL level?

Well, the NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora certainly thinks so and notes that he foresees "a nice market" for Jackson in free agency.

Specifically, LaCanfora cites the Redskins, the Seahawks and the Dolphins as "strong possibilities" to sign the former first-rounder.

Those teams make a lot of sense, too, because they've got uncertain quarterback situations with incumbent veterans that need to be pushed.

The Redskins will, in all likelihood, end up with Rex Grossman and John Beck competing for the starting job (we're assuming here, of course, that despite love from Mike Shanahan, Donovan McNabb gets the boot) and Tarvaris would make a good third wheel to push the other guys and give Mike Shanahan a second option. Plus, he can roll out and throw on the run, so he must be just like Jake Plummer!

In Seattle, Matt Hasselebeck is supposed to come back, but no one's really all that sure -- one week he's guaranteed to be back, the next week it's no more than a 50-percent chance. Since anyone can beat out Charlie Whitehurst for a job, Jackson's a good candidate there as well.

And in Miami, there's been a lot of chatter about Vince Young as a possible addition to the Dolphins roster. Jackson might not have the same résumé as Young but he also doesn't bring to the table the same dramatic downside that VY does.

Factor in that Jackson will be cheaper and more durable over the course of a contract than most "veteran" quarterback options out there, and it's not unreasonable to see why teams might be interested.

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Posted on: July 3, 2011 9:03 pm
Edited on: July 3, 2011 9:59 pm
 

Henne wants to start, has talked to Marshall

Posted by Ryan Wilson

When asked last month if Chad Henne would be the Dolphins starting quarterback next season, coach Tony Sparano only offered up a "we'll see." (Not a ringing endorsement cut certainly better than the fate that awaits, say, Donovan McNabb in Washington.)

Henne, as you might expect, feels differently, telling the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Andrew Carter, “Well that’s up to the coaching staff but I sure as heck want to be the starting quarterback for Miami Dolphins and lead them to the playoffs and the Super Bowl and I’m going to do the best I can to compete out there and earn that spot.”

It's July, but a lot can happen between now and the start of the regular season. Assuming the lockout ends in the coming days, there will be free agency. And the Dolphins haven't hidden the fact that they will probably be in the market for a veteran quarterback (Marc Bulger and Vince Young have been mentioned as possible options).

In June, Sparano talked about what Henne has accomplished in the league and what he needs to do to get better. “The one thing we’ve had time to do is a lot of homework and study,” he said. “And I would tell you when you put Chad’s numbers up against some of the better quarterbacks in our league, his numbers are pretty impressive. They hold up. Now what has to happen? We have to cut down the impulse throws, the interceptions that happen late in the fourth quarter.”

And when asked how he can improve, Henne echoed many of those sentiments. “It’s definitely the turnover ratio, I think. The biggest thing is not turning the ball over in critical situations, finishing the game in the right way in the fourth quarter and just not over-thinking things, just play the game.”

So for now it's Henne's job to lose. Of course, whether he keeps it is a function of his performance, which is in part dependent on the play of his wide receivers. The Dolphins have one of the NFL's best in Brandon Marshall who is in the news as much for his on-field performances as his off-field issues. In his first season with the Dolphins, Marshall caught 86 passes for 1,014 yards but just three touchdowns. And by January he was frustrated enough with the offense -- and Henne specifically -- to take his feelings public.

“Tyler [Thigpen] gets it a little more,” Marshall said during an appearance on Michael Irvin’s radio show. “He had an opportunity to play with Dwayne Bowe in Kansas City and they made some plays out there so I guess he understands [about] throwing the ball to a big receiver a little more than Chad Henne,” he said.

Last season, Thigpen and Marshall went off script during a game against the Patriots, and the decision wasn't well received by quarterbacks coach David Lee. “They expect me to run an in-route, but me as a player, when we get singled with no safety over the top I want to take a shot and just converted it to a go,” Marshall said at the time, according to the Sun-Sentinel's Omar Kelly. “Seemed like an easier throw, easier play was the go route.”

PFT reported that Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline agreed with Marshall, saying that the Dolphins seldom deviated from the game plan and the offense sometimes needs to “make … plays off schedule.”

Henne was frank when asked recently about his relationship with Marshall. “Yeah, I mean we had our ups and downs last year," he said. "And some not-so friendly exchanged words but we’ve talked in the off-season. I’ve been sending him some of the playbooks so he can pick up on that because he’s been bouncing around with some of the things that have gone on in the past. But he’s still a good guy, he just speaks up sometimes when you don’t want him to. But he’s a great player and you definitely want him on your side.”

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Posted on: June 30, 2011 9:34 am
Edited on: June 30, 2011 9:49 am
 

Dolphins have very specific FA targets?

Posted by Will Brinson

The Miami Dolphins have -- already -- had an interesting offseason. The running back combo of Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown appears headed out the door (and the Fins still passed on Mark Ingram) and, as previously noted, questions about Chad Henne remain (and the Fins still passed on various quarterbacks).

Oh yes, and owner Stephen Ross publicly pursued Jim Harbaugh while Tony Sparano was still employed, failed to land the then-Stanford coach and then had to give Sparano a raise.

This friction across three key areas has created a need come free agency -- Omar Kelly of the Miami Sun-Sentinel writes that the Dolphins have a couple of very specific targets between now and whenever the season starts.

First, Kelly believes they'll add a veteran quarterback, but not a Chad Pennington-style backup-type. Kelly believes it will be someone who will be "savvy enough to push -- if not unseat -- [Henne]"; names he floats include Carson Palmer, Kevin Kolb, Matt Flynn, Vince Young, Matt Hasselbeck, Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman.

That's a pretty, pretty wide spectrum of quarterbacks, but the point is salient -- the Dolphins will get another quarterback who expects to get a shot at starting.

They're also going to get a "tailback who has the ability to run stretch plays … that gets to the EDGES," Kelly writes. The biggest name associated with Miami thus far has been the Panthers' DeAngelo Williams; Carolina's repeatedly said it wants Williams back, but depending on how free agency shakes out, it seems less and less likely that re-signing him would be a prudent move.

There are other available names, though: Ahmad Bradshaw, Darren Sproles and Reggie Bush are names Kelly hears from "reliable sources."

Those guys make a lot of sense, especially if the Dolphins have interest in bringing back Ricky -- a combo of Sproles or Bush plus Williams would be a solid 1-2 punch out of the backfield.

All that's easier said than done, of course, but it's pretty clear what the Dolphins need, and there's good news for Fins fans, because it lines up nicely with what Miami wants.

And, provided free agency plays out as expected, the open market might be spot-on for those voids as well.

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Posted on: June 21, 2011 12:39 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 1:13 pm
 

If Bulger wants to start, Miami could be option

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Dolphins coach Tony Sparano would only offer a "we'll see" when asked recently if Chad Henne would be his starter in 2011. The team has been upfront about its pursuit of a veteran quarterback once free agency begins; the only question is who Miami might target.

Regarding realistic free-agent options at QB and RB, Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel tweeted Monday that it's "[h]ard to say until I know the RFA rules. But at worse: [Marc] Bulger & [Darren] Sproles."

We've mentioned the uncertainty surrounding the restricted free-agent rules. However that plays out, Bugler will draw the interest of several QB-needy teams. NFL Network's Jason La Canfora said in May that the Dolphins could be in the mix for Bulger's services. But even then, Rotoworld.com speculated that "Bulger doesn't want to be a starter in the NFL, and that he'd be more comfortable not taking anymore hits."

This jibes with what Kurt Warner, who was Bulger's teammate in St. Louis, said last week (via PFT):
Warner pointed out that Bulger “got beat up pretty good” as the starter in St. Louis, and that it wouldn’t surprise Warner to learn that Bulger is “happy” as a backup, and that “he can just enjoy life and not have to worry about the pressure of being an NFL starter and everything that goes with it.” Again, Warner was careful not to phrase his assessment as criticism, and Warner said he thinks that Bulger would want to start again if he finds the right situation.
Whether Miami would be the "right situation" remains to be seen, although Henne is presumably on a short leash after two inconsistent seasons.

In related news, the Dolphins' 2009 second-round pick Pat White has signed to play for Marty Schottenheimer and the UFL's Virginia Destroyers. (Yep, that's the same Marty Schottenheimer who basically said "thanks but no thanks" when asked about Terrelle Pryor.)

White, who briefly played professional baseball, calls his new opportunity a "chance to show I can do it." Unfortunately, that never happened in Miami.

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Posted on: June 19, 2011 6:15 pm
Edited on: June 19, 2011 6:52 pm
 

Sparano on Henne starting for Miami: 'We'll see'

Posted by Ryan Wilson

This much we know: once the lockout ends, the Dolphins will be adding a veteran quarterback. Whether the veteran will also be a starter is largely up to incumbent Chad Henne, who has been inconsistent the previous two seasons spanning 27 starts.

No word on who the Dolphins will target to push Henne; it could be Vince Young, but with the obvious "concerns about maturity" caveats. Earlier this month the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson wrote that "(One) official who has spoken with the Dolphins said there’s concern about whether Young would be happy as a backup if Henne beat him out. Remember, Young wasn’t happy when he lost his job in Tennessee. Speaking about no one specifically, Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said, 'You can’t guess about' a quarterback’s 'accountability and dependability.' Those have been issues with Young."

At this point, with the labor negotiations ongoing and free-agency rules uncertain, the list of possible candidates to challenge Henne is up in the air. When asked recently if Henne would be the starter, coach Tony Sparano said, "We'll see." Not exactly a vote of confidence, but it's all relative

Jackson, writing in Sunday's Herald, adds context.
If Cincinnati trades Carson Palmer — the Dolphins are pessimistic — or if Denver takes a midround pick for Kyle Orton, then everything changes. And it’s possible any of a number of free agents could beat out Henne, though ESPN’s Chris Mortensen said it’s unlikely Miami will sign Vince Young.

“The one thing we’ve had time to do is a lot of homework and study,” Sparano said from his golf cart at a team charity event. “And I would tell you when you put Chad’s numbers up against some of the better quarterbacks in our league, his numbers are pretty impressive. They hold up. Now what has to happen? We have to cut down the impulse throws, the interceptions that happen late in the fourth quarter.”
There were times last season when Henne looked like a perfectly competent NFL QB, and other times he looked like the next coming of Kyle Boller. That's what's so frustrating for Sparano, and clearly what he's talking about with "impulse throws."

Henne ranked 26th in passer rating in 2010, but according to Football Outsiders, he was 17th in total value and 22nd in value per play, ahead of Mark Sanchez, Ryan Fitzpatrick and David Garrard.

As for what Sparano's looking for next season, Jackson writes, "…better accuracy on deep balls (he was 10 for 40 on passes thrown 20 yards or more); higher completion percentage in the fourth quarter than last year’s 58.6; and better production in the red zone, where 'we have to get into a mentality,' Sparano said, 'where you’re thinking about the big play first' and not a field goal.'"

Ireland says, “Chad has had some really bright moments for our franchise. I’m anxious to see him continue his development and see how it goes.”

Whatever happens in the coming weeks, one thing is guaranteed: Chad Pennington won't be in the running to supplant Henne. Not this season, anyway.

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Posted on: June 19, 2011 6:15 pm
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