In order for an NFL team to contend for the playoffs, they need to have a solid team, but they must have a quarterback that is a solid passer and can run an offense like a fine tuned machine. A quarterback can make or break a team, regardless of who they have at RB or WR.
As an example, take a look at the Cleveland Browns. Since their last playoff appearance in 2001, which is the last time they had a quarterback play an entire season, they have had ten different quarterbacks. While their idiotic head coach is partly to blame this season, the controversy at quarterback is not helping matters.
Now, let’s get back to the topic at hand and discuss one of the main reasons why the Dolphins have been an afterthought in the NFL.
Since Dan Marino retired in 1999, the Dolphins have had 13 different starting quarterbacks, which includes the latest starter, Chad Henne. In addition, Miami has only had two quarterbacks play the entire season; 2000, 2001, and 2008. Oddly enough, during those three seasons, Miami made the playoffs.
Miami has consistently had a solid defense during this time, but they have not had a consistent leader at quarterback that could take them to the next level between 2002 and 2007. We all know that if a team has a solid quarterback, they can make a wide receiver look like a stud.
For instance, while Wes Welker was with the San Diego Chargers and the Dolphins, he was not a huge factor in the passing game. All of that changed when he got to New England as he had one of the league’s best quarterbacks throwing him the ball.
To prove my point, here is a list of all of the quarterbacks and their stats since Marino retired.
2004/A. J. Feeley
2007 John Beck
After reviewing these stats, it is obvious that a decent quarterback who plays the entire year can make a huge difference in whether a team makes the playoffs or not.
As I discussed in my previous article, I truly believe that Chad Henne can be the future of the Miami Dolphins. If he can produce decent stats for the rest of the season, I fully expect Chad Henne to be the starter next season.
The biggest mistake that the Dolphins coaching staff can make is to start a quarterback carousel with Chad Henne, Tyler Thigpen, and Pat White. History shows that this tactic does nothing but hurt a team.
The Dolphins have a talented defense, a strong running back duo, and receivers with tons of potential. When the 2010 season rolls around, Henne will have 13 games under his belt, a strong rapport with his offensive players, and will be capable of leading this team to the playoffs in 2010.