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The Miami Dolphins have started the season 2-0. Obviously, that’s the most important thing at this point.
However, there is going to come a time where Miami won’t be leading for most of the game—as they have done in Weeks One and Two—when the only way to win will be on the cannon right arm of quarterback Chad Henne.
Thus far, the game plan for the third-year quarterback has been to not make mistakes. This point was cemented during last week’s intense win at Minnesota, when Henne attempted just 16 passes. He ranks 27th in the NFL in attempts with just 49.
Is negative reinforcement really the answer? Dolphins' offensive coordinator Dan Henning thinks so.
“I don’t worry about how much (Henne) can hurt the other team. I worry about how much he can hurt my team,” said Henning. “We can’t win if we’re throwing interceptions, turning the ball over, fumbling and doing all those, what Tony calls, ‘minus plays.’ We avoid them, we practice avoiding them, but we’re always trying to hit the big play.”
Always trying to hit the big play? I counted three to four times maximum where Miami attempted a pass over 20 yards this season. The "minus plays" to me are the worst stat you can keep track of. How about keeping track of "positive plays?"
What kind of signal does this send to your young quarterback? During the Minnesota game, the Miami offense had possession on first-and-10 from their own 20-yard line, with 45 seconds to go in the first half. All three timeouts remained. Yet they chose to sit on the ball and go into the half with a 7-0 lead.
Decisions like that scream you’re trying not to lose. How about playing to win the game?
No wonder Henne looks like he’s lacking confidence. Now wonder he is staring down his receiver on nearly every passing play. Now wonder he waits until the receiver breaks before throwing the ball, instead of getting the ball out before the wideout makes his final cut to promote more yardage after the catch.
Henne is like a young pitt bull with a massive steel collar around his neck that’s connected by a three-foot leash.
It’s time to unleash him.
Let him use that arm, the one that everyone praises as being among the strongest in football. Let him take a few risks and have some fun. Because if you don’t, your pitt bull is going to become timid, afraid, and tame.
There is no better time then at home against the beat-up Jets, who will be without their top two defensive players in defensive tackle Kris Jenkings (out for the year) and the best corner in football in Darrelle Revis (hamstring). Henne needs to start playing with a win-the-game mindset, instead of trying not to lose.
Who buys a pitt bull to then turn him into a lab?