Chad Henne is a developing quarterback with a lot of potential, and he needs to be given time to come into his own.
Two home losses against tough divisional opponents after a 2-0 start is, suffice it to say, not where the Miami Dolphins organization wanted to be.
Fans hate the Patriots and Justin Bei—I mean, Tom Brady—almost as much as they hate the Jets and Rex Ryan. A blowout loss to a team supposedly on their last legs is always a tough pill to swallow.
And so people want to place the blame somewhere.
Talk about a football team and one of the first things you talk about is the quarterback. How long has he played there? How's his decision making? His leadership skills?
Does he help his team win games?
In tough losses like these it's easy to miss the forest for the trees and call for unnecessarily harsh measures to fix the problems that arise. It's to be expected.
Most football teams only play once a week, and nobody likes a bad taste in their mouths for that amount of time without something changing.
But it's not justifiable to single out one person for a loss when the blame lies everywhere.
I'm a fan of Henne. I think he's the man for the job, and I opined as such in an earlier article. He's got the arm and accuracy, we've seen that.
He's very hot from time to time, but he's still very young and has big shoes to fill. He will make mistakes, and he will learn from them, and he will grow from them.
The worst thing the coaches could do at this point is throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Now, Chad Pennington is still there, and is still the quarterback who led Miami to an 11-5 season.
Of course he's a more developed field general than Henne is at this point, but Henne has been declared the future of the franchise. He has all the physical tools to be great, and he's shown the ability to be great.
Many of this past offseason's moves centered largely around Henne. Pennington is now the backup, in a mentor role. Brandon Marshall was signed. Whether these were good decisions, and whether Henne can step into his new role and lead the Dolphins to greatness, has yet to be determined.
One bad game, two bad games, five bad games, shouldn't change that.
Sanchez wasn't pulled. Stafford wasn't pulled. Granted, their respective franchises have a much bigger financial obligation to them, but philosophically, their teams' successes or failures rest as much on their shoulders as Miami's do on Henne's.
Rome wasn't built in a day. Super Bowl teams aren't built in a year. The Miami Dolphins have young talent in place, and the road is going to be bumpy. There will be miracle upsets against incredible teams that will have fans praising his name.
There will also be games like last week, where they turn the ball over and play historically terrible special teams, and then his name will not be praised. But it should also not be dragged through a lake of mud. Voodoo dolls with little "7"s painted on them should not be constructed, and pins should not be stuck within.
Football is a passionate game, and the fans are passionate. Let's all try to keep some perspective, though. Talent like Henne's isn't a dime a dozen. He needs time to mature.
Lest we find ourselves with another Lemon lining up under center.