Time to Pull the Plug in the Chad Henne Experiment in Miami

Nathan ChiaravallotiContributor INovember 7, 2010

Henne finishes staring down his receiver and begins to deliver.
Henne finishes staring down his receiver and begins to deliver.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins are the toughest, most physical and arguably, the most talented 4-4 team in recent memory.

The Dolphins are the undisputed champions of the NFL's second-tier of teams, and it is high time the new bosses admit what the old boss has been saying since the beginning of the season.

It's time to move on from the Chad Henne experiment.

There have been numerous reports that former Dolphins boss Bill Parcells has said he was incredibly disappointed by the development of Chad Henne, and it should be obvious at this point why.

Chad Henne is not a starting quality quarterback in the NFL. He looks like a below-average backup, to be honest. A guy who fans would be afraid to see coming off the bench in a big spot.

The Dolphins organization doesn't need to look at Henne's horrid performance this weekend in Baltimore. They said all they needed to say on Wednesday, when they chose not to take a chance picking up Randy Moss.

I said privately on Wednesday that passing on Moss was an incredible gesture of no confidence in Chad Henne. How else does one explain a team who desperately needed a deep threat to open up the field for Marshall, Bess and the running backs passing on one of the best deep threats ever?

Easy. They knew Henne couldn't handle sharing a huddle with a player who would be critical of his lackluster performance, drive after drive.

They knew Moss would be giving up on routes late in games (as we may have seen Brandon Marshall do this weekend after Henne threw his umpteenth awful pass over the head of his huge receiver).

They knew this year wasn't going to be their year, and there was no point risking a PR nightmare that would follow if Moss exploded as he did in Minneapolis.

Chad Henne stares down receivers as plainly as any quarterback I have ever seen in the NFL. He regularly throws slow-developing passes into the flat where his running backs either get killed or drop the ball, and he seems completely unable to make anything happen with his legs, even when the field opens up for him to do so.

To say the Henne experiment has been a failure is an understatement, unless the team's stated goal is to win about half their games every season.

The truly beguiling fact this year is just how much talent they surrounded Henne with, which leads to my next point. It is time for Chad Pennington to dust off the old rubber arm and step into the Dolphins huddle. Immediately.

Most naysayers will argue that there is no future in Chad Pennington as your starter, and I couldn't agree more. What Miami needs to realize is there is no future in Chad Henne either, and why not let the best quarterback play on a talented team for the rest of the year and see what happens?

Pennington outplayed Henne in training camp, as well as in the preseason. Pennington brings leadership, intelligence and experience nearly unparalleled in the NFL today. So he can't throw the deep ball? Well, if we thought Henne could throw the deep ball, we would've claimed Randy Moss!

There are a lot of teams in the NFL without a reliable deep passing game, but among those teams, none have the underneath talent enjoyed by Miami.

Two Pro Bowl-caliber backs, two incredibly talented receivers and a better-than-average supporting cast behind an above-average offensive line. It simply doesn't make sense to stick with a guy because of his draft status.

And that factor is what is most frustrating about the Dolphins. They almost certainly won't go to Pennington until it is too late, citing Henne's potential and draft status as the quarterback of the future.

To which I respond: Why, then, is Pat White playing baseball? Both quarterbacks were second-round picks, both have sorely underperformed when given every chance to perform, and yet, one is out on the street and one is losing us games!

I don't need to cite individual plays that have exposed Henne this season; the Dolphins' offensive numbers speak for themselves. Hopefully, the Dolphins' front office can do this week as it has wisely done before: Swallow its pride, admit it was wrong and put the best quarterback on the field.

In today's NFL, every year is "the year" and the Dolphins aren't too far behind to catch up with a late-season run. But that run will not happen with the immensely rattled No. 7 taking the snaps.