Chad Pennington In, Chad Henne Out As Starting Quarterback For Miami Dolphins

Robert HoffmanCorrespondent INovember 10, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 02:  Quarterback Chad  Pennington #10 of the Miami Dolphins walks off the field against the Dallas Cowboys during a preseason game at Cowboys Stadium on September 2, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

In case you didn't hear it the Miami Dolphins switched their Chads today.

Chad Henne is out and Chad Pennington is in as the starting quarterback of the Miami Dolphins.

Just think earlier in the day we thought that the Dolphins signing 35-year old Al Harris and releasing former first round pick (and a starter 10 days ago) Jason Allen was the big news of the day.

Wrong. This is much bigger and while some of the fan base will see this as a clear positive that they have wanted for awhile, don't be so deluded. This is the Miami Dolphin coaching staff and front office clearly hitting the panic button and making a last ditch all-in attempt to reach the playoffs.

We think we know what Pennington is as a quarterback. He is heady leader with a weak arm who will try to manage the game in front of him. But isn't this an extension of the conservative approach to the position that got Miami to 4-4 in the first place?

You want more downfield throws? A more aggressive offense on first down? You are not going to get that with Pennington.

The longtime veteran and Miami's supposed salvation hasn't thrown a meaningful pass in well over a year. He was used sparingly in the preseason because his arm was reportedly getting weaker and weaker.

No offense to the work that Pennington did in 2008, but the lasting memory for many fans is the flutter balls he gifted to Ed Reed in the first round of the playoffs. Yes, the same Reed who intercepted Henne on a deflection this past Sunday.

Fact: Pennington has lost his last four Miami Dolphin starts.

Maybe Pennington catches lightening in a bottle and plays as well as he did during the 2008 regular season, but keep in mind that if Miami doesn't go at least 6-2, they aren't making the playoffs in the strong AFC.

If they some how do make it, do the Dolphins really look like a team that is capable of advancing. If they were capable of bigger things, would they have just reached out to a player in Harris that so thoroughly destroyed his leg, the Packers waived him without a second thought.

Which really has to have you consider the upside of this choice.

If this move doesn't work, you can pretty much kiss coach Tony Sparano and general manager Jeff Ireland goodbye, because you just made the statement that your team isn't good enough and you are playing your last card to make it better.

Cliches aside, the Dolphins just tossed the player at the most important position on a football team after less than two seasons of work (to be precise 21 games).No one said the NFL is fair, but is this really in the best interests of the franchise?

So, if Pennington fails or even struggles, what have you done to this team's future? Henne probably doesn't get another chance unless it's with a new administration that will have nothing invested in him.

Miami will probably have to sell the fan base on third-stringer Tyler Thigpen and with all due respect that signals the white flag officially being put up on this season and perhaps years to come.

Desperate times, indeed.