The Dolphins came into a Thursday night game against the Bears with their third string quarterback playing, their second string center and, by the end of the first half, had a guard move to center and had lost their top wide receiver.
You would think with a blow to the passing game as big as Marshall being out and having Chad Henne out the Dolphins would try to run the ball, at least to keep the pass rush off of their third quarterback, Tyler Thigpen. Dan Henning seemed to have other plans for his battered offensive group.
For some reason Dan Henning seems to think this is a passing offense. I don't know when this transition took place in Henning's mind and I swear one day this man's decision making is going to make me pop a blood vessel.
Ronnie Brown had three carries, Ricky Williams had three carries, Patrick Cobbs had one carry. Only seven carries went to the running backs. What in the world kind of offense are the Dolphins running now?
Tyler Thigpen did happen to have six carries, but as I recall only one of them was a designed draw and five of them were a result of him having to run for his life because the Bears pass rush had nothing to keep them honest.
A play in the first quarter also comes to mind. An attempted end around to Brian Hartline resulted in a fumble and an eight yard loss. After a great return by Nolan Carrol to give the Dolphins' offense great field position and a first down to put them in long field goal range a slow developing play with the potential to take the offense out of field goal range is not a justifiable play call.
In Henning's defense the run did look open, but sheesh a slow developer with your third quarterback making an unusual handoff after he takes a snap from the emergency center seems a little bit absurd.
I can't tell if Henning is trying too hard to out think the competition or if he's just senile.
Everyone expected to see some wildcat in this game considering how well it worked against Tennessee and Tyler Thigpen was starting instead of Chad Henne. I guess Henning didn't want to do what everyone expected or some bogus thing like that.
Especially after Marshall was injured I would have thought for sure that the wildcat would be utilized. Give the ball to the playmakers, let Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams have a chance to run the ball. I cannot believe the absence of the Dolphins running game.
The analysts on NFL Network continued to talk about how the Bears did such a "great job" stopping the ground game, but the simple fact is you have to at least try to run the ball to be able to run the ball. You can't hit a dinger if you never swing the bat. Oh yeah, and by the way, play action only works if you run the ball.
This is only the most recent of Henning's amplified brain farts.
Week 9 in Baltimore when Ronnie Brown was running the ball for 6.6 yards per carry Mr. Henning decided to take the ball out of his hands and Brown ended up with only seven carries on the day.
Week 3 against the Jets, right after the offense gets into field goal range he goes wildcat and calls an end around to take the offense out of scoring range. Week 4 against the Patriots, scoring range and once again with the standard offense working goes wildcat, and sure enough we have a slow developing play go for negative yardage.
Dan Henning just doesn't seem to notice that his team's strength is running the football with quick hitting plays up inside the tackles. He runs the wildcat when the normal offense is working and keeps it on the shelf when the normal offense is sputtering (like Thursday night) and it just seems to me that he doesn't get the idea of doing what works.
One last question: is it just me or do these "screens" do not have any blocks set up, they're just short, quick, stupid throws?
Move the ball, move the chains, do what works, wear out the defense and score. Henning doesn't get it and it is apparent that this is his time to go. Bad play calling has plagued this offense too much this year. Find someone Tony, please. There's a long week, surely you can find someone with a similar style of offense but better decision making skills. Maybe Pennington or David Lee could take over the play calling while keeping the same terminology and playbook.
Well the Dolphins seem almost out of the playoff race at this point. Pray with me Dolfans, it would take one incredible run to make the playoffs at this point.