Miami Dolphins' Version of Shark Week: Fin Fans Cannibalize Chad Henne
It seems that fin fans and NOT the AFC elite are the Fins' biggest predators when it comes to winning now and the immediate survival of this team in the AFC East ocean.
It can be argued that the Dolphins are already at a disadvantage with the "Roonies" and the "Retirees" transforming South Florida and Sun Life Stadium into less of a home game and more of a neutral field during certain games each year.
Now the knee jerk reactions of loyal fin fans are sabotaging the team by creating an atmosphere filled with negativity, doubt and dis-ease caused in large part by passionate fans reacting out of fear and frustration instead of black and white football X's and O's.
As a lifelong fan of the Miami Dolphins I have watched every single Miami Dolphins game (including preseason and playoffs) since 1985. I understand completely how you feel.
Chad Henne is only going into his second year as a full time starter and even last year he was replaced for a play before Pennington was injured. He has the confidence of a winner that fin fans are slowly eroding by their actions as of late.
Give the kid a break. Even Peyton Manning struggled his first year as a starter. Remember how much love you felt for Henne after he took over for Pennington going into last year's 2010 season?
Give Henne a full year of support before labeling him a backup. If Miami continues replacing quarterbacks every few years based on fan reaction and public perception, then they will always be in a rebuilding state. If Miami brings in another quarterback then it is safe to say that it will be five years or more before finally making consecutive trips to the playoffs.
There is a good chance that Henne would be a 10-plus win quarterback in every year of his career (after his rookie season) if Miami were in a weaker division.
Even Dan Marino would have been less dominant in today's AFC East and today's AFC as a whole. He didn't play against the current version of the decade long dominant Patriots, Colts and the newly dominant Jets.
Give the Dolphins, Henne and the coaching staff a break and show some support, through good times and through bad times.
It's true that I also salivated at the thought of having Orton on the team. Without knowing the behind the door details of negotiations and what information (if any) was uncovered by the team about Orton, it is impossible for me or any other fan, writer or analyst to criticize Miami in complete confidence for passing on Orton.
Orton is a good player but causes strategic problems for Miami in certain situations. By signing him, Miami would have been forced to skimp out on other needs and positions, thus creating some holes. Not to mention, we are unsure of the relationship between Kyle Orton and Brandon Marshal from their year together in Denver.
The safer bet is to give Henne one more year to prove himself. If he fails to drastically improve then Miami can still pick up Carson Palmer (who many believe will sit out this year) for a lot less money. This option gives Miami the best chance to maximize their current talent value and their money with the minimum amount of risk. Not to mention that Kyle Orton and Carson Palmer will have similar effects on fan perception and offer similar benefits to the team (though Orton is younger than Palmer).
Think about the Miami Dolphins' scenario last season. The difference between the Jets and the Dolphins last season is the way the lucky breaks turned out. Miami was very close to the playoffs if those calls and plays had went in their favor.
Don't think that smoke screen remarks about Favre are more than just an owners' attempt at staying in the news or a coach making an offhanded remark in a non serious manner that was overblown by the media.
Misdirection to help bargain or at least throw your opposition off the true trail of your intentions is classic Bill Parcels. When Bill Belichick does something similar we call it genius, but who do you think taught Belichick that skill?
Trust the informed to make informed decisions and immediately stop heckling the star quarterback that you will be cheering next season. What's the worse case scenario? Miami enters the Vince Young, Carson Palmer or other breakout quarterback sweepstakes next season. The upside is undeniably high by taking this route.
Think about this for a final thought. Henne just turned 26 years old in July, Orton and Palmer will be 29 and 32 by the end of the season respectively. Two years ago when Orton was the age Henne is now, he was unwanted by the league after being traded from Chicago to Denver. What does that say about fan perception and how quickly it changes? Let's not let Henne be another Wes Welker.
Thank you sincerely for reading. I look forward to the Orton argument (that is easier to address in comments than the article). Just so you know I can argue for trading for him and for why they didn't and both arguments have validity.
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