Tag:Dan Henning
Posted on: September 12, 2011 4:35 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2011 4:47 pm

7-Point Preview: Dolphins vs. Patriots

Posted by Will Brinson

1. Miami Dolphins (0-0) vs. New England Patriots (0-0)
Rumblings started to form on Twitter Monday that the Dolphins are taking a look at David Garrard. Even if this doesn't happen, it is perfect, because the Dolphins are in the middle of their 15th quarterback controversy of the year, and they haven't even played a game yet.

It's a mess in South Beach, theoretically, but there's reason to be hopeful. I continue to believe that Chad Henne can evolve into a good NFL quarterback. He's been freed from the shackles of Dan "Third and Draw" Henning and has been given "full reign" by new OC Brian Daboll to call audibles at the line of scrimmage.

Last season's game in Miami is viewed as a blowout. That's because the Patriots won handily, 41-14. But what folks don't remember is that without a Miami special-teams implosion, this game was actually pretty close.

The Patriots scored on a 103-yard kickoff return from Brandon Tate (no longer with New England) and a Kyle Arrington 31-yard blocked field-goal return. To dump a pound of salt in the wound, Patrick Chung also took a pick 51 yards to the house to finish off the rout. Take away those three touchdowns (I know, I know but just play along) and it's a much closer game in which Henne was respectable before getting pressed into throwing the ball in bad situations.

Add in the fact that he's got more versatile weapons (read: Reggie Bush) than 2010, and it's not unreasonable to expect an alright game out of Henne this evening. Brady, as you may know, is capable of doing damage to other teams.

2. What the Nerds and Degenerate Gamblers Say:
This is kind of amazing: according to Sportsbook.com, 94 percent of the public's money is on the Pats -7. If we were talking about the Pats money line, that's one thing. But we're discussing a seven-point road favorite playing a division rival who's beaten said favorite a bunch of times when they come down to Florida.

Things could go either way, really -- Tom Brady over the last six years (we're going six instead of five since he missed 2008) has vacillated wildly in Miami. In 2006 he went 12 of 25 for 78 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions. In 2007 he went 21 of 25 for 354 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. In that time, though, he's only 3-2 in Miami.

"He’s human, right?" Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake asked of Brady Sunday, per Omar Kelly of the Miami Sun-Sentinel. "He has two eyes and red blood? If you cut him, will he bleed? He puts his pants on one leg a time."

He may actually put his pants on differently and HOW DARE YOU TALK ABOUT TOM'S EYES, SIR? Er, wait, sorry. Yes, Brady is human. He's been vulnerable against the Dolphins in the past and he'll be vulnerable now.

There's no real logic why everyone's slamming their money after New England favored by a touchdown on the road even if they could easily cover, other than "the Patriots are always awesome, win games and usually manage to be flashy and smart while the Dolphins are typically the opposite and quite boring and therefore will lose."

3. Key Matchup to Watch
The aforementioned defensive end, Cameron Wake, is one of the scariest players in the NFL. Were it not for the Dolphins lacking relevance in 2010, Wake probably would have gotten pub as the Defensive Player of the Year in the NFL.

With Wake and Dolphins-turned-Jet-turned-dancer-t
urned-Dolphin Jason Taylor lining up to terrorize Brady, the Patriots offensive line has a serious task on its hands -- both left tackle Matt Light and right tackle (and rookie) Nate Solder, replacing starting right tackle Sebastian Volmer, will require additional help in doubling up on Wake.

Fortunately for the Patriots, they have a pair of tight ends who are capable receiving options and pretty good blockers in Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, so don't be shocked to see lots of two tight end formations out of New England as they look to bolster their pass defense.

If Wake and Taylor crank up the pressure on Brady, the Patriots could be in a for long day, especially considering they aren't typically the type of team that counters quarterback pressure by pounding the rock. Their answer is a dynamic short-passing game that chews up clock and wears opponents down.

It's much harder to pull off if Brady's ending up on his ass every two or three plays and/or doesn't have time to get through his progressions. And when Brady slows his progressions down, the Patriots aren't pushing the tempo and the defense has more time to adjust and, generally speaking, a much better chance of stopping New England.

4. Potentially Relevant YouTube

So, this weekend some ridiculous bizness went down with the Notre Dame-Michigan game, in which roughly 735 points were scored in 10 seconds. Or something like that -- Denard Robinson (he of sure-fire future NFL Draft scrutiny!) led the Wolverines to a stunning victory. He then jumped in the crowd and a weirdo fan decided he need to rub Robinson's arm and share the magic with the world.

In case you're scratching your head, both Tom Brady and Chad Henne went to Michigan and they will need magic from their arms to win tonight. Do you see? (Via Spencer Hall's Alphabetical)

5. The Patriots will win if ...
They can protect Brady and give him time to get the ball in the hands of his playmakers and subsequently control the tempo against the Dolphins. The Patriots passing game was fine in the preseason, but Chad Ochocinco was a bit underwhelming (to say the least) and having him step things up in Monday night's would be pretty typical of how the Pats role with respect to bringing wide receivers and sandbagging their production before the season starts.

6. The Dolphins will win if ...
Reggie Bush makes the most out of his 20 touches. Well, he's supposed to get 20 touches anyway, and it's hard to imagine that if he's successful that this game won't be close. Bush not only can break off explosive plays, but his ability as a passcatcher out of the backfield will be tremendous for Henne -- he provides a safety valve and will keep the Patriots secondary honest and not able to double-team guys like Brandon Marshall.

7. Prediction: Patriots 24, Dolphins 17

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Posted on: January 7, 2011 12:44 pm

Hot Routes 1.7.10 KC, CLE & SEA provide humor

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit

Bears GM Gerry Angelo is politely saying “told you so!” to the Bears’ plethora of preseason critics.

Great headline from The Onion: “Seattle coach Pete Carroll: Seahawks only needs three losses to reach the Super Bowl.”

Because Richard Seymour is hurt, Bills NT Kyle Williams is getting the Pro Bowl nod that so many thought he deserved.

The Chiefs, worried about a possible flu outbreak (Dwayne Bowe missed practice Wednesday due to an illness), are requiring players to wash their hands all week. They’re calling it “Kindergarten Rules”.

Lovie Smith is rooting for his assistant coaches to get head coaching consideration. (The man already has three former head coaches on staff.)

Check out this letter the Cleveland Browns wrote to one of their whiny season ticket holders back in 1974.

Do the Browns need to be worried about Colt McCoy’s questionable play in bad weather?

Maurice Jones-Drew’s knee surgery was a success.

As expected, offensive coordinator Dan Henning has left the Dolphins. (The team has probably been secretly interviewing replacements since October.)

If the Jets win on Sunday, the Chargers will get New York’s second-round pick as part of the Antonio Cromartie trade. If the Jets lose, the pick remains a third-rounder (unless the Jets sign Cromartie to a long-term contract…which is likely but complicated because of the CBA). That make sense?

Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo decided not to renew the contract of Todd Hewitt, the team’s 43-year-long equipment manager. (Had a decent joke to go here, but felt kinda bad after learning the guy had been there four decades-plus.)

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Posted on: December 22, 2010 10:57 am

Coaching changes on the horizon in Miami?

Posted by Andy Benoit

There have been whispers about Tony Sparano’s job security in Miami. With all due respect…doesn’t that seem insane? This is the same Tony Sparano who took over a 1-15 club and immediately went 11-5 en route to a division title in 2008.

Yes, Sparano’s Dolphins are just 7-7. And thanks in part to a rash of injuries, they finished 7-9 a year ago. But, given the somewhat surprising inconsistency of quarterback Chad Henne, you could arguT. Sparano (US Presswire)e that the Dolphins have 7-7 type talent. They certainly don’t have the resources of the Patriots or Jets.

However, owner Stephen Ross has not publicly endorsed his head coach, leading many in South Florida to believe that Sparano could be headed out. Ross has put a great deal of focus on bringing star power to the organization – we’ve all seen the celebrity minority owners of the Dolphins walking down the orange carpet lined by paparazzi before primetime home games. Perhaps Ross thinks he can get a headline-grabbing head coach like Jon Gruden or, more likely, Bill Cowher.

Sparano isn’t the only name being whispered about in Miami. With the Dolphins ranking 22nd in total offense this season, many believe that offensive coordinator Dan Henning’s time has passed. Henning, a longtime Bill Parcells confidant, joined the Fins as part of the Big Tuna regime change three years ago (Sparano, of course, was part of that regime change, as well).

There will be no need to fire Henning, however; multiple sources have said the 68-year-old plans to retire after the season. (To Dolphins brass, this must be like finding out that the girlfriend you haven’t had the guts to dump is taking a new job two time zones away.)

This, according to Jeff Darlington of the Miami Herald, is why Sparano has had no problem saying things like, “I think that Dan Henning for Tony Sparano has been tremendous, and I think that the guy has done a wonderful job here in my time here. I look at the entire body of work.''

Keep in mind, it’s entirely possible that Sparano’s praise for Henning is genuine. Henning is the same guy who coordinated a Dolphins offense that, though short in playmakers, managed to finish 12th in total yards in 2008. Everyone lauded him for his making due with the innovative wildcat two years ago.

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Posted on: September 30, 2010 3:59 pm

Marshall snaps back to Sterling Sharpe criticism

Posted by Will Brinson

Sterling Sharpe and Mike Mayock took to the teevee Sunday night on NFL Network to discuss the Jets-Dolphins game and started discussing the Fins' final series. You can watch the video here , but the premise is that they gave Brandon Marshall a hard time for being "gassed" (although Sharpe kindly gave Marshall a "pass" because he's still getting used to the heat in Florida) and not looking in shape on the final series when Miami was gunning for a win.

Marshall and offensive coordinator Dan Henning clearly watched the show, because they responded to questions about it after practice on Thursday. You can see the full video of Marshall responding (compiled by the Miami Herald 's Jeff Darlington) below, but for those of you not so visually inclined ...

Marshall: "I don’t honestly think that those guys were elite players, including Sterling Sharpe," Marhsall said. "I know he’s done some good things, but from my understanding, he’s not a Hall of Fame player."

"Did they watch from the stands? Or on TV? Or from their home?" Henning asked. "And they’re going to say that he didn’t have enough left? Are you kidding me?"

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