But I still say priority No. 1 is getting a quarterback
My case was that, unfortunately, Henne isn't The Guy. He's been around nearly three years. He's had 25 starts (including the Tennessee game he came in on the third play).
He has been up and mostly down, has accuracy and judgment issues, was benched by the very coaches who lose the most by benching him and last Sunday again proved with a dismal 37 quarterback rating why they did it.
I figured this column would anger some inside the team. But this has been a disappointing season. It wouldn't be the worst thing if some of them got mad. I figured it wouldn't sit well with coach Tony Sparano, who, even though he benched Henne, still has to count on him.
I just didn't expect most fans to be upset. It wasn't Henne's fault, they said. The blame fell to (a) offensive coordinator Dan Henning; (b) the running game; (c) the offensive line; (d) all of the above.
A few got personal. "Henning is just too old,'' as one said.
A few got emotional. "You want to ruin Christmas, too?" as one wrote.
A few even did research. A common idea was to compare Henne's 24 touchdowns and 29 interceptions through the early years of some greats. Terry Bradshaw had 19 touchdowns and 46 interceptions. Bob Griese, 36-34. Steve Young: 24-24. Drew Brees: 28-31. Brett Favre: 37-37.
"All of these guys are Hall of Famers or will be,'' one wrote. "Lighten up."
As I read through the e-mails, as I digested the comments, it didn't so much change my view on Henne. It uplifted my thought of fans, though. Especially these fans for whom it's been such an unsatisfying ride of late.
Everyone talks of its great history. And it's true. But sports is mainly about the moment. And this team hasn't provided many moments to this generation of fans. Do you realize Dec. 30 marks the 10-year anniversary of Lamar Smith's overtime run and the Dolphins' last post-season win?
So fans want something to cheer for even as they watch the playoffs drift away again. They want to think the biggest problem for this franchise over the last decade isn't back to square one.
They believe in Henne. Or they want to, anyhow. And that belief is the most precious commodity any franchise can have.
Sparano said how I feel after the Oakland win. He's the one that benched Henne, remember.
"I want someone to go out and make me wrong,'' Sparano said. "I have no problem with that."
I don't regret the column at all. And the stats of those greats? Well, perspective is critical. But A.J. Feeley got eight Dolphin starts and threw 11 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. John Beck got three starts with one TD and three interceptions.
We could go on. Henne should get four more starts. Maybe that builds some confidence and solves some issues for him. And do I hope, like Sparano, Henne goes out and proves me wrong? You bet.
But would you stake next season to it?
That's why Priority No. 1 remains getting a quarterback this off-season.
Dave Hyde can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org