Miami Dolphins' offense may be franchise's worst ever
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"They're obviously inconsistent," said CBS analyst Dan Fouts, who has called several Miami games this year, including last Sunday victory in which they gained 131 yards. "And it's never one plain reason. It's always a combination of things."
So what are the problems? Henne is inevitably put at the top of the list. The second-round draft pick in 2008 might have played his way out of a job. Certainly he is in danger of being let go when his contract ends after next season.
"I don't want to bash, but I don't think we have the answer at the quarterback position," McDuffie said. "I think it's time you invest in a high-profile quarterback."
Henne has 13 touchdowns against 15 interceptions, and his 76.5 passer rating is 26th in the NFL. In the fourth quarter, his passer rating is 49.7 - No. 37 in the league.
"Sometimes after the first read, it looks like he gets stuck with where he wants to go with the ball," Dan Marino said this week on WQAM-560.
Henne is hardly the Dolphins' only problem.
McDuffie said the Dolphins tried too hard to get Marshall the ball earlier in the season, and that Dan Henning's play-calling has been erratic.
"This team has zero identity," McDuffie said. "We go into some games, we want to be pass-happy. We go into some games, we want to be run-happy. We don't know what we're going to get week-to-week."
While Marshall has only two touchdown receptions, the Dolphins also are failing at what was supposed to be the team's strength - running the ball.
Ranked No. 4 in the NFL in rushing yards last year and 10th in yards per attempt (4.4), the Dolphins have slipped to 19th and 28th (3.7) this year.
They also might become the first team in history to lead the league in rushing touchdowns one year (22) and finish dead last the next (they currently rank 32nd with just five rushing touchdowns).
"We need to take pressure off the quarterback by running the ball better," Sparano said. "Being more patient and staying the course is what we need to do."
That hasn't been easy given the inconsistency of the offensive line, which has affected both the passing and running games.
Henning called right tackle Vernon Carey, now out for the season with a knee injury, an "enigma" - great one play, not so much the next.
Miami thought it had upgraded the interior of the line this season. Free agent Richie Incognito replaced Justin Smiley (traded to Jacksonville) at left guard; Joe Berger took over at center when Jake Grove was released; and rookie John Jerry replaced right guard Donald Thomas (released). The new trio has played well at times, but not often enough.
"The strange one for me has been John Jerry," Rose said of the Dolphins' third-round draft pick who lost his job to journeyman Pat McQuistan three weeks ago. "I thought early in the year that he was going to be a block, and it just hasn't worked out."
The two problems for the Dolphins: One, time to fix their problems is running out. Two, there are no easy fixes.
"You can't get rid of the whole team ...