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Hyde: Why Henning isn't the Dolphins only issue
By Dave Hyde December 20, 2010 07:17 AM
You can rail at offensive coordinator Dan Henning if you want. I did about this offense in todays' column, talking with a couple of Buffalo Bills about it. But if only it was just Dan Henning. If only it was the scheme and play calling.
That would be easy to solve. He's going to retire two games from now, so you just replace him, right? And everything's solved? But for the last decade people have questioned the schemes and play-calling around the Dolphins and offensive coordinators have come and gone. One issue remains, though. Let's look how a few are doing today to gain perspective on the problem.
1. Mike Mularkey. He was Nick Saban's whipping boy. People ripped him. He's at 12-2 Atlanta now, has Matt Ryan at quarterback and - presto! ...
2. Cam Cameron. Yes, he was over his head as coach in 2007. But he also ran the offense that appeared lost. He's running 10-4 Baltimore's offense now. Joe Flacco is his quarterback and suddenly Cameron knows what he's doing ...
3. Chan Gailey. Dave Wannstedt's offensive coordinator, if you care to remember. And what a conservative offense that was. But now he's Buffalo's coach, oversees the Bills offense and has found a possible franchise quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick as the Dolphins found out Sunday. ...
Do you see where I'm going with this? Blame Henning if you want. I have. But it's not that easy. When these past Dolphins offensive coordinators get a quarterback to work with, suddenly they're smart. Suddenly, all the things that ailed them with the Dolphins get fixed.
You can argue Henning and Tony Sparano don't trust Chad Henne enough. That's fair. But the there's reason for that when you see him week after week. And there's reason the Dolphins' top priority is finding a quarterback. Just as it was when Gailey, Cameron and Mularkey ran the offense.
The problem, you see, isn't just the coordinator. It starts with the quarterback, assuming you think the coaching staff has made the proper read on Henne having issues. Either way, whoever is calling the shots this off-season has to make finding a quarterback the No. 1 priority.