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Henne in the running for Dolphins starter at QB


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Sparano: Henne in mix for starting job

By Harvey Fialkov and Omar Kelly | South Florida Sun-Sentinel June 8, 2008 atools-printer.gif

DAVIE - For those assuming the Dolphins' quarterback competition was a two-man duel between John Beck and veteran Josh McCown, think again, coach Tony Sparano says.

Sparano made it clear rookie quarterback Chad Henne is in the mix for the starting job after watching him take snaps with the first team in the first of Saturday's two practices.

Beck and McCown had previously split the first-team snaps because of their experience edge and knowledge of the newly installed offense. That is until now.

"Yeah, that was an assumption," Sparano said. "Because we're competing and everybody's competing, and Henne's competing, and the two veteran players knew that when we drafted Henne that we'd be competing. I think it's important, and we're going to take a look with whatever the possibili

"I want to see Chad in the first huddle, and I want to see Beck maybe in the third group at times and see how he rises."

Beck worked with the starters in the afternoon practice while Henne was assigned to the second team. During both the morning and afternoon sessions Henne struggled finding receivers.

Henne overthrew his receiver on his first play of the morning, and was picked off by cornerback Will Allen on his second throw, which was intended for tight end David Martin. He threw mostly checkdown passes in the afternoon.

Sparano reiterated what Dolphins Vice President of Football Operations Bill Parcells said Thursday, that they like to evaluate quarterbacks when they're under adverse conditions and not just when things are going smoothly.

"You don't evaluate a quarterback only when he is winning a game," Sparano said.

"When I watch Chad, I want to see what he does when he is losing the game. I want to see some of these quarterbacks and what they do when they are behind."

Roth works at LB

Matt Roth's been pulling double duty during minicamp.

The former second-round pick is holding down the starting defensive end spot opposite Vonnie Holliday, but there have been instances during the weekend where Roth has spent a practice session or two working with the outside linebackers.

It's an experiment the coaches are trying out, gauging Roth's versatility.

"He's a very, very good guy vs. the run, and who's developing in his ability to rush the passer," defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni said. "I just see him as a good, solid defensive player right now and we haven't gone beyond that."

While Roth admits he's having fun dropping back into coverage, his goal is to prove he can be an effective end in a 3-4 scheme.

"It's different because you're dropping back in coverage, and rushing, and playing blocks standing up," Roth said of the experiment. "I've got a good wrestling background so that helps with some of that, but it's definitely different."

"It's fun, but I'm a defensive lineman first," added Roth, who contributed 44 tackles and three sacks in an injury-shortened 2007 season.

Guards shuffling

Sparano is utilizing several different offensive line combinations, and opened with rookie Jake Long at left tackle, Justin Smiley at left guard, Samson Satele at center, Trey Darilek at right guard and Vernon Carey at right tackle.

Most of the previous practices featured Smiley at right guard and rookie Shawn Murphy at left guard. At one point Ike Ndukwe was also working with the starting unit at left guard.

"There is some position flexibility there," Sparano said. "A guy like Trey Darilek has played all five positions in the last two days: center, guard, left tackle, right tackle, he played right guard today. So this guy has done a little bit of everything. We need some position flexibility."

Sparano stressed the team is looking for the "right pieces," and the plan is to keep moving the linemen around till they find the right five.

Dunlap works out

Undrafted rookie free agent receiver John Dunlap, who played at North Carolina State, was brought in for a tryout, participating in both of Saturday's practices.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder, who was a standout at Chaminade-Madonna, had 45 catches for 375 yards and three touchdowns his senior year at N.C. State.

The Dolphins first worked out Dunlap during their local tryout for draft eligible players in April.

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Them having McCown sort of bothers me. He has had some really bad luck throughout his career, he posted good win/loss ratio in the desert (compared to other Cardinal QB's) and lost the QB battle to Kitna, whom i thought McCown was way better then. Similar situation in Oakland.

I was hoping the Jets would pursue him this offseason as a back up to Kellen but now he sits with a division rival. I don't think there is any doubt that McCown starts against the Jets in the first week...I'd much rather see Beck or Henne.

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Nothing could be better than the Jets to start off the season with the Dolphins with a QB on his first start ever.

Nothing.

BZ

Absolutely right! Please let this happen.

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I read a post draft article on either SI, Fox or TSN that stated that Henne was the most prepared rookie QB to start in the NFL. He did, I believe, start as a freshman at Michigan.

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I read a post draft article on either SI, Fox or TSN that stated that Henne was the most prepared rookie QB to start in the NFL. He did, I believe, start as a freshman at Michigan.

He still has no weapons on offense, a rebuilding offensive line, no TE and a running back core that is questionable in Ricky & Ronnie.

BZ

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He still has no weapons on offense, a rebuilding offensive line, no TE and a running back core that is questionable in Ricky & Ronnie.

BZ

Ahem... The offensive line is rebuilt, Ted Ginn is an offensive weapon and Wilford is a solid possesion reciever, we have no TE (but at least we didn't trade up to draft one in the 1st like some teams seen to do every year 'cough' Jets), and Ricky is in great shape, Parcells is raving about him, Ronnie is practicing and will be strong this year. I seem to remember both of those guys torching the Jets in past games and can't wait to see it again.

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Ahem... The offensive line is rebuilt, Ted Ginn is an offensive weapon and Wilford is a solid possesion reciever, we have no TE (but at least we didn't trade up to draft one in the 1st like some teams seen to do every year 'cough' Jets), and Ricky is in great shape, Parcells is raving about him, Ronnie is practicing and will be strong this year. I seem to remember both of those guys torching the Jets in past games and can't wait to see it again.

Good too hear, can't wait till Keller scores on you guys. I hope you show up after the beat down.

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Ahem... The offensive line is rebuilt, Ted Ginn is an offensive weapon and Wilford is a solid possesion reciever, we have no TE (but at least we didn't trade up to draft one in the 1st like some teams seen to do every year 'cough' Jets), and Ricky is in great shape, Parcells is raving about him, Ronnie is practicing and will be strong this year. I seem to remember both of those guys torching the Jets in past games and can't wait to see it again.

They should have torched the jets a little more, seems to me its been a while for the might phins to have beaten the lowly jets.

Oh yeah, good joke about Ginn. lol

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Ahem... The offensive line is rebuilt, Ted Ginn is an offensive weapon and Wilford is a solid possesion reciever, we have no TE (but at least we didn't trade up to draft one in the 1st like some teams seen to do every year 'cough' Jets), and Ricky is in great shape, Parcells is raving about him, Ronnie is practicing and will be strong this year. I seem to remember both of those guys torching the Jets in past games and can't wait to see it again.

To use one of Gainzos popular quotes...."GFY"

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Ahem... The offensive line is rebuilt, Ted Ginn is an offensive weapon and Wilford is a solid possesion reciever, we have no TE (but at least we didn't trade up to draft one in the 1st like some teams seen to do every year 'cough' Jets), and Ricky is in great shape, Parcells is raving about him, Ronnie is practicing and will be strong this year. I seem to remember both of those guys torching the Jets in past games and can't wait to see it again.

Ahem... is many teams have proven, one adding a guy or two to your line doesn't mean it is "rebuilt". Improved, sure, but rebuilt is something you have to show.

Ted Ginn, a second year receiver is your ONLY weapon. That should scare you. Ronnie is coming off a big injury and the Tuna can rave about Ricky all he wants but Smoke-Ricky-Smoke doesn't have his head, or bong, in the game. He hasn't played in over two years and certainly is on the wrong side of 30.

You admit you have no TE, but what about a pass rusher? Corner? Safety? Who is in your linebacker core? Oh, and who is going to throw the ball? A totally rookie? A washed up 2nd stringer?

I know you are just defending your team, but you guys are in the rebuilding mode. I am sure Bill will get you to the playoffs in 3 years, hopefully won't quit right after when he goes to the Bills to make his AFC East trip complete.

BZ

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