Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Yes, please.

The Miami Herald's Greg Cote has something to say. And it's something I want to pass along to you.

The local pro football team was back on the field for an offseason workday, so I went out there Tuesday trying to find the one guy who is the most important person to this Miami Dolphins franchise.
Cote passed by the prodigal son, Jason Taylor. He went right on by the crowd surrounding Jake Long. He wasn't looking for Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland, or Tony Sparano. Ricky Williams made some interesting comments about the future of his career, but they weren't made to Cote. He also wasn't interested in talking to rookies Vontae Davis, Pat White, or Sean Smith. Not even sack artist Joey Porter or star RB Ronnie Brown could grab Cote's attention. Who was he seeking?

Finally I saw my man, and approached.

"Hi Chad. Got a minute?''

It wasn't Pennington.

It was the guy in the No. 7 jersey, backup quarterback Chad Henne.

Hardly played last season as a rookie.

Might hardly play this year.

Most important person to this club nevertheless.

Not to this season, perhaps, but to just beyond it and for a long time thereafter if the Dolphins are right in gambling on his greatness.

To any Dolfan balancing an imperative on right now with an eager eye on tomorrow, there is no more overriding question than this one:

"How good will Henne turn out to be?''

Cote understands. He knows that this team is Henne's in 2010 - and hopefully for 10 or more seasons thereafter. And what does Henne plan on doing in drivers seat of one of the best franchises in league history?
"I feel fully confident about my ability to play. I'm humble, but I really feel like I have the ability to lead this team to championships and hopefully Super Bowls.''
Yes, please.

PHOTO: Al Diaz, Miami Herald staff

Outside of me helping the Dolphins win the Super Bowl, I'm not sure I could envision a more perfect dream as a football fan. Is it possible I could see a kid I played with take my favorite team to the highest point the NFL mountain has to offer?

Yes, please.

Thankfully the veterans are already behind Henne, even if he has only attempted 12 regular season passes.
''What not many people get to see is his confidence, his unbelievable presence in the huddle,'' guard Justin Smiley said Tuesday of Henne. "He acts like he's been there. The sky's the limit. He has the makings of a great quarterback. All the tools to be great. And I think he will be.''
Even his mentor, Chad Pennington, the man who is set to lose his job to his protege in 2010, has some kind words.
''No. 1 I see great poise and great quarterback demeanor,'' Pennington said of his heir to the air. "All the talent in the world, and a very calm demeanor even when coaches are yelling.''
And Sparano has taken notice to a change in the last year too. It can't be a bad thing when the head coach notices the backup QBs strength and throwing mechanics have changed for the better.

Throughout the Cote piece - which I highly recommend for any Dolphins and/or Henne fans - the mood is straight and to the point; there's no bias or opinions, despite it being an opinion piece. Until the end. Cote adds his opinion in the articles final lines.

Ask Henne if anyone in the NFL reminds him of himself, and he mentions a guy who shared the same coach at Michigan.

''We have similar arm movement and other things,'' Henne said.

He meant Tom Brady.

If the comparison looks as good on the field as it does in theory, this franchise's quarter-century wait for its next great young quarterback may have ended at last.

Of course, ''if'' shall necessarily remain the biggest word surrounding Chad Henne until which time he has a chance to erase all doubts -- and does.

Yes, please.

*Emphasis mine throughout.

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