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Dolphins Watch


November 10, 2010 4:59 PM

Pennington back as starter

PENNINGTON.bmpThere was a lot of news on what is typically a non-news day, so let's get to it.

First, came the stunning announcement that Chad Pennington would reclaim his starting role over Chad Henne, who was supposed to be the Dolphins' quarterback of the future.

Over the past few weeks, public criticism had been building against Henne, for not leading the offense to enough touchdowns and for committing too many turnovers. Recently, Coach Tony Sparano gave him the dreaded vote of confidence, only to yank him just three days after Henne threw three interceptions in a 26-10 loss to Baltimore.


If you look at the numbers, the benching is certainly justified.

In eight games this season, Henne threw just eight touchdown passes and 10 interceptions, and had a passer rating of 78.2, 24th in the NFL.

According to a published report, Henne has a conservative reputation around the NFL, and Ravens safety Ed Reed -- who intercepted Henne last week -- said he was an "easy quarterback to read."

The reason given for the demotion was that Pennington knows how to run offensive coordinator Dan Henning's offense better.

Last year, Pennington struggled to move the Dolphins through three games, completing 68.9 percent of his passes for 413 yards, one TD and three INTs before he was lost for the season with a shoulder injury.

The offensive frustration has been evident, as offseason acquisition Brandon Marshall has not built a great chemistry with Henne, and has just one TD catch so far. Earlier this week, Marshall complained publicly that he has not been getting the ball as much as he would like.

In other news, the Dolphins released former starting cornerback Jason Allen, who started seven of the team's first eight games. Allen is the team's interception leader with three, but he played poorly of late, losing his job to Sean Smith, whom Allen had displaced in the preseason.

If you're counting, that's another bust under the Nick Saban regime, as Saban drafted Allen 16th overall in 2006.

The Dolphins signed 36-year-old former Green Bay Packers corner Al Harris to replace Allen. Harris had been one of the league's top corners until a knee injury ended his season in 2009. He has not played since then, and when he came off the physically unable to perform list last week, the Packers released him.

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