Monday, February 15, 2010

Reader Question: QB situation

Time for another reader question:

What are your thoughts on the Dolphins' QB situation? I read on your site that the Bills might have an interest in acquiring Tyler Thigpen. Do you think that is a possibility? It looks like the Dolphins want Henne to be the starter for the 2010 season. What QB that is currently on the Dolphins would be the best backup for Henne? Why did the Dolphins draft Pat White last year?

I really hope that the Bills do have an interest in trading for Thigpen because that would solve a lot of problems for Miami.

I was never really on board with the trade for Thigpen to begin with. I still cannot wrap my head around the logic of trading away a valuable fifth round pick in a very deep draft for a guy who is coming in to be the third QB for half a season. The front office had to know that Chad Pennington would be ready to play by the time 2010 rolled around and that he could probably be persuaded into re-signing as the backup.

But now there's a logjam at the QB position and the team has to decide if it can squeeze Pennington back onto the roster or let him go in favor of the clearly inferior Thigpen and Pat White.

So, yes, it would be a great help if the Bills made a run for Thigpen. I think it's certainly a possibility since their QB situation is such a mess. Miami could also facilitate things by essentially giving him away for a seventh-round pick. Also, I don't really think Thigpen is all that good, so if the Bills were to choose to place their future hopes in his hands, well that's all the better for Miami, right?

The best backup on the team for Henne right now is unquestionably Pennington. And I stress "right now" because Pennington might not be on the team in a month, so we can't count on having him as that option. I'd say the next best option is a toss-up. White and Thigpen can both run the change-up spread option packages that have been installed. If it comes down to those two though, I'd like to see White as the backup simply because he has a higher upside and the team needs to keep him active on game days to try to get him involved in other ways. He really needs to learn some receiver routes so that he can stay in games for entire drives and switch to QB from the field rather than coming in from the sideline.

I didn't like the choice of Pat White in last year's draft and it still looks pretty bad. The way the team is going about his development isn't helping things. Henne is the current and presumably future starter at QB so they shouldn't try to force White into becoming the same kind of player. That's not what he is. He is a backup who has the versatility to be involved in a lot of aspects of the offense. Use him in spread packages. Use him as a receiver. Use him in conventional packages. But don't continue with this pattern of shoehorning him into games just to hand the ball off. At least let him throw the ball.

Overall, Miami's QB situation at this moment is solely defined by Chad Henne. I was pleased with his production this year, but there are clear areas of his game that must get better if he is to become the kind of QB that this team will need if they are serious about making a legitimate run for a championship. He must improve his accuracy on all passes, he must improve his situational passing (aka not gunning it at a running back who is three yards away), he must improve his ability to read a defense, and the team must open up the playbook more and let him throw downfield.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.