Dan Henning Compares Henne’s Potential to John Elway, Steve Young

Despite benching him earlier this week, Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Dan Henning compared Chad Henne’s rough start in the NFL to the likes of Hall-of-Famers John Elway and Steve Young.

“I think if you go back through history, when Elway came out in ’83, he didn’t win as many games as Henne has and he had a lot more interceptions than touchdowns,” Henning told the Miami Herald. “Steve Young came into the World Football League and flopped to Tampa. After Tampa he got traded to San Francisco. He didn’t really start starting until his ninth year. He was pretty good.”

The Dolphins decided to start Chad Pennington over Henne in Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans after the second-year quarterback threw three interceptions in a Week 9 loss at Baltimore. He has thrown two TDs and six INTs in his last four starts.

Still, Henning has nothing but praise for the work Henne has done so far.

“This guy has come out of the box and he’s done some very good things. He hasn’t dropped any balls, missed any blocks or missed any tackles,” Henning said. “And he has done some things he’d like to have back, so to speak. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s no reason this guy can’t be a good quarterback in this league. He’s got the tools. He’s got the work ethic to the Nth degree and he is a very tough guy. He’s a sensitive guy — doesn’t show that very much. But he is a tough guy and he’ll come back from this.”

Henning didn’t offer similar satisfaction with Miami’s entire offensive unit that has repeatedly struggled to get into the endzone. The Dolphins have only scored one touchdown in the seven times they’ve retained possession between their own 48 and the goal line this season. They’ve also weren’t able to score a touchdown in the two times they’ve started a drive in their opponent’s territory.

“We have done some pretty good things but we haven’t been as efficient as we’d like,” Henning said of the team’s 28th-ranked scoring offense. “We have not as many touchdowns as we’d like.  We’ve had a lot of long drives for touchdowns. We’ve had a lot of long drives for field goals. But we haven’t executed the way we’d like when we did have the opportunity. If you look at the stats, our opportunities in the red area are way off from a lot of other teams’ opportunities in the red area.

While Miami’s  47.06% redzone scoring percentage this season ranks 18th in the NFL, they’ve only scored on a quarter of their chances in their last three games. The only team in the league with a worst conversion percentage in that time frame is the Seattle Seahawks. (10%)

“So, overall, we’re not doing as well as we’d like. And if we were doing as well as we’d like maybe we’d have a better record,” Henning concluded. “So we’re 4-4 and we have to be better than that, especially in the division we’re in and the conference we’re in if we want to get to where we want to be at the end of the year.”