Henne Talks About Return to Miami
This story originally published on DolphinDigest.com
QB Chad Henne
QB Chad Henne
Associate Editor
Posted Dec 12, 2012


Quarterback Chad Henne will be back in Miami this weekend, leading the Jacksonville Jaguars in their game against the Dolphins. Henne took over as Jacksonville's starter about a month ago after 2011 first-round pick Blaine Gabbert sustained an elbow injury. After impressive performances against Houston and Tennessee, Henne has struggled the past two weeks against Buffalo and the Jets.

Henne, the Dolphins' starting quarterback in 2010 and last season before he went down with a shoulder injury in an early-season game at San Diego, conducted a conference call with South Florida reporters on Wednesday during which he talked about how he wound up in Jacksonville, his time with the Dolphins and facing his old team.

Here's what Henne had to say:

On the emotions and motivation coming back to Sun Life: “I don’t know about motivation, but obviously I think once it comes towards game day it’ll be a little bit more excitement and everything. But other than that I’m going to prepare like every other week and go into it like it’s a regular game.”

On Miami’s defense: “Obviously the defensive coordinator came from Cincinnati, so they’re running the same system, but what stands out is the sacks. I think you guys are No. 5 in sacks in the league and against the rush it’s like No. 9, so the defense is doing a good job. They always stop the run and they’re doing really well and we’ve just got to be aware of the front four. Those front four guys are good players and they come after you.”

On his journey to this point: “Obviously in the offseason I had some opportunities, but Jacksonville was one of my first stops and I just felt really comfortable with Coach (Mike) Mularkey and the team and where this team was going, so I chose here and I still feel very confident. I really like the guys in the locker room. Obviously, this season hasn’t gone the way we wanted it to, but we’ve got a lot of guys in here that are very resilient and keep fighting and games are close. We’re going to keep it close to the end and we just need to pull off a couple of games from here on out.”

On if he was given enough of an opportunity in Miami to show what he can do: “Absolutely. I mean they gave me every opportunity and they drafted me there and I appreciate that. But sometimes things don’t work out and you move on, but I definitely felt I had my fair share and I appreciate the opportunity down there.”

On what he wishes he would have done differently or would have been different: “Obviously you want to win more games, but whether I would’ve, should’ve really wouldn’t change anything. There’s a big learning experience that I had there. I enjoyed my teammates, I enjoyed being a part of the community down there, so I just took it as an experience and build upon it and improve myself as a quarterback and as a young man.”

On how tough it’s been to be on losing teams: “No, as a player you definitely never want to get used to losing. As a competitor, as an athlete, you want to get on that right stage where you string some wins together and winning seasons and be a part of that winning thing, but sometimes it’s just the way the card folds and turns over. You’re dealt with some situations that you can’t control and you just got to do to the best of your ability and hopefully help that team win.”

On still having a relationship like Jake Long: “I talk to him pretty often, not as much as I’d like to, but in the offseason I see him a bunch. I still have my home down there. I’m sure once the offseason unveils itself, we’ll meet up, but I still stay in contact with him.”

On how he’s improved in the last 12 months: “I think I’ve improved. From last year, the first three games I felt I improved, and then going in this year. Getting my opportunities these last couple weeks, some of the things haven’t gone our way but overall I feel confident, seeing everything, protections, and the biggest thing just being the leader of this team. Watching this team grow, and just trying to help out the best I can.”

On the struggles of the last couple of games, and also on what’s in his future: “We’ve been hurting ourselves. Especially in Buffalo, we hurt ourselves a bunch. Third downs are crucial. The last two weeks we haven’t been very good on third-down conversions. We’ve been in third-and-medium, but we just haven’t converted. We had some drops in the past, we had some protection problems, some missed throws. We were beating ourselves more than anything. We have to establish the run, we have to stay balanced. I don’t think we’re a team that definitely can just go out there and sling it 50 times a game. ... As for my future, I’m just worried about the present. Worried about this game, and what I can do to help win this game. I just want to play out this season the best I can and show the coaches in this organization that I can be their future, their starting quarterback.”

On the area where he’s improved the most: “Definitely situational football. Understanding where you’re at on the field; if it’s third-and-long or in the red zone, put the ball in play and let it play out. Minimize your mistakes, go through your reads and believe what you see, and make the throws when they’re there.”

On Cameron Wake: “He’s done a great job. From day one, when he stepped into Miami, you knew he was going to be something special. I think he has almost 15 sacks this year. Last week I think he had three. We’re going to have to have a game plan against him for protection and even with other guys. The other guys are playing really well. Randy Starks is playing at a high level. We’ll have some protection schemes, but the biggest thing for a quarterback is staying on rhythm, staying on time and get the ball out when you need to.”

Is football still fun for you, Chad?: “Absolutely, why would you ask that?”

On the last couple of years being rough: “Like I said before, I can’t control a lot of things that go on, but, you know what, I believe in myself and I know a lot of guys in this locker room believe in me and this organization. Everybody can put the blame on me. I’m still going to go home with my head held high knowing that I did the best I can.”

On having any advice for Tannehill in terms of constantly hearing about Dan Marino: “I mean, just do what you’re coached to do and just keep improving every week. I think as a quarterback you want to keep that arrow going up at all times and as a rookie you’re going to go through some struggles. But I think he’s done a great job for what he’s been given. I think he’s handled it well. I think he’s handled the media well. I just wish him the best and hopefully he keeps improving.”

On the differences between the receiving corps he has in Jacksonville and the one he had in Miami: “Well, I mean, obviously we had a stud in Brandon (Marshall) when we were there, a workhorse. But I think the group here is just very hungry. Justin Blackmon has been really stepping it up these last couple of games. Cecil Short kind of came out of nowhere this whole season and is making big plays. I just think these guys are very young. They’re very hungry and they do what they’re coached to do. I just really enjoy being around them and helping them with their maturation and just being on the field with them.”

On former Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano recruiting him as a free agent in the offseason: “That’s pretty much it. He reached out, said there was an opportunity there, but other than that we kind of parted ways. I mean, I had a visit here in Jacksonville and then Seattle and whether New York was on my list or not, it was just an opportunity that if I didn’t like my first couple of choices, then New York was another choice.”


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