Chad Henne was supposed to be the Miami Dolphins' savior. The former Wolverine, whose pedigree was as strong if not stronger than Tom Brady's coming out of college, had all the tools and clichÃ©s (strong arm, pro-style offensive experience, winning mentality) to bring a once-proud franchise back to prominence. But instead of leading the Dolphins to the promised land with an aerial assault the likes of which we haven't seen since WWII, he checked down. And then he checked down again. And again, always passing to running backs, tight ends, and even wide receivers who were in no position to gain yardage or inflict any kind of damage to opposing defenses. Yeah, the past two years has seen an awful lot of Check Down Chad. And Fins fans have had enough.
They started their booing and pleas for change during the team's second practice. Not second game. Second practice. And even though Chad's practices have improved since then, when the Dolphins open their home preseason schedule against the Carolina Panthers on Friday at 7:30 p.m., they'll be quick to boo him and call for the hook as soon as they see another check down. On the bright side, Fins fans will be able to see a quarterback with huge promise, or at least hype, when last year's Heisman Trophy Winner and the Panthers' own savior du jour, Cam Newton, gets under center for some of his first tastes of the NFL. The league's fifth-stingiest defense should have a nice welcome for Cam. The Dolphins hope to have more success at Sun Life Stadium (2269 Dan Marino Blvd., Miami Gardens) this year than last (home record, 2-6). Tickets start at $45. Visit miamidolphins.com.
Fri., Aug. 19, 7:30 p.m., 2011