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Five Nice Things Tony Sparano Said About Chad Henne the Day He Benched Him

With the Dolphins 4-4 at the halfway point in the season, head coach Tony Sparano announced today that starting quarterback Chad Henne will be benched this week in favor of former savior (and two-time comeback player of the year), Chad Pennington. (Insert "hanging chad" jokes here.)

Oddly though, Sparano had nothing but praise for Henne in today's press conference. To paraphrase, it went something like this:

"Chad Henne will almost certainly be one of the greatest players to ever play in the NFL, but we're gonna go with Pennington. Next question."

Below, we have five actual quotes from this afternoon.

Sparano opened his press conference with a brief, vague note saying, "After making long evaluations on all details involved what I've decided to do here as we move forward right now is that this week Chad Pennington is going to be the quarterback."



He went on to heap several scoops of ironic praise on his now former starting quarterback. Here are a few of the things he said:



"This is not an indictment on Chad Henne at all. It's not an indictment on his future."
Perhaps it's an indictment of the coach's decision making? Or the coaching?

"I do believe [Henne] has gotten an awful lot better
right now, certainly come two-fold from where he was to where he is right now but at this particular time it's something that I feel like I need to do for our football team." In other words, he's twice as good as he used to be, and still not good enough for us. But see above, it's not his fault.



"I have a lot of confidence in Chad Henne; a lot of confidence in him. As I said to you, this guy has gotten a lot better." By "a lot of confidence" he means "almost enough confidence in him to let him play. Almost."



"It's exactly what I would expect from [Henne], nothing but a tremendous professional." A second-string professional that is.

"I think [both quarterbacks] have strengths
and certainly weaknesses...and at this particular time as I look ahead at this particular time my decision is that I think that Chad Pennington's strengths might be suited a little bit more for where we need to be right now." Which is to say, he thinks Chad Henne's strengths might be bit more what nobody needs right now.

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Michael J. Mooney

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