Henne hyperbole out of hand?

June, 7, 2010
6/07/10
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I understand why the Miami Dolphins and their fans are geared up about Chad Henne.

[+] EnlargeChad Henne
Kim Klement/US PresswireDolphins' owner Stephen Ross has made some bold predictions about Chad Henne.
For nearly 30 years -- between Bob Griese and Dan Marino, with help from Earl Morrall and David Woodley -- the Dolphins could count on a franchise quarterback. They've been searching for another since Marino retired a decade ago.

Henne looks like he might be the guy to end the parade of Marino's successors. With the exception of 2001, another new quarterback has started a game for Miami each year. In four of those 10 seasons, at least two quarterbacks who'd never started for the Dolphins before were given the nod.

But Dolfans seem to be going a little too gaga over Henne.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross made headlines over the weekend with some bold declarations, saying he thinks the Dolphins will be in the Super Bowl this season and promoting Henne's potential to be the greatest quarterback to wear the aqua and orange.

"Chad has been the greatest quarterback the University of Michigan has had," said Ross, a Michigan alum himself, "and I'm sure that I'm hoping, as is everyone else, that he goes down as the greatest quarterback in Miami Dolphins history -- and you know what that will mean."

I do know what that will mean.

Depending on your preferred measurement of success, Henne would have to either:
A) rewrite the NFL record book to be considered better than Marino, or

B) win three Super Bowls to be considered better than Griese. And maybe go undefeated for a season in the process.

It's way too soon to be talking like this, no?

"Henne can handle the pressure,'' Ross added. "That I can tell you. He started at the University of Michigan as a true freshman and was playing in front of 110,000 people and led them to the Big Ten championship.

"I think the Miami Dolphins have a great quarterback for the future and I think everybody in South Florida is excited about what Chad Henne brings to this team."

Ross is correct when he says Henne is the "greatest quarterback the University of Michigan has had" -- based on career stats.

There was a guy named Tom Brady before him. Others to pass through the program include future Pro Bowlers Jim Harbaugh, Elvis Grbac and Brian Griese. Pete Elliott, Benny Friedman and Harry Newman are Michigan quarterbacks in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Henne has a bright future ahead of him, but I don't know if Dolphins supporters are doing him -- or themselves -- any favors by ratcheting the expectations for a player with 13 starts, 12 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions in his career.

Big-play receiver Brandon Marshall certainly will help, but Henne still has a lot of growing to do before he should be compared with the best quarterbacks in Dolphins history.

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