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Monday, December 21, 2009
Marino: Henne needs a playmaker


Chad Henne's undulating campaign dipped again Sunday.

The Miami Dolphins quarterback threw three interceptions in a 27-24 overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans at LP Field.

Henne, who led the Dolphins to three fourth-quarter comeback victories this year, nearly pulled out another dramatic finish with the help of a fluke 57-yard completion to Brian Hartline. The Dolphins scored 15 points in the final frame to force overtime.

The Dolphins won the toss. Three plays into sudden death, Henne sailed a pass that got picked off. The Titans then kicked the game-winning field goal and sent the Dolphins one loss closer to playoff extinction.

It was a frustrating performance for Dolfans who were hopeful Henne was rounding into franchise form. In consecutive weeks, Henne threw 52 passes to upset the New England Patriots and completed a team-record 17 straight attempts to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars.

But on Sunday, Henne played more like the sophomore who tossed three interceptions in the final 2:43 of an unacceptable loss to the inferior Buffalo Bills three weeks back.

Dolphins icon Dan Marino isn't concerned.

Marino made his weekly visit on old teammate Joe Rose's radio show Monday morning and predicted Henne will blossom when the Dolphins acquire some receiving help.

You could tell Marino was trying to be diplomatic in lobbying his former team to get better receivers for Henne.

"It's just a matter of him getting experience," Marino said. "They've got some guys that are working hard and playing hard at receiver, and as the whole offense gets better as far as talent-wise goes ... You look around the league and teams have more guys that are big playmakers."

The Dolphins don't have a consistent deep threat. They went into the season with a collection of possession receivers better suited for Chad Pennington's precision darts, not Henne's big arm. If the Dolphins finally land that No. 1 receiver they've been trying to find for months -- but have refused to overpay for -- then the offense will open up.

"Quite honestly, they've got a young quarterback in Henne that slings it around," Marino said. "At the same time, his aggressiveness and how he throws the ball ... Sometimes he throws it a little hard, and sometimes he takes some chances. That's what put him in the hole against Tennessee. But that same style got them back to give his team a chance to win the game."