No QB controversy, but Miami DBs on hot seat


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins coach Tony Sparano stiff-armed the notion of a quarterback controversy, again declaring Chad Pennington will remain the starter.

Miami's secondary didn't receive a similar stamp of approval at Sparano's morning-after news conference.

The defensive backs looked like burnt matches after Sunday's demoralizing 31-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in University of Phoenix Stadium.

On only 24 attempts, Kurt Warner threw for 361 yards and three touchdowns, all of them to Anquan Boldin by the end of the third quarter. The Cardinals averaged a spectacular 13 yards per pass play. The NFL average through Sunday's games was 6 yards per attempt.

Sparano was asked if changes could be coming in the secondary for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots, who feature all-world WR Randy Moss and last year's NFL receptions leader, Wes Welker.

Sparano said he was reserving his decision for a calmer time. He didn't go home or sleep Sunday night after the Dolphins' plane touched down at 2 a.m. He instead went straight to the Dolphins facility and watched the game film three times.

"When I got out of there, what I didn't want to do was overreact or panic or make one of those kinds of moves," Sparano said. "I'm going to sit. I'm going to evaluate it right now. We don't practice until Wednesday, and I'm going to see where we are."

As for Henne's appearance with 9:42 left in the game, Sparano said it was because the game was out of hand and he wanted the second-round pick to get some experience. Henne completed seven of his 12 attempts for 67 yards.

"We had to use that opportunity to get Chad [Henne] out there," Sparano said. "I see that happening. Hopefully it's with us winning by a bunch, and we can put Chad out there and let Chad play.

"But Chad Pennington will be the quarterback."