Dan Henning likely on his way out in Miami

December, 21, 2010
12/21/10
10:53
AM ET
Much to his fan base's dismay, Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano delivered a sparkling testimonial for offensive coordinator Dan Henning on Monday.

It was the kind of approval you'd expect to see on a dust jacket or DVD cover.

"I think that Dan Henning -- for Tony Sparano -- has been tremendous, and I think that the guy has done a wonderful job here," Sparano said. "I would tell you that -- for Tony Sparano -- Dan Henning's been tremendous."

And you should buy a Dan Henning, too. Take it from me, Tony Sparano.

Sparano's comments evoke the image of Fred McGriff pointing at me while talking up Tom Emanski videos.

Miami Herald reporter Jeff Darlington writes Sparano likely was being respectful when talking about Henning because unnamed sources around the Dolphins understand Henning will retire after this season.

With that in mind, Sparano has no reason to speak ill of him. Sparano's comments should provide no indication whether Henning would be back -- not only because of the retirement rumors, but also because there are no guarantees Sparano will be back either.

The Dolphins have regressed in each of Sparano's three seasons. They won the 2008 AFC East title in the regular-season finale, still were alive for a playoff berth entering last year's finale and were eliminated from the postseason race with two games left this season.

Miami's offense is the main reason for their problems.

Henning, who turned 68 in June, sat out the 2007 season and was believed to be retired when he joined the Dolphins to help out old friend Bill Parcells.

For the past three years, Henning has overseen a fascinating offense that set an NFL trend with the Wildcat. But quarterbacks coach David Lee conjured up the idea to get Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams on the field together to compensate for a marginal passing game.

The Dolphins have struggled on offense all year. They added star receiver Brandon Marshall to a group that had proved it could grind out yardage, but neither the run nor the pass game evolved.

The Dolphins enter Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions ranked 22nd in total offense, 21st in run offense and 17th in pass offense.

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