Ex-Michigan quarterback Chad Henne pushes teammates, noting, 'I want to be in Miami'
Henne and the Dolphins are coming off a bumpy season in which Henne passed for 3,301 yards, 15 touchdowns and 19 interceptions and heard boos as the Dolphins went 7-9 and missed the playoffs.
The bond Henne and Long first forged at Michigan is paying off now they both said last week while in Ann Arbor for the annual Griese/Hutchinson/Woodson Champions for Children’s Hearts fundraiser for C.S. Mott Hospital.
“We work well together and can get through to teammates and try to organize these things, because we want to win games," Long said. "We’re going to do anything we can to win."
Though Long -- the No. 1 overall pick by the Dolphins in the 2008 NFL Draft and two-time Pro Bowl selection -- has been a staple in Miami's offense while Henne -- taken in the second round (57th overall) -- has had to battle to keep his position, it’s Henne who is at the forefront of the non-mandatory workouts.
“Chad’s a great leader, and I was blessed to be able to come down here with him and have a friend when I first got drafted,” Long said. “He’s taken on that leadership role.”
“I think the biggest thing when Jake and I kind of got the guys together and tried to bring them back was to keep the guys bonding,” Henne said.
Henne went from being pegged as the quarterback of the future to losing his starting position last season. The Dolphins did not draft a quarterback in April and -- because of the lockout -- have not been able to bring in free-agent quarterbacks.
Henne and Tyler Thigpen are the only quarterbacks on the Dolphins’ roster.
“I’m going to have to compete wherever I go, and there will always be a guy in line to take for the starting job and, hopefully, I’m that guy,” Henne said.
Henne was benched in favor of Chad Pennington after starting last season 4-4. He regained his spot when Pennington was injured, but was pulled in the final regular-season game in favor of Thigpen.
When the lockout was temporary lifted on draft weekend, Henne said he was able to meet with new Miami offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and get an idea of what will be expected of him next year.
“For me, it was more just being around the guys and trying to be a leader on the football team and showing the guys -- the coaches and teammates -- that I want to be around them and I want to be in Miami,” Henne said.