Behind Enemy Lines: Bills/Fins Part I

The BFR asked Dolphins Digest's Alain Poupart an eight-pack of questions. Here are the first four...

BFR: How is Chad Henne holding up as Miami's starting quarterback?

Alain Poupart: Overall, I'd say Henne has been pretty impressive. He's not putting up huge numbers, but that's almost impossible to do in an offense that feature a stud running back like Ricky Williams and a receiving corps lacking a proven commodity. That said, Henne has demonstrated great intangibles (leadership. poise, the ability to bounce back after a big mistake) and he's also made his share of big-time throws. At this point, the Dolphins have every reason to believe they're now set at quarterback for the next several years.

BFR: Ronnie Brown is on injured reserve, but the offense hasn't missed a beat with Ricky Williams. How has Williams been able to resurrect his career?

Poupart: The thing with Williams is he's always been a good running back whenever he's been in the lineup. Maybe he's in better shape than he's ever been in his life because he takes care of his body like few other players do. Coach Tony Sparano, in fact, joked last week that at certain functions he has to have "Ricky Williams food" available because he doesn't eat meat. Another thing about Williams is his work ethic always has drawn praise from his coaches and teammates. So his production, while a great story, isn't that shocking to those who follow the Dolphins on a regular basis.

BFR: How much is the lack of a premier downfield threat hurting the offense?

Poupart: How about a lot. The running game is good enough that the Dolphins are 5-5 at this point after an 0-3 start, but there's no question that more pressure is put on the running game -- and the Wildcat -- because defenses don't really have to fear anyone deep on a consistent basis. Sure, Ted Ginn Jr. had a long touchdown catch in the first game against the Jets, but his hands aren't good enough to make him a reliable weapon and nobody else in the receiving corps has deep speed.

BFR: Ted Ginn Jr. is averaging an absurd 30 yards per runback. What makes him so special in the return game?

Poupart: This is where averages can get tricky because I'm not sure anyone in the South Florida media would call Ginn an elite returner. He just had that one game for the ages, and ironically it came at the end of a week where he was crucified in the media for dropping passes. What Ginn does have that allows him to be dangerous as a returner is tremendous straight-ahead speed. He can outrun defenders around the corner very easily, but the truth is he doesn't make many people miss any other way and he'll also head for the sideline the first chance he gets.

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