Behind Enemy Lines: Dolphins Part I

This week the Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the Miami Dolphins. Recently, Dolphindigest.com publisher Alain Poupart answered some questions about all aspects of the Dolphins going into this game. Find out Poupart's analysis of Chad Henne, Ronnie Brown, the Dolphins' receivers and the offensive line right here in "Behind Enemy Lines."

Question: Assess Chad Henne's play since he took over at quarterback for Chad Pennington. How much progress has he made since that Monday night game vs. the Jets? And what's Pennington's future in Miami now that Henne is getting his shot at the job?

Alain Poupart: As you would expect from a young quarterback, Chad Henne has had his ups and downs since taking over for Chad Pennington. That Monday night game against the Jets actually was his high point of the season so far, but any judgment about his play and his future needs to take into consideration the fact he's operating with a less-than-impressive receiving corps. As for Pennington's future in Miami, it's only logical the Dolphins want to keep marching forward with Henne unless he shows in the second half of the season he's not capable of doing the job. Aside from pocket awareness and taking too many snaps, Henne shows he has the tools to success, so the best guess is that Pennington will move on to another team where he can start while mentoring a young quarterback the way he did with Henne last year.

Question: Around the league, it seems the Wildcat formation isn't nearly as successful as it was last year. But RB Ronnie Brown continues to put together nice plays in the formation, including a passing touchdown last week. What's the secret?

Alain Poupart: The Wildcat actually was effective in Weeks 2-5, but then it hit a wall starting with the New Orleans game. Last Sunday against the Pats, the Dolphins threw in another wrinkle, and that was having Pat White run the spread option. The key with the Wildcat and the "WildPat" is creating different blocking angles and creating more space. It also helps handing the ball to a back coming in motion on those plays where Brown hands off to Ricky Williams. The pass is another element of the Wildcat, but it must be noted the touchdown pass last Sunday came on third-and-goal after Brown was stuffed twice on runs from the Wildcat.

Question: Who is the best receiver on this Dolphins team and why? I don't think there's a household name among them.

Alain Poupart: Well, the one household name is Ted Ginn Jr., but he's not even starting anymore. The truth is the Dolphins don't have one stud wide receiver. The best on the team at this time probably is Greg Camarillo, who's got dependable hands but lacks the speed to consistently get away from defenders. This clearly is the weakest position on the Dolphins -- and it's not even close for second.

Question: Anthony Fasano has been a Bill Parcells guy since they were both in Dallas. Why is it that Fasano produces in this system?

Alain Poupart: The truth is Fasano is not producing this year. He had a very good season in 2008, but he fumbled twice in the opener this year and has dropped passes on a consistent basis. Outside of Ginn, he has to rank as the biggest disappointment on the team this year. The offense is heavy on the run and short passing, and it's clearly tight end-friendly. Both Fasano and David Martin were impressive last year, but Fasano has been off this year and Martin is spending the season on IR. So that element has disappeared from the offense in 2009.

Question: Where is the offensive line at this point in the season? It seems as if the offense is up and down from week to week. How much of that is due to the offensive line's play?

Alain Poupart: Other than the game at the Meadowlands against the Jets, the offense has done pretty well -- particularly considering the personnel shortcomings in the passing game. The Dolphins have invested a lot of money in the offensive line, and for the most part it has performed very well after a dreadful opener at Atlanta. It's not the best offensive line in the league, but it probably has to rank somewhere in the top 10.


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