Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 12/12/12
DAVIE, Fla. -- Chad Henne understands what it means to be the Miami Dolphins quarterback of the future. Unfair comparisons to former Dolphins great and NFL Hall of Famer Dan Marino. Lack of patience by fans. Positioned front and center under the media microscope. Henne knows the South Florida deal because he played the role right before Miami's current quarterback, rookie Ryan Tannehill. "They gave me every opportunity," Henne said of the Dolphins Wednesday. "They drafted me there, and I appreciate that. Things sometimes don't work out and you move on. I definitely felt I had my fair share (of chances) and appreciate the opportunity down there." Henne will have another opportunity in Miami on Sunday, when the Jacksonville Jaguars meet the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Signed in March to back up and mentor Jaguars second-year QB Blaine Gabbert, Henne became Jacksonville's starter after Gabbert was injured during an overtime loss at Houston on Nov. 18. "I don't know about motivation, but obviously I think once it comes towards game day, it'll be a little more excitement and everything," Henne said of facing Miami. "But other than that, I'm gonna prepare like every other week and go into it like it's a regular game." Yeah, right. Henne will be facing the only other pro team for which he has played. He still has a home in South Florida. It will not be "a regular game." Drafted by Miami in the 2008 second round, Henne backed up Chad Pennington before replacing the injured starter in '09 Week 3. Henne started most of the '09 and '10 seasons, which included more downs than ups. He then started the first four games last year before suffering a separated left shoulder against San Diego on Oct. 2. Facing surgery, he was placed on injured reserve and missed the rest of the season. "Obviously, you want to win more games. Whether I would have, should have... I really wouldn't have changed anything," Henne said of his time with Miami. "There's a big learning experience that I had there. I enjoyed my teammates. I enjoyed being part of the community down there. So, I just saw it as an experience and build upon it." The Dolphins opted not to re-sign Henne, who became a free agent. After talking with the Seattle Seahawks and New York Jets -- where former Dolphins coach Tony Sparano was offensive coordinator -- he signed with Jacksonville. "I felt very comfortable with Coach (Mike) Mularkey and the team, and where this team is going," Henne said. He apparently was fooled about where Jacksonville was headed. While the Seahawks and Jets are fighting for playoff spots, the Jaguars (2-11) are tied with Kansas City for the league's worst record. But from a personal standpoint, Henne is on the field instead of standing on the sideline. He has completed 94 of 182 passes (51.6 percent) for 1,217 yards with 8 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. His 76.2 QB Rating is slighting better than Tannehill's 72.5. "I interviewed Chad coming out of Michigan when we did the quarterback tour with Matt Ryan and (Joe) Flacco and Chad," said Mularkey, the Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator in '08. "I felt then he was very good leader from watching him and interviewing him. That hasn't been a surprise." Miami's No. 2 quarterback Matt Moore backed up Henne last year and took over when the former Michigan star got hurt. "When your time runs out at one place, you're hoping for a fresh start at another place," Moore said. "He seems to fit in well, everything I've seen and heard. He's getting the opportunity to play. He's probably out to prove to a lot of people he can play." Henne said he was more concerned this week about the Dolphins' front seven and pass rush than seeking any retribution. With Jacksonville likely facing organizational upheaval after such a dismal season, Henne's future again seems uncertain. "I'm just worried about the present. Worrying about this game and what I can do to help win this game," Henne said. "I just want play out this season the best I can and show the coaches in this organization I can be their future or their starting quarterback." Did he have any advice for the Dolphins' current quarterback of the future? "Do what you're coached to do and keep improving every week," Henne said. "As the quarterback you want to keep that arrow going up at all times and as a rookie you're going to go through some struggles. "I think he's done a great job for what he's been given. I think he's handled it well, I think he's handled the media well. So, I just wish him the best and hopefully he keeps improving."
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