The Sports Daily > Phins Phocus
Dolphins Bench Henne for Pennington

Apparently the Dolphins have had quite the eventful day based on the fact my phone has been blowing up all morning. I was in class and couldn’t get the blog until now, but the 2010 Miami Dolphins just underwent quite the shakeup.

It started with news of the Dolphins signing veteran cornerback Al Harris, who was released by the Packers on Monday, and waiving former first-round pick Jason Allen, who was just recently replaced by Sean Smith in the starting lineup.

Harris hasn’t played a snap since tearing three ligaments in his knee last November. At the age of 35, Harris is clearly on the tail end of his career, but could still be serviceable in a mentoring role for Miami’s young corner tandem. Harris has picked off 21 passes in 12 seasons, and was just recently selected to the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2008, so maybe he still has something left in the tank if he can just get back to 100%.

As for Jason Allen, this is a tough, abrupt way to end what has been his best year by far as a pro. He will now offically go down as a bust for his time spent in Miami, but you have to admire the way he battled back this season by making some key plays in some big wins early on. At the end of the day, though, he’s just not starting material and it’s obvious Sean Smith is going to concede far less completions even if he doesn’t have the same knack for picking off passes.

Moving on to the much bigger story of the day, Chad Pennington will get the start at quarterback against the Titans.

“They both have strengths, and certainly weaknesses,” Tony Sparano said. “At this particular time, my decision is Chad Pennington’s strengths might be suited a little bit more for where we need to be.”

 Personally, I am very indifferent about this switch. On one hand, it’s almost a guarantee that Pennington will make far fewer mistakes and will likely do enough to keep the Dolphins in most games. On the other hand, though, this offense’s ceiling is much higher with a prototypical quarterback like Chad Henne under center.

Not to mention the fact that this likely means the Dolphins are now back on the lookout for their long-term solution at the game’s most important position. Sparano did mention that this wasn’t “an indictment on (Henne’s) future,” but if he truly believed he was still capable of becoming a franchise quarterback it doesn’t make much sense to pull him mid-season.

But if Sparano believes Pennington gives this team the best chance to make a second-half run and earn a playoff spot, how can you really argue with this decision? The future is important when you have a young team like the Dolphins do, but when your good enough to win now, that has to be your primary goal.

Check back later tonight, as we evaluate Pennington’s impact on the offense.