Henne: "I'm Definitely Excited"
QB Chad Henne
QB Chad Henne

Posted Sep 30, 2009


Chad Henne's time has come. With Chad Pennington out for the season because of his shoulder injury, Henne is now the Dolphins' starting quarterback. Four days before he's set to make his first NFL start against the Buffalo Bills, Henne spoke to the South Florida media and talked about his opportunity, what he learned from Pennington and other topics.

Here is the team-released transcript of Henne's press conference:

On how it feels to have a full week of preparation knowing he is going to start: “First of all, I am definitely excited for the opportunity that I have been given. Take it as a regular week. Things will upgrade this week being the starter and watch a little bit more film. I get the reps in practice with the first team and kind of get comfortable with it and underneath my belt.”

On if it is bittersweet getting the start at the expense of Chad Pennington being injured: “It is terrible to see that happen, especially with a person like Chad and a player like him, definitely one of our leaders on our team. To go down like that is a shame. I have been in that position, my senior year [at Michigan]. Going down with injuries is never fun, especially if it is season ending. Hopefully it will get better having the surgery and we will sure miss him this week and throughout the season.”

On if he feels more pressure since the team is 0-3 and now he is becoming the starter: “I think anytime you’re the quarterback of a team, no matter your record, there is always going to be pressure on top of you. You are judged if you win the game or not. As a quarterback, that is how it is. You take it in. Even though we are 0 – 3, we don’t feel like [we can't improve]. We hurt ourselves throughout those games. We can better ourselves and better our play. That is what we are doing. We are going to set an example this week, go out and practice well and hopefully that will carry over to the game.”

On if one of the challenges he faces is not doing too much, just being one of the 11 guys on the offense: “I think they feel confident and I feel confident in myself with knowing the playbook and knowing how to execute it. I don’t think we are going to limit anything on offense. [The coaches] are going to pick out what they feel like they can attack with Buffalo. That is all I can ask for. Whatever is in the game plan, we are going to run and execute it well.”

On how different this week has been for him: “Obviously, coming in after the game we are disappointed. Things did not go our way, but obviously when you lay down at night you think of all the mistakes and all you could have done, what you could have done to bring the team back to win. I came in here Monday; we watched the film, adjusted to that. Came in Tuesday, [with a] clean slate, preparing. I was here in the morning, staying until late afternoon just understanding the game plan and understanding the Buffalo Bills defense.”

On if he has been putting in more hours this week knowing he is the starter: “Definitely in here more hours, obviously. I was still in here on Tuesdays watching film on my own [when I was a backup]. I have the role now. Prepare more and get myself ready.”

On how prepared last week he was to go in the game: “Well, we talked about it all year. Being ready in different situations, never knowing when it was going to happen. I prepared well that week with watching film. Overall, I felt like I saw all the pictures clearly in the game. Felt that, for the most part, went all the right places with the ball. Obviously, did not make all the throws, but felt I saw everything clearly.”

On when he lies down at night how much does he give thought to being the starting quarterback: “Everything is going through your mind. You have the nerves, the excitement, the emotions that you have to prepare to be the starting quarterback. This week you are the starting quarterback. You have two take this team over, give them confidence in yourself. Show them during the week of practice that you can get it done.”

On if it is easier to know you are going to be the starter all week rather than coming into the game as a backup: “Definitely. Anytime you get all the reps during the practice. You prepare more. You prepare as the starter. You get all those reps in practice No doubt about it, you are going to be better off during the week and feel a lot more comfortable on Sunday.”

On if there was a time when he was at Michigan when he realized that he had the ability to play in the NFL: “Going to the University of Michigan, with the preparation from my quarterbacks coach and learning from him, having a good freshmen season kind of prepared me for this. That is why I went to a big school. God gave me the talent to play at that level. I took that from my freshmen year on and I just tried to carry that to the next level.”

On the most important lesson he has learned from Chad Pennington: “Chad is a man of detail, preparation, leadership. There is no better person to learn from at the quarterback position I feel, so far in my career. He has been there thick and thin. We have been there together. He is a great person and great quarterback to role model off of. That is all I am asking for, to try to role model after him and be the same for our guys.”

On if he wants Chad Pennington to be around the team: “Definitely. To have a guy around like that, to have just an extra guy with information to go to because if he is back in this building, I know he is not going to sit around and not study the game plan or not study film. To have another opinion on my side that I value greatly will definitely help.”

On how much his deep ball complements Ted Ginn’s speed: “We are just going to go after it just like any other week. If it presents itself out there, deep ball threat or they give us a coverage to attack it, we will hook up a couple of times. If it is not there, I have to be smart with the ball and realize it is covered and check the ball down. It is definitely out there and I think a lot of our receivers can go one on one with guys and get the ball out there."

On if Bill Parcells has said anything to him since the situation has changed: “No, I haven’t talked to Bill at all, but I am sure he will approach me sometime this week. We just talked to Coach Sparano, Quarterbacks Coach David Lee, and [General Manager] Jeff Ireland. Everybody is confident. I am confident in myself and I am confident in the offense that we can get it done this week.”

On what Coach Sparano said to him: “The biggest thing is just be yourself. Don’t try to be somebody out there that you are not. Don’t try to be Chad [Pennington] out there. Just go about the game like you know how to, like you have in the past. Something that is very valuable information for myself; just go out there be myself and do what I do out there.”


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