Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – During Monday night’s open practice at Sun Life Stadium, fans began chanting every time quarterback Chad Henne made an errant pass. The chant was “We Want Orton,” but head coach Tony Sparano had a message to send back to fans Wednesday.
“It makes me sick,” Sparano told reporters after being asked about the fans’ chant.
Sparano’s beef was that admission was free and the practice was scheduled as a goodwill gesture after the more than four-month long NFL lockout.
“I’m not worried about how it affects anybody. We’re all big boys here, OK,” Sparano said. “I’m just talking about taking my team to the stadium, OK, in one of those situations and the reason why we did it, OK, and then to see that happen – it’s just disappointing to me.”
Henne has been at the center of a quarterback controversy since week 10 of the 2010 season. That’s when the Dolphins decided to bench Henne in favor of Chad Pennington. Since then, Fins fans have been clamoring for a new quarterback.
At the beginning of the free agent frenzy last week, the Dolphins were in trade talks with the Denver Broncos to acquire quarterback Kyle Orton. Denver’s price for Orton as far as draft picks and Orton’s desire for a new contract curbed the Dolphins’ interest.
But the fans of the Dolphins, who have been waiting for a quarterback of the future for more than a decade, latched onto Orton because his stats were better than Henne’s. However, Henne and Orton were essentially the same quarterbacks against their division and common opponents in 2010.
Part of the problem Henne is dealing with at the start of training camp is he’s finally getting on the field with a brand new offense. New offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is installing a more quarterback friendly offense this season, but the entire team is trying to learn new terms, roles, blocking assignments and more.
It’s Henne’s second offense in his second season as a starter, which can be trouble for any quarterback this early in his career.