“I’m sure that I’m hoping, as is everyone else, that he (Henne) goes down as the greatest quarterback in Miami Dolphins history –- and you know what that will mean.” – Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross
We’ve all heard last month’s bold words from our excitable Owner. The outcry was immediate. “How dare Stephen Ross compare a newcomer like Chad Henne to Danny Marino?”
The Bottlenose has no problem whatsoever with Ross’ confidence in Henne. Chad has shown us plenty to be jazzed about, all the throws, a knack for the big play, all showcased without much of a receiving corps around him.
Henne could indeed be a superstar. The 49ers had Joe Montana. That didn’t mean they didn’t deserve Steve Young to show up in the Bay Area. The Packers seem to have another gunslinger in place, though Favre is the stuff of legend. Lightning does strike twice, and could be striking right now down in SoFlo.
Ross’ words struck us in a different way. He wasn’t talking about Henne compiling better numbers than Dan. He wasn’t saying that Chad’s going to engineer more 4th quarter comebacks. No, Stephen Ross was talking about three words: The Super Bowl.
We’re not buying it, Stephen. Now don’t get us wrong. We live for the fateful night when the Dolphins once again hoist the Lombardi. But on this day you were speaking the same language as those Elway disciples, who point to the Denver great’s rings faster than you can say “Mecklenberg”.
Long story short, Marino never had much of a defense, and there wasn’t a gifted running back within 500 miles of Dade County during his many years under center. Every time Dan stepped to the line defenses knew all they had to guard against was the pass. That they still couldn’t stop him is a testament to Marino’s unbelievable gifts.
With the blessing of the Pigskin Gods, Henne will indeed deliver a title to South Florida. The Bottlenose will sob with joy on that day. But will that somehow make him better than Marino? Was Dan a lesser quarterback because Terrell Davis didn’t ride into Davie like a knight in shining armor and carry the team to a pair of titles? Of course not.
It will be impossible for anyone to ever trounce Dan Marino’s lifetime stats, Henne included. Dan’s career numbers are dumbfounding. But Henne’s got a shot at winning the big one that eluded Dan for all those years. A stud WR, talent at RB, a young defense on the rise. The stars could be aligning for Chad.
On that joyous evening, as we celebrate the championship we’ve waited so long for, Henne will most likely deserve a lot of the credit. He may pass for 500 yards and 6 TDs. He may be putting the cherry on top of an incredible season. He may even win a few rings, and put up Hall of Fame numbers. This would certainly make him a Dolphin legend.
But if someone, someday, decides to deem Henne “the greatest quarterback in Miami Dolphins history”, they will either be forgetting Dan Marino’s legacy, or putting a hell of a lot of stock in Super Bowl rings, currently worn with pride by Jeff Hostetler, Brad Johnson, and Trent Dilfer.
Sorry, Mr. Ross, but neither would be fair to Dan, who gave us his all for so long.