New Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Brian Daboll mentioned just three of his new players by name during Wednesday’s news conference.
He enthusiastically mentioned Brandon Marshall twice — unsolicited. He mentioned Davone Bess a couple of times, too, as he spoke of taking advantage of mismatches and attacking opponents’ weaknesses while maximizing whatever strengths the Dolphins have on offense.
Daboll made no mention of any running backs, so don’t get your hopes up for a Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams return.
When asked directly about Chad Henne, however, Daboll (pronounced day-bull) was a little more restrained.
“Well, Chad, yeah, he’s on our roster,” Daboll said.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the incumbent quarterback.
Mind you, Daboll, who was pretty animated throughout this trot-out opportunity, dialed things down significantly when discussing Henne.
“Again, I know here we’re going to research every available player, whether it’s draft or free agency,” he said, “but I’m excited to work with Chad. I think he has some tools that we can develop and whoever else is out there, that’s what we’ll do.”
A little earlier, Daboll had been asked about how involved he planned to be with the quarterbacks in Miami. He was, after all, the Jets’ QB coach for two seasons (2007-08).
“A lot,” he said. “I think it’s an extremely important position. He’s going to have a lot on his plate. This is a quarterback-friendly system. He’s going to be able to make a lot of different adjustments at the line of scrimmage, and I’m going to take an active role in being with him in the meetings and getting him to develop the way I think he can develop.”
During his two years in Cleveland, Daboll didn’t have a ton to work with at the quarterback spot. There’s only so much you can do with the Brady Quinns, Derek Andersons, Seneca Wallaces and aging Jake Delhommes of the world.
But Daboll definitely got some quality work out of rookie third-rounder Colt McCoy in 2010 (eight starts and a 74.5 rating). Daboll and the Dolphins may be tempted to see what he can do with a player taken 15th overall at that position, if not a veteran brought in via other means.
And whoever that new face is at the quarterback position, whoever is brought in to either replace Henne or simply compete with him, what traits will Daboll be looking for?
”I’d say accuracy,” he said. “I’d say pocket presence and I’d say his ability to lead the troops under pressure. He’s going to have to be able to be good on third down in terms of handling the pressure looks he’s going to get, beating man-to-man coverage, and he’s going to have to be accurate with the football.”
Henne was pretty much 0 for 3 in those areas last season. Question now is whether Daboll will give him a full shot to prove that was the aberration and not the success Henne had in his first year as a starter in 2009.