After throwing the game's final interception on a mishap that occurred when his intended wide receiver slipped on a route, Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne was met on the sideline Sunday by an unpleasant earful from teammate Brandon Marshall.
This type of sideline exchange is nothing new. It is a scenario that has played out often enough this season for most to chalk it up as the expected emotion from Miami's energetic star. Unfortunately, it's not all that simple.
Henne is trying to walk a fine line lately between following the coach's orders and trying to fulfill his wide receiver's very vocal desires.
``You do what your coaches tell you,'' Henne said. ``Sometimes, [Marshall] might be right. But sometimes, he's completely wrong. If I make that decision and follow what he says, and it's a mistake, who's fault is it? I take all the blame, and I'm OK with that.''
``I don't think [the relationship] is ruined,'' Henne said when asked about their differences. ``I just deal with it. It is what it is. As long as he shows up on Sundays and does his job, we're good.''
It is the interaction on Sundays, though, that might be the biggest issue between them.
Henne isn't the type of person to get his feelings hurt by such words. But when his responsibilities and assignments during a game directly clash with the desires of his wide receiver, the situation gets a bit hairy.
Essentially, Marshall has so much to say -- sometimes when he's right, sometimes when he's wrong -- that it ends up having an opposite, unintended impact. Keep in mind, Marshall still has caught 81 passes in 13 games.
``He can yell at me all he wants, and I'll still just give him a straight face,'' Henne said. ``I take in what he's saying. But for me to jump out and react, we're not getting anywhere. I take it in. I fix what I have to fix. And I try to be the best player I can be.''
Coach Tony Sparano said he has at times spoken to Henne about occasionally taking a risky shot for Marshall, as Marshall suggested he do more often. But the message, more often than not, still is to resist throwing interceptions at all costs.
So perhaps Marshall might actually have a point, which is the reason Henne is in a tough spot. That's why it also stands to wonder whether some shuffling to the offensive coaching staff this offseason, which is expected, could help alleviate some of the growing tension between the two.
Wide receivers coach Karl Dorrell, for instance, could end up being the perfect candidate to fuse these players together, if he's put in a position to handle more responsibilities on offense. Dorrell's personality and creativity fits both players.
Following the final interception last Sunday, which Sparano said wasn't Henne's fault, backup quarterback Tyler Thigpen attempted to get in between Henne and Marshall to calm Marshall down.
Marshall turned to Thigpen and ordered him to go back to the bench and sit down. Perhaps it wasn't the best response (Marshall apologized to Thigpen), but the point was made: This is mostly between Henne and Marshall.
``I see it getting better,'' Sparano said. ``I've never seen that kind of relationship not get better if you work at it in the offseason. But all parties have to be willing to do that.''
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/01/01/1 ... z19oK4Q18C