PALM BEACH GARDENS - Chad Henne isn't scared of competition, and he doesn't care if it comes from the mentor he replaced as the Miami Dolphins' starting quarterback.http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/miam ... 0734.story
In fact, put Henne down as an influential endorser, pushing for the Dolphins to re-sign Chad Pennington.
"I'd love it. I love Chad to death," Henne said when asked about Pennington possibly returning to the Dolphins. "Whatever happens, happens. I learned so much from him. If he's with us, I'll learn even more. It's a great opportunity if he comes back. We'll welcome him back."
If we want to compete I'm definitely up for the competition," said Henne, who participated in the team's Fins-Cup Pro Am golf tournament on Monday. "Anywhere you go you're going to have to compete for the job. It'd be a great one-two combo."
But Pennington's priority entering his 11th season in the NFL is to remain a starter, and it's possible teams such as St. Louis, Arizona and Jacksonville will grant him an opportunity to compete for that role if he proves his arm is up to it. The Dolphins would jump to the top of that list if they also make it an open competition.
According to a team source, the Dolphins' main hesitancy with Pennington involves "the shadow his presence would present." Pennington has "a strong command" of the team, which he led to a 11-5 record and the playoffs in 2008, and it could create a locker room divide if Henne struggles.
However, they also know Pennington's leadership, experience, and intellect are all intangibles that would be beneficial to the team and Henne. Especially considering the front office identified a leadership void as one of the reasons the season ended with a disappointing three-game losing streak.
Henne, a four-year starter and team captain at Michigan, admits one of his goals is to become a better leader. His first step was successfully lobbying some of his teammates to begin their offseason conditioning program on Monday, a few weeks early.