Chad Henne was supposed to be the Miami Dolphins savior. The former Wolverine, whose pedigree was as strong as, if not stronger than, Tom Brady's coming out of college, had all the tools and clichés (strong arm, pro-style offense experience, winning mentality) to bring a once-proud franchise back to prominence. But instead of leading the Fish to the promised land, he checked down. And then he checked down again. And again -- always passing to running backs, tight ends, and even wide receivers who were in no position to gain yardage or inflict any kind of damage to opposing defenses. Yeah, the past two years have seen an awful lot of Checkdown Chad. And Fins fans have had enough. They started their booing and pleas for change in the team's second practice. Not second game. Second practice. And even though Henne's practices have improved since then, when the Dolphins open their home preseason schedule against the Carolina Panthers Friday, they'll be quick to boo him and call for the hook as soon as they see another checkdown. On the bright side, Fins fans will see a quarterback with huge promise, or at least hype, when last year's Heisman winner and Panthers' savior du jour Cam Newton gets under center for some of his first snaps in the NFL. The league's sixth stingiest defense should have a nice welcome for Cam. The Dolphins hope to have more success at Sun Life Stadium this year than last (home record, 2-6).
Fri., Aug. 19, 7:30 p.m., 2011