Chad Henne Says Quarterbacks Need to Protect Their Receivers at All Costs

October 22, 2010 – 10:45 am by timgunter

Heading into the season I wasn’t quite sure at how Chad Henne was going to do, but apart from his three-interception game in week four, he has looked very good this season.  He has forged a great relationship with Brandon Marshall and has played a part in making Davone Bess one of the best slot receivers in the game.  Henne has thrown a touchdown pass in each of his last three games and is looking to do the same this Sunday in Miami against the vaunted Pittsburgh Steelers.  The Steelers lead the NFL in rushing defense and the Dolphins love to run the ball with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams behind their huge offensive line.  Miami isn’t going to back down and they will try to establish the run so they can setup the pass.  If the Steelers are stuffing the run, Henne will need to get something going in the passing game because he will have to win the game for them.

Chad Henne joined ESPN Radio with Scott Van Pelt to talk about how much pressure is on them to win each week knowing that the rest of the division doesn’t lose many games, what the reaction has been from their defensive players regarding the NFL’s crackdown on violent hits, and whether being careful of leading his receivers into the middle of the field is always in the back of his mind.

Whether it is harder to let go of a big win or a big loss:

“Its definitely harder to get rid of the big loss because it lingers in your mouth and you have that bad taste the whole week and you just want to get back onto the field and perform well and come out with another win to get that taste and that losing thought out of your mind.”

What it is like to watch a team like Pittsburgh on film, particularly Troy Polamalu:

“I think they are running their scheme really well and with Polamalu you’ve got to be aware of where he is at.  The biggest thing is protection, the guys up front, their front seven is very good apply pressure on the quarterback and also they are great in the run.  They’re number one in the run game so we are going to try to run the ball and protect me at all costs.”

Whether he would like the opportunity to throw the football a little more than usual:

“Well I think it is all in our gameplan and what Coach Henning is trying to get accomplished in that game and what are trying to look at.  If they give us 1-on-1 coverage obviously we are going to try to get the ball to our playmakers and make plays out there.”

How much pressure is on them to win each week knowing that the rest of the division doesn’t lose many games:

“It is tough.  Our division is really tough and we have to take each week very importantly because even in our division we have got to try and get as many wins as we can in the non-league games, even when we’ve got the big matchups we have got to try and at least win some of those games to put ourselves a chance to get into the playoffs, but it is a tough division and we just enjoy it and we are trying to get in the mix and try to get up to the top.”

What the reaction has been from their defensive players regarding the NFL’s crackdown on violent hits:

“Yeah it is really tough for those defensive guys because half the time they are not meaning to create the head-to-head helmet hits and create the concussions but it is the name of the game and it is a physical game… but sometimes you have got to look at it on the offensive side of the ball whether the quarterbacks are putting the balls into the right places or leading them into coverage, you know the receiver reading zone to man, but everything I think the defenses just need to play as they are and obviously stay away from the head but just try to keep making the plays and play their game.”

Whether being careful of leading his receivers into the middle of the field is always in the back of his mind:

“Sure as a quarterback you don’t want your big playmakers, obviously, getting hurt out there and you have got to protect them at all costs and that is really your eyes as a quarterback looking off people and trying to get the ball in there is beneficial but if its tight, look at other places and try to check the ball down and move the ball.”

Whether he thinks the NFL’s crackdown can be an advantage to offensive players due to the defensive players being cautious:

“Yeah there could be.  I know our defense isn’t going to be pulling back.  I’m sure there are other defenses out there like that.  It is tough with these rules but we have got to adjust and we will see what happens with it.”

Chad Henne on ESPN Radio with Scott Van Pelt

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