Quarterback to the Future

Two first year starters prepare for the bright lights of Monday Night Football

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Marino vs. O’Brien. Marino vs. Boomer. Pennington vs...well, Pennington.

    Henne vs. Sanchez?

    Looking into our crystal ball, that’s the vision we get for the next decade or so in the bitter Dolphins-Jets rivalry.

    The quarterbacks of the future for both franchises will get their first taste of the hatred between the teal and the green tonight in primetime. But at least Chad Henne won’t have Channing Crowder cussing him out for four quarters, unless he tosses a few interceptions.

    Tonight’s matchup on Monday Night Football can’t help but make Dol’fans reminisce on past games when the two teams would meet twice a year for a football game and a shoot out would pop off, sometimes literally.

    And the rivalry has always provided memorable moments.

    Dan Marino introduced the league to the spike play and simultaneously ripped the hearts out of the Jets in 1995. How about when some fat guy named Jumbo caught a pass for the Jets to cap a huge comeback on Monday Night Football in 2000 (we’re still not over that one).

    Tonight marks another milestone of sorts. Two first-year starters will lead their teams into battle.

    The Henne-Sanchez match up was supposed to come some time next season, but a fragile shoulder pressed fast forward on the Dolphins season and sped up Henne’s growth spurt.

    Henne has looked OK at times during his six quarters under center. In his first start last week, he wasn’t asked to do too much during a beat down of the Buffalo Bills. Just hand the ball off or step off the field when Ronnie Brown is running the Wildcat.

    Henne will have to do more than that tonight

    The Jets will blitz and blitz and blitz some more, leaving one-on-one coverage on the outside for Ted Ginn Jr. and Davone Bess.

    Mark Sanchez has been a ball manager for the Jets as well, despite all the Broadway hype around him. Four touchdowns to five picks isn’t exactly lighting the league on fire, but his team is 3-1. And he gets to break in his new toy in wide receiver Braylon Edwards.

    Sanchez and Henne probably won’t hate each other, but they should. After all, Henne played in the Big Ten for Michigan and Sanchez was the rage at USC in the Pac 10. But they are both nice guys. Good kids.

    So what landmark moment can we expect tonight in Land Shark Stadium to add to the annals of Dolphins-Jets?

    Probably none - unless Crowder hugs Sanchez after the game.