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With Chad Pennington, Chad Henne out, Dolphins move on with Tyler Thigpen and Wildcat

By Cindy Boren

With only four days between their games this week, the Miami Dolphins have faced a compression of time that has forced them to fast-forward through the stages of loss and grief. Only Sunday they lost two quarterbacks, Chad Pennington (for the season, possibly for his career) and Chad Henne. Their left tackle, Jake Long, suffered a shoulder injury that most likely will require surgery and center Joe Berger hurt his knee.

Which means that, on Thursday night, Tyler Thigpen and a patchwork line featuring an ailing Long will host the Chicago Bears, who aren't taking the Dolphins lightly.

"We can't control injuries," linebacker Channing Crowder said. "But we can jump back up and knock the hell out of somebody."

That's the spirit. It also means: Cue Ronnie Brown and the Wildcat!

Brown and the Dolphins ran it successfully Sunday. But it isn't an every-play option.

Two new QBs (former Redskins vet Patrick Ramsey and former Bronco Tom Brandstater) are on the premises, but the starter will be Thigpen, who finished the Dolphins' victory over Tennessee on Sunday. If backup center Cory Procter starts (Berger has not practiced), at least there'll be some familiarity with Thigpen, who's making his 12th career start (all 11 came with the Chiefs). As backups, they're used to practicing together.

"Those guys have been taking a lot of snaps together," Coach Tony Sparano said. "The butt that the hands have been under is the same. Familiar butt."

BACK TO THE WILDCAT

Popular, but ... : Year 2 of the Wildcat

Losing its mojo: Overall popularity waning

By Cindy Boren  | November 17, 2010; 8:03 AM ET
Categories:  NFL  
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Comments

The Dolphins are a young team. This is a moment of supreme adversity. They will rise to the occasion. Young players pressed into service have the chance to make their mark. The remaining experienced players - Dansby and Marshall, Crowder and Williams and Brown - need to be vocal and to encourage players to go out there and play smashmouth Dolphins football, to make the extra effort to make the plays - and younger players will as well emerge as leaders. Personally I have great confidence that the Dolphins will rise to the occasion and raise their level of play long term as a result. Football is not just about individual great players, it is about the team and even more than that it is about Will.

Posted by: student1776 | November 17, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

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