Commentary

Chad Henne, Brandon Marshall bond

Originally Published: August 12, 2010
By Adam Schefter | ESPN.com

DAVIE, Fla. -- Until April, wide receiver Brandon Marshall and quarterback Chad Henne had never met, never spoken and never had any reason for interaction. Now, and for years to come, they will have plenty.

They are the faces and foundation of the Dolphins, now and indefinitely.

The two men are as different as the way they signed the ESPN training camp tour bus Thursday. When Marshall stepped on the ladder to sign the Dolphins' team logo sticker, he wrote, "South Beach Beast."

Almost immediately, Henne said, "I'm not a beast," and then he stepped on the ladder to autograph the sticker with a phrase befitting the quarterback. Henne wrote, "I'm going to play for the team."

These two players are key components of this team and its fortunes this season in the ultra-tough AFC East. The Dolphins know Marshall is a star and they are firmly convinced Henne will be one as well. Marshall has been what they thought he would be, and Henne has grown as a quarterback and leader, picking up subtle offensive nuances that he didn't grasp his first two seasons.

Each appears genuinely impressed with the other. Marshall raved about Henne's accuracy and how he can place footballs where few can.

Henne praised Marshall for being able to pluck footballs out of midair that few other wide receivers can.

There seems to be a mutual respect and mutual admiration as the relationship continues to grow.

The Dolphins want them to connect as much on the field as off the field.

Other observations from Dolphins camp:

• Not only will Marshall help Henne and running backs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, but his presence also will benefit Miami tight end Anthony Fasano. Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said that last season there was little room to throw to his tight ends.

•  As loud as fans screamed for the Dolphins to acquire another wide receiver, Davone Bess still has caught 130 passes the past two seasons, more than any Miami wide receiver in his first two seasons. Bess remains a legitimate threat in this offense and Marshall's presence should help him as well.

• There's no more Jason Taylor, no more Joey Porter and no more Jason Ferguson. Youth has invaded Miami's defense, and it is now counting on second-round pick Koa Misi, former CFL standout Cameron Wake and converted defensive end Randy Starks to take their place. It's still a little early to say how the trio will fare, but it's not too early to say these players are tough -- right in the Bill Parcells/Jeff Ireland/Sparano mold.

• Even though linebacker Karlos Dansby generated little interest on the free-agent market outside of Miami, the Dolphins are more than pleased with their investment. They believe Dansby will deliver on what he was paid to do.

•  Smart money is on Joe Berger to win the Dolphins' starting center job. The team likes his toughness.

•  Injuries come, time passes, players come and go, and the Dolphins' backfield stays the same. Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown. Same as it ever was.

•  Quote of the day came from Sparano, when asked whether he watched the debut of HBO's "Hard Knocks": "I got to be real honest with you, OK, and this is as light as I can be. At this time of year, I really don't have any time for any kind of TV other than watching film of my team. So no."

Adam Schefter is an ESPN NFL Insider.