Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Chad Henne: Year-by-Year

The popular notion is that junior QB Chad Henne suffered a sophmore slump last season and that he needs to bounce back in 2006. However, a comparison of his statistics from his first two seasons as U of M's signal caller reveals that Chad's performance in his sophmore season rivaled if not equaled that of his freshman season. Although the Wolverines as a whole did much better in 2004 (9-3 overall, Big Ten co-Champs, trip to the Rose Bowl) than they did in 2005 (7-5 overall, 3rd place tie in Big Ten, trip to the Alamo Bowl), Henne's performance was rather consistent during the two seasons. Just take a look:

  • 2004: 240/399 60.2% 2,743 yds. 25 tds. 12 int.
  • 2005: 223/382 58.4% 2,526 yds. 23 tds. 8 int.

Henne's Passer Efficiency Rating was 132.6 in 2004 while it was a very similar 129.6 in 2005. Thus, I do not believe the hype that Henne suffered a "sophmore slump" and, consequently, I do not believe he has anything from which he has to "bounce back." I do believe that Henne can have a break-out year in 2006 if Mike Hart can stay healthy and establish the running game.

My prediction is that with the help of new Offensive Coordinator Mike DeBord that Henne will set a new single-season record for touchdown passes with thirty. The current record is 25 which he co-holds with Elvis Grbac (1991). It should be noted that although Chad is starting only his 3rd season, that he is only 24 touchdown passes away from tying the career record for touchdown passes (72) by a Michigan player which is currently held by John Navarre. In fact, Henne will own most, if not all, the major passing records at U of M by the time he is finished.

Henne has been consistently very good during his first two seasons but I think he is poised for greatness this season. Let's just hope he can stay healthy and the receiving corps can catch what he is throwing their way. Go Blue!



At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yet, 25 percent of Michigan fans will be calling from him to be benched by week 4.

At 10:32 PM, Blogger mzgoblue said...

Very astute post. For that 25% of the fan base, the Wolverines "best" player each year is whoever is the back-up quarterback.

At 10:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

See here's the problem I have with your logic. You expect a guy to get better from freshman to sophomore year, not worse.

Now you can argue that his receiving core wasn't as good and he threw less picks, but still, his numbers should improve.

He's not a NFL veteran five years into his career. He is a college QB, who should make great strides from freshman to sophomore year and so on. If his numbers stay the same for the next two years (if he stays) we will say he was a solid Michigan QB. But then to me he's just John Navarre II. And last time I checked, Navarre didn't win any championships.

At 1:52 PM, Blogger mzgoblue said...

My logic, and I use that term loosely, is that Henne was still able to deliver the same type of performance in his sophmore season even though the play of the team as a whole deteriorated. I agree that you don't want to see a player hit a plateau but I don't think that has happened with Henne. As I said in my post, I think this will be his break-out year. He may have been able to put up bigger numbers last year were it not for the fact that the running game deserted him. The fact that he was able to match his freshman season numbers while the rest of the team struggled is a testament to Henne's ability. Now that he will be in his 3rd season and he has a new offensive coordinator, I think his numbers will rise dramatically. Or at least that is the hope. Go Blue!

At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plus... it's hard to drastically improve on very solid freshman numbers to begin with.....


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home