Why Henne is as good as Sanchez

There is a train of thought among many football historians that former New York Jets legend Joe Namath doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame.

At some level this looks like a hard case to make. Namath was the first passer to throw for more than 4,000 yards in a season and he piloted his team to maybe the most important Super Bowl win in NFL history.

That caveat being made, there is ample evidence to back the argument for Namath's exclusion. Namath led his teams to the playoffs only two times in his career, and his only playoff wins occurred during the Super Bowl run. In addition, Namath's career won/loss record was below .500 (62-63-4) and his 65.5 career passing rating mark was a middle-of-the-road total for his era.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with this premise, one thing does seem clear: If Namath had played in any city other than New York, the odds that his achievements would have led to a Hall of Fame nomination would have been severely diminished.

That same type of pro-New York influence lives on today. For proof, one needs to look no further than a comparison of Mark Sanchez and Chad Henne.

These two share many similarities (successful college careers, two-year starters for an AFC East team) but the perceptions of where they are at this point are markedly different.

Sanchez is seen as having a very bright future (Rex Ryan used the word "extraordinary" in his autobiography to describe Sanchez's prospects in the NFL), while Henne has battled recurring rumors that the Dolphins are considering bringing in youngsters and veterans to challenge him for the Miami starting quarterback spot.

The odd thing about this is that there are many reasons to think these two have made an equal amount of progression in their two seasons behind center.