Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Miami Dolphins' Brian Hartline Praised for Speed, Smarts, and Making the Big Plays

By Omar Kelly

February 11th, 2010

No offense to any of the Miami Dolphins’ other receivers, but 2009 provided plenty of evidence that Brian Hartline is the wide out with the most upside.

This entry is not meant to speak badly about Ted Ginn Jr., or disrespect the hard work Davone Bess and Greg Camarillo have done to make themselves respectable NFL players.

It’s also not meant to shame fellow rookie Patrick Turner for not developing as quickly as Hartline.

This blog entry is meant to point out that this rookie out of Ohio State stood out from the pack, which is a good sign for a team in need of an upgrade at the position.

Hartline, who contributed 506 receiving yards off 31 catches, produced most of the passing game’s biggest plays last season. He led the team in yards per reception (16.3), and also scored most of the passing game’s touchdowns in the red zone (four).

Last season Hartline proved he can make tough catches (only two drops), possesses enough speed to open up the deep passing game, and his coaches swear he’s the smartest player in that unit.

All those attributes likely means Hartline has the potential to do more. The potential to become a solid starter, helping the Dolphins’ anemic passing game grow while he continues to blossom.

I predict he’ll be a starter in 2010, and I’m curious to see what’s the upside?

During this unfiltered Hartline talks about the valuable experience he gained, and how it’ll benefit him next season. He said he felt he was “walking in the dark” his rookie season, but that’s no longer the case.

But what kind of improvements can we expect?

“My focus in the offseason is bigger and stronger,” said Hartline, who was selected in the fourth round. “I want to add that dynamic to my game. Being able to push guys around and not always having to run around guys all the time.”

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