Thursday, April 15, 2010

Brian Hartline : An ideal complement to Brandon Marshall

By Omar Kelly

April 15th, 2010

I’m going to present two batches of statistics for the Miami Dolphins fan base, and the world to dissect.

Before I tell everyone the names, and the breakdowns of who these individuals are, or what offense they work in, just look at the numbers.

Individual No. 1: 45 receptions, 680 yards, 15.1 yards per catch, four touchdowns in 15 starts (with two different teams).


Individual No. 2: 31 receptions, 506 yards, 16.3 yards per catch, and four touchdowns (one rushing) in a season where he started just two games.

Drum roll please…..

The first receiver is New York Jets wide out Braylon Edwards, a talented but still unpolished fifth-year veteran, who is becoming fairly expensive, and has a little bit of diva in him.

The second receiver is Miami Dolphins receiver Brian Hartline, a smart and savvy youngster from Ohio State, who is coming off an impressive rookie season where he split time with four other receivers.

Hartline works fairly cheap (base salary is less than $400,000 in 2010), doesn’t have much of an ego (yet…it’s never too late), and it appears he has plenty of upside, especially with newly acquired “Alpha Dog” receiver Brandon Marshall lined up across from him.

If you don’t believe Hartline has the goods I encourage you to check out some of the athletic catches he made last season around the 4 minute-mark of this Dolphins highlight video, which certainly got me excited about the playmakers on the team in the post-Marshall era.

While I think Ted Ginn Jr. is the most talented athlete in the unit (behind Marshall of course), and I have the greatest amount of respect for what Greg Camarillo and Davone Bess have achieved in their brief careers, if you made me guess who lines up opposite Marshall right now…..

Hartline would be my answer.

With that said, whoever performs in practice during OTAs, minicamps, training camps, and the exhibition season, deserves the job.

But a quick, and unbiased look at Hartline’s numbers, and a sampling of his body of work in his one NFL season, sure does hint that he might have the goods.

I’d say the Dolphins wide receiver unit isn’t looking too shabby these days.

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