Miami Dolphins fourth-year wide receiver Brian Hartline, as well as CEO Mike Dee, held a conference call with the team’s season ticket holders tonight, and DolfansNYC had the chance to listen in on their thoughts and expectations with the 2012 season on the horizon.
Over the course of his career, Hartline has caught 109 passes for 1,670 yards and five touchdown passes in 44 games (23 starts). The Ohio State product’s 15.32 yards per catch ranks 15th among all WRs with at least 100 receptions over the last three seasons, ahead of Miles Austin, Hakeem Nicks and Andre Johnson.
During the 40-minute call, Hartline discussed a wide array of topics, including the unique way in which he mastered tip-toeing the NFL sidelines and which Dolphin he’d pick in the first round of a fantasy football draft.
*No. 82, who recently underwent an appendectomy, stopped short of calling himself 100 percent ready to go, but said his rehab from the surgery has gone well.
“I’m feeling pretty good. I think 100 percent is kind of a lost thing at this stage,” he said. “(I’m) healthy from all of the offseason fun. Life just happens sometimes.”
*Hartline expressed confidence in the team’s coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, and explained the West Coast offense relies on quarterbacks and wide receivers being on the same page.
“There’s a lot going on — there’s a lot on the table for the quarterbacks, like usual,” he said. “I think our job is really to try and make it easier for the quarterbacks. Timing is big. They’ve got enough going on — they expect us to be in certain spots at a certain time.”
*Asked about his daily routine, Hartline said he typically works out in the morning, keeps his mind focused on improving and tries to eat healthy “from time to time.”
“I”m pretty much a normal guy,” he said. “(I’m) just tying not to be normal on Sundays.”
*Hartline reiterated several times that he anticipates carrying a large role on offense and being used all over the field, and revealed his personal goals are to be a veteran leader on a young team and to hit a major milestone.
“Most of my personal goals revolve around the team,” he said. “I firmly believe that if you win football games, you play at a high level, the rest of it takes care of itself.
“With that being said, I want to be a 1,000 yard receiver — that’s my goal.”
*Hartline believes that other teams with rookie quarterbacks are not as fortunate as the Dolphins, who have two talented veterans capable of carrying the load until Ryan Tannehill is ready, but confirmed that if the eighth overall pick shines in training camp, it won’t be long until he is named the starter.
“You’re going to play the best guy, and if (Tannehill) really does separate himself and he’s the best guy, then he’s going to play the game,” he said.
*Hartline said the coaches have a very difficult decision to make on the Week 1 starter, which he expects to come towards the end of training camp in order to give the players a chance to work on their timing and communication.
*Hartline acknowledged that while the NFL is a team sport, he has taken some of the criticism the Dolphins WRs have faced in the media on a personal level, and believes the underrated corps will change the negative perception.
“I know what I think of our guys, and I’m impressed with where we’ve come to where we’re at now,” he said. “Definitely, I feel like this is the best overall group we’ve had.
“I’m not living under a rock and I understand people like the flashy names and numbers, but I think there’s more involved to that than just personnel. Our room is ready and excited.”
*Hartline said that Chad Ochocinco Johnson brings knowledge, experience and familiarity with a lot of defenses, and will help the young receivers react to different schemes.
*When he was asked which player, other than himself, he would choose in the first round of a fantasy football league, Hartline jokingly (I think) asked if Jake Long produces a lot of points, before saying Charles Clay, Anthony Fasano and Davone Bess would be his picks and that Reggie Bush “will be very important with catching the ball out of the backfield.”
*Hartline said the two players who have the most break-out potential are fellow WRs Julius Pruitt and Roberto Wallace.
*Hartline declined to reveal whether he would be one of the main subjects on the “Hard Knocks” cameras, but said he is “excited to see what it’s going to be like.”
*One of Hartline’s most interesting answers came when he was asked about how he learned to tip-toe the sidelines and make his patented spectacular down-the-field catches.