Brian Hartline: 2012 Year In Review

Posted Mar 7, 2013

Former Buckeye reaches milestones in fourth season.

After missing all of training camp with a calf injury and recovering from an emergency appendectomy, the last thing anybody expected out of wide receiver Brian Hartline was a 1,000-yard season.

Hartline, a fourth-round pick out of Ohio State in the 2009 NFL Draft, defied the experts and proved he was capable of doing something special in Miami’s 35-13 rout of the Oakland Raiders in the home opener. He caught nine passes for 111 yards in Week 2, a precursor to his record-setting day at the Arizona Cardinals two weeks later.

By season’s end, Hartline had reeled in a career-high 74 passes for a career-high 1,083 yards to become just the eighth player in franchise history to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a single season. Before Davone Bess injured his shoulder at the San Francisco 49ers and missed the final three games, the duo was on track to become the first receiving tandem since Mark Clayton and Mark Duper in 1991 to each surpass 1,000 yards.

Hartline burst on the scene as a rookie in 2009 with 31 catches for 506 yards and three touchdowns, which is the only season he has caught more than one touchdown. That’s the one area he hopes to improve on in 2013, but to put up the numbers he did with no OTAs, training camp or preseason games really made a statement.

Signature Moment

Clearly, Hartline’s breakout performance came at the Arizona Cardinals in Week 4 when he caught 12 passes for a franchise record 253 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown reception. He helped rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill come within one yard of tying Cam Newton’s record at the time for most passing yards by a rookie (431 yards) and catapulted him to the top of the league in receiving yards through four games.

Coaching Perspective

“Considering the fact that he missed training camp, OTAs, and didn’t get with us until the preseason and had been really absent the entire time, that was more of my concern. Based on last year’s tapes, I thought he did everything he was asked to do, so I had a lot of respect for him coming in to the season. The physical setback that he had with the surgery and what he went through, I thought may take him a little bit longer to get on track.” – Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman

Teammate Perspective

“He is deceptively fast. I’ve had that label before too. It’s just kind of a stigma that comes with it. If it helps you, then it helps you. I don’t know if teams underestimate or anything, but he’s making plays for us and doesn’t matter what color you are. If you can play football, you can play football. It’s not a racist game. Once you’re out on the field, everything’s the same. I’m excited about what he’s done for us.” – Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill
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