Dolphins Generations: Brian Hartline And O.J. McDuffie

Posted Mar 21, 2012

In Dolphins Generations, we ask the same questions to both a current Dolphins player and an alumnus who played the same position to see how their answers differ based on the era they played in. This week's Dolphins Generations features current Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline and former receiver O.J. McDuffie (1993-01)

Who is/was the toughest cornerback you’ve faced and why?

Brian Hartline: “I hate pointing out individual guys but I would say they’ve definitely got a good one up in New York in Darrelle Revis. He does a good job, he’s patient and I respect his game, him and Champ Bailey. Both of them do a really good job and I respect the way they play. It’s not even their physical attributes necessarily; it’s their patience and how they play the game. They’re smart and I would say it’s more about what’s between the ears why I respect them as much as physically.”

O.J. McDuffie: “Oh, Prime Time. Deion Sanders. Not the toughest in terms of being physical. I think Rod Woodson was probably the most physical guy that I went against other than my own teammates because Troy Vincent and JB Brown, they were tough. But you look at Deion and just his speed; you couldn’t do much with his speed, especially a guy like myself who wasn’t a big speed guy a 4.6 guy. You couldn’t escape from him.”

Which receiver did you look up to growing up and why?

Hartline: “Michael Irvin and Alvin Harper. Those are the two I gravitated to as a Cowboys fan growing up. I love Michael Irvin just because he was a staple for a long time with the Cowboys and also Alvin Harper, he made a lot of acrobatic catches and did a lot of jumping over people. That’s what I remember most.arpeH”

McDuffie: “I was a big Cleveland Browns fan so Webster Slaughter, Brian Brennan and the whole Cleveland Browns crew, those were my guys right there. Of course Jerry Rice was still doing his thing then and Michael Irvin. There are a lot of guys you can look up to but that whole Cleveland crew were the guys I loved.”

What is/was your favorite pass route to run?

Hartline: “I like any route that that allows me to get the ball. I like to think I can do a lot of different things, whether it’s working inside the formation or outside the formation, I like doing all of those things, as long as I see that ball coming my way. That’s what it’s about for me.”

McDuffie: “I hate the go route because I’m not fast enough for the go route, so any option route that I had working the middle and the slot, that was always fun. Whenever I had an option of in or out or over the top, those were always the best routes for me because you’ve got the player that’s going to defend you and you got to use him a little bit.”

What was your most memorable catch?  

Hartline: “I think the one that sticks in my mind was that game at Tennessee in 2009 (his 57-yard acrobatic catch that set up the tying touchdown). I remember Chad Henne kind of chucking the ball in the air and me finding a way to make a play by knocking the ball out of the hands of the Titans defender and then catching it. Anytime you make a play when your team needs it the most they stick out and that one was definitely one of the coolest ones.”

McDuffie: “It’s got to be 400 (Dan Marino’s 400th touchdown pass). Anytime you got to be a part of history with Danny it’s important, especially going into the game with Danny telling everybody, ‘The second touchdown pass I throw in this game I need the ball.’ You knew it was going to happen and he made it happen.”  

What is/was your best asset as a receiver?

Hartline: “That’s a good question but I’d have to say just catching the football. It’s amazing how many opportunities aren’t taken advantage of in the NFL so that’s what I pride myself is whenever the ball’s in my vicinity catching it. I think being able to multi-task and concentrate on the ball while also controlling my body, especially near the sideline, is my greatest asset.”

McDuffie: “I think smarts. I was quick, wasn’t fast and had good hands and my toughness was an asset but I think knowing what to expect when I stepped out there on certain downs and distances most of the time, that was half the battle. Knowing what teams usually do and what coverages they usually like to play, I think that helped me out a lot on the field. So I think just my preparation and smarts helped me out a lot.”

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