Owner Steve Ross, General Manager Jeff Ireland and Head Coach Joe Philbin each conversed with their most loyal fans on the three previous calls, but this time the callers got to hear from someone in uniform that produces on the field. Hartline certainly did not disappoint.
“I’m not worried what the world thinks of the Miami Dolphins receivers,” Hartline responded to one caller. “I know what I think of them. I’m impressed. It’s definitely the best overall group we’ve had.”
Joining Hartline and Agler inside the Finsiders studio were Dolphins CEO Mike Dee and two lucky season ticket members, Isaac Rodriguez and Akeem Leecock. They benefited from a special promotion thought up by Dee and announced on Twitter whereby the first season ticket member to refer a new member would get a behind-the-scenes tour of camp and the in-studio access. Rodriguez was the season ticket member referred by his mother, who couldn’t make it, so he took Leacock with him and they got to see how such a conference call is conducted up close, watching Hartline’s facial reactions to each question.
Perhaps the most enlightening answer given by the fourth-year receiver out of Ohio State came after Agler asked him about how he got so good at making sideline catches. He shared a story about how he and his younger brother, Mike, used to work on catching passes at home and would play a game where they had to try to keep their feet inbounds.
“I’m definitely the guy that wants to carry a very large load of the offense and I’m preparing that way,” said Hartline, who led the team in average yards per catch last season at 15.7. “The preparation never changes. I’m very excited about the offensive coordinator (Mike Sherman) we have here. Most of my personal goals revolve around the football team. If you win games, the rest of it takes care of itself.”
And that is the kind of confidence and transparency Dolphin fans want to see in their players, which is why these conference calls will continue.