Hartline Preparing For Tight Coverage In New York

Posted Oct 26, 2012

Miami’s leading receiver facing slightly different Jets secondary.

Just because the New York Jets will be without Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, that doesn’t mean wide receiver Brian Hartline will breathe any easier.

Miami’s leading receiver through six games is trying to regain the form that placed him on top of the entire league in receiving yards two weeks before the bye. Setting a new franchise record with 253 receiving yards against the Arizona Cardinals back on September 30th naturally brought more attention Hartline’s way from opposing defensive backs. He was held without a catch two weeks ago by the St. Louis Rams, so he is well aware of the fact that the Jets’ secondary hopes to do the same.

“But overall they’re still a tough-nosed football team and there’s a little more juice to this game because of the rivalry. You feel division games a little more than the average game because a division game gives you a chance to really take a step forward and that’s what we’re looking forward to.”

No matter how much the Jets opt to shift their coverage to account for Hartline’s playmaking ability, they also cannot afford to ignore Davone Bess, and that’s something Hartline considers to be an added luxury. This is Bess’ fifth season in the league and Hartline’s fourth, so they have developed a chemistry between each other and a knack for playing off of each other.

Both receivers had success against New York the first time around with each catching five passes. Bess racked up 86 receiving yards for an average of 17.2 per catch and Hartline added 47 yards, so they are prepared for the different looks they might see Sunday.

“We’ve got to be on the same page and that’s the main thing,” Bess said. “They switched their defense up a little bit but for the most part they do what they do and everybody knows that. We’ve just got to stay in synch, stay together, stay poised and make the necessary plays.”

In keeping with the team-first concept, Hartline has made a concerted effort to take the spotlight off of him this week. He knows that Jets cornerbacks Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson along with safeties Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry will be keying on him, which in turn should open things up for Bess, Marlon Moore, possible Jabar Gaffney and tight ends Anthony Fasano and Charles Clay.

Should Miami’s offense be able to run the ball well again and force New York’s defense to commit more players to the box, that will benefit rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the rest of the passing game. That’s where Hartline wants to make his impact in helping the offense move the ball in whatever fashion he is asked to do so.

“I think it’s just important to get the passing game going just from a game efficiency standpoint and not necessarily a personal standpoint,” he said. “You can’t beat a team by just running the ball day. We want to pride ourselves on being able to run the football but everyone knows you have to be a well-balanced team in order to be successful in this league and we want to be able to do both.”

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