Hartline goes into Sunday’s game needing 109 yards to reach 1,000 on the season for the first time in his career.
“Yeah, I don’t know why he’s under the radar,” said 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. “He’s been impressive watching tape on him this week. He’s their leading receiver. Obviously the quarterback has a comfort level with him, too. He likes to throw to him. He’s deceivingly fast and quick and he’s got good hands, and a good route runner. This guy’s a good player.”
If he reaches 1,000 yards, Hartline will become the eighth receiver in franchise history to reach that plateau in a season, joining Mark Clayton, Mark Duper, Irving Fryar, Chris Chambers, O.J. McDuffie, Tony Martin and Brandon Marshall.
It’s not something Hartline is overly concerned with, though.
“It’s always been a goal of mine, but there’s so much more on our plate right now,” Hartline said Friday. “I mean, it’s there, but it’s not the top goal. I want to be there, don’t get me wrong, but it is what it is at this point.”
ALL ABOUT ‘THE U’
Two of the greatest running backs in University of Miami history will be on the field Sunday with the Dolphins’
The two also were high school stars in Dade County, Miller at Killian High and Gore at Coral Gables High.
Miller said he followed all the great UM running backs before him — Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee and, yes, Frank Gore.
Miller’s teammate on defense will be the ones trying to slow down Gore, who is 28 yards shy of reaching the 1,000-yard mark for the sixth time in eight NFL seasons.
“Frank Gore is not a perimeter runner, but a slash-type runner,” said linebacker
The Dolphins will be going up against the NFL sack leader Sunday in the form of outside linebacker Aldon Smith.
Smith already has 17.5 sacks on the season, following a fabulous rookie year when he finished with 14 sacks.
After he played only 17 games in college, including only four during an injury-plagued 2010 season, Smith surprised some observers by how dominant he quickly became as an NFL pass rusher.
Dolphins rookie tight end
“He’s got long arms,” Egnew said. “You’ll see that from the film, he’s an incredible athlete. There’s no surprise. If you’re surprised by him, then you didn’t watch his Missouri film.”
RESPECTING THE DEFENSE
San Francisco will come into the game with a defense that’s ranked first in yards per play; second in yards per game, rushing yards per carry, passing yards per game and passing yards per play; and third in rushing yards per game.
The Dolphins’ offensive players clearly are aware of the challenge that awaits them.
“Tough defense, physical defense,” said guard
When he was asked whether there was any one player he particularly was looking forward to facing, he said: “Where should we start? All those players are good. It’s going to be a good game. They’ve got the best linebacking crew we’re going to go against. Obviously they have two of the best pass rushers with both of the Smith brothers (Aldon and Justin, who are not related). They’re very good. They play well together. So we’ve got to be ready very prepared for this game.”
NAME THAT TUNE
A couple of hours before the Dolphins boarded the team plane for San Francisco, one of the musical selections during the stretching portion of practice appropriately was “Dani California” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Also on the musical list Friday were “It Was A Good Day” by Ice Cube and “Zero 76” by Tiesto & Hardwell.