NOTEBOOK: Happy Homecoming For Hartline; Other Notes

Posted Sep 8, 2013

Ohio native helps spark Miami’s offense in the second half.

Fifth-year wide receiver Brian Hartline always loves coming back to Ohio, where he was born and raised, but he loves it even more when he can have the kind of afternoon he had today against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium.

After a suspect beginning to the game by the offense, Hartline and second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill got on the same page much like they did all of last season when Hartline went over 1,000 receiving yards to lead the team. The double move he put on Browns cornerback Buster Skrine with 6:52 left in the third quarter was executed to perfection and he gave Tannehill a nice target down the left sideline for the quarterback to drop in a nice 34-yard touchdown pass. That allowed Miami to retake the lead they surrendered at the end of the first half by six point, 13-7.

“I was just trying to do my part because I think we started kind of slow as an offense,” said Hartline, who led the team with nine catches for 114 yards for the fourth 100-yard receiving game of his career. “I was just there when the team needed me to move the chains and move the ball and I had an opportunity to make a big play and I was able to do it.”

Hartline also came up with three key receptions on the Dolphins’ second touchdown drive in the fourth quarter that covered 85 yards on 10 plays in 5:03, giving them a commanding 20-10 lead. He hauled in passes of 16, 7 and 11 yards to help set up Daniel Thomas’ 1-yard leap into the end zone.

When the Dolphins re-signed Hartline back in March prior to making the splash of signing Mike Wallace, it was touted as a pivotal move because he and Tannehill had developed such a good chemistry. Wallace was held to one catch for 15 yards by Browns cornerback Joe Haden and it turned out that Hartline needed to take on a bigger role along with the other free agent signee, Brandon Gibson.

“I think that anybody will tell you that we weren’t overly happy with out running game and that has to improve,” Hartline said. “Anytime they did a good job of stopping the run we started leaning heavily on the passing game, but really overall I’ve always just kind of planned on being there when the team needs me and I really don’t look into what’s the game plan and where am I going to place in it.”

Turning Point

Wake’s second sack of the game on a 2nd-and-10 midway through the third quarter pushed Cleveland back into the shadow of their end zone with an 8-yard loss. His pressure on 3rd-and-18 forced an incomplete pass by Weeden.

That forced Browns punter Spencer Lanning to kick out of his own end zone and his 40-yard punt was fair caught by Miami’s Marcus Thigpen near midfield at his own 49. Five plays later, Tannehill connected with Hartline for the go-ahead score and the Dolphins didn’t look back.

Injury Report

The only Dolphins' injury reported was to cornerback Dimitri Patterson (groin).

Statistical Milestones

Cornerback Dimitri Patterson became the first Dolphin with two interceptions in a game since Sean Smith did it last September 30th at Arizona and they were his first interceptions in a Miami uniform and first 2010 when he played for Philadelphia. … Rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis was perfect on his first three field attempts in the NFL and his 49-yarder in the second quarter that put Miami ahead 6-0 was the sixth longest by a rookie in franchise history. Pete Stoyanovich holds the record with a 59-yarder at the New York Jets on November 12th, 1989. His three field goals are tied for the second most by a Dolphins rookie in a single game behind the four field goals by Dan Carpenter on November 2nd, 2008 at the Denver Broncos. … Mike Wallace made his first reception as a Dolphin count for 15 yards and a first down on Miami’s second drive of the second half. … Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake put together the 10th multi-sack game of his career with 2.5 and he now has 30.5 sacks on the road in his career. … Ryan Tannehill’s 34-yard touchdown pass to Brian Hartline in the third quarter is tied for the seventh-longest pass completion of his young career and six of those long passes have gone to Hartline. … Rookie defensive end Dion Jordan got his first career sack on Weeden very late in the game – but he also got his first career penalty on the same play when he grabbed Weeden’s facemask. Still, it’s the sack he’ll remember the most from this day. … Miami's run game netted 20 yards, the third-lowest total for a regular season game in franchise history. The team's low-mark for rushing yards in a game is 7 yards on November 19, 2006 at Minnesota

Feels Like The First Time

In addition to Sturgis, the rookies for Miami that made their NFL debuts today were defensive end Dion Jordan, tight end Dion Sims, linebacker Jelani Jenkins and cornerback Don Jones. … As for players making their debuts in a Dolphins uniform, in addition to Wallace, were right tackle Tyson Clabo, wide receiver Brandon Gibson, cornerback Brent Grimes, linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler and defensive end Vaughn Martin.


The Dolphins stay on the road one week from today when they travel to Indianapolis to face Andrew Luck and the Colts for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
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