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NOTEBOOK: Hartline Offers Encouragement To Paul George

Posted Aug 4, 2014

Dolphins wide receiver rebounded from the injury to play three seasons at Ohio State before he became a fourth-round pick of the Dolphins in 2009.

The big story in the sports world over the weekend didn’t happen in football, but rather in basketball. More specifically, it was the gruesome injury sustained by Indiana Pacers star Paul George during a Team USA scrimmage when he broke a couple of bones in his right leg.

If any NFL player has an understanding of what George is going through and what he’s facing, it’s Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline. See, Hartline once sustained a similar injury, breaking two bones in his left leg during the first game of his high school senior season.

“I’m not putting any kind of words in Paul George’s mind or what he’s going through,” Hartline cautioned after practice Monday. “I just know what I went through. You’re kind of on top of the world at one point and it really knocks you down and you realize how (quickly) it can be taken away. And when you’re in the situation you kind of look down and you see your leg and you start analyzing, this can’t be real. It looks horrendous.

“So you think the worst. You think that your career is over. And, sure enough, you find out you just get back to the grind, the doctors do their thing and you find out the nuts and bolts, and bones how they heal are better than any ligament or tendon you’re going to have. So I came back stronger. You put in the work. ... It worked for me fine. I got stronger from it, whether it was just the whole rehabilitation or the fact that I was 17, 18 years old and I was still growing. Regardless I think I came out of it a stronger athlete.”

Hartline rebounded from the injury to play three seasons at Ohio State before he became a fourth-round pick of the Dolphins in 2009.

He said overcoming that injury, and other setbacks during his NFL career, has made him appreciated his accomplishments even more.

“One hundred percent,” he said. “Those kind of situations, even recent little injuries you get, you always feel that everything happens for a reason, whether it be mentally or physically. You’ve just got to trust the process and try to control what you can control and go from there.”

WELCOME BACK

Rookie free agent quarterback Brock Jensen is getting a second chance with the Dolphins, and he’s going to do everything in his power to make it count.

Jensen, who led North Dakota State to three consecutive FCS national championships, was re-signed Sunday, five days after being waived. After practice Monday, Jensen stayed on the field working on his drop by himself.

“Just something that I'm going to start doing, grabbing a script after practice and go through it in my head and go through all of my reads,” Jensen said. “As a rookie QB, you don't get that many reps in practice, so it’s critical to take mental reps and even get some extra work in after practice. Just do what I can to get it done.

“You want to keep playing the game for as long as you can and the Dolphins gave me another opportunity and I’m very grateful for that. I’m going to make the best of it and contribute to this team any way that I can.”

INJURY UPDATE

Defensive end Olivier Vernon, tight end Michael Egnew, tight end Gator Hoskins, offensive lineman Nate Garner and running back Daniel Thomas all left practice early because of injuries.

In addition, the following players are expected to miss multiple practices because of injuries: tight end Charles Clay (knee), quarterback Pat Devlin (hamstring), kicker Caleb Sturgis (groin), cornerback Jalil Brown (knee) and wide receiver Stephen Williams (ankle).

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS

Watching practice Monday was U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, as well as representatives from the Manchester United soccer club.

Manchester United will face Liverpool at Sun Life Stadium on Monday night in the Guiness International Champions Cup.

Manchester United staff members interviewed several Dolphins players after practice, and the first was a logical choice: Sturgis, who played soccer in high school and whose brother plays professionally in Major League Soccer.

PRACTICE HIGHLIGHTS

Cornerback Will Davis stood out at practice Monday with an interception when the offense was backed up near the goal line and a couple of nice pass breakups in 7-on-7 drills. The only blemish for Davis was his fumble at the 2-yard line after his interception, although rookie safety Walt Aikens fell on the ball in the end zone. ... Marcus Thigpen had a couple of nice catches in one-on-one drills, including one in the end zone where he used nifty footwork to get both feet in bounds. ... On the last play of practice, Jordan Tripp tipped a Ryan Tannehill pass and Aikens made a diving interception. ... Safety Reshad Jones and cornerback Cortland Finnegan also had interceptions.

THIS AND THAT

The last player working on the Jugs machine Monday was tight end Dion Sims. ... The musical selection for warmups was “Like A Rock,” by Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band, which happens to be one of Philbin’s favorite bands.

LAST WORD

“He’s got great enthusiasm for the game. He’s very eager to learn, he wants to get coached. He plays hard, he plays fast.” — Head Coach Joe Philbin on rookie seventh-round pick Terrence Fede
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