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NOTEBOOK: Ohio Homecoming Awaits Hartline; Other Notes

Posted Oct 5, 2012

Ohio native looking to play role of spoiler.

This will not be a quiet homecoming for Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline thanks to his record-setting performance last week. And if he has his way he will not be leaving Cincinnati quietly.

The National Football League’s leading receiver flashed a smile earlier this week when he heard what the weather forecast is for Sunday’s game against the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Partly cloudy with a high of 54 degrees is what Hartline considers perfect football player, and having grown up in nearby Canton, Ohio he is plenty used to the elements that will be at play.

Odds are that Hartline might have been a popular request by the Cincinnati media for Wednesday’s conference call regardless. But after catching 12 passes for a franchise-record 253 yards and an 80-yard touchdown in last week’s 24-21 overtime loss at Arizona he became even more palatable.

Somewhere in between answering questions about rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, Hartline shocked the reporters by revealing that he was neither a Bengals nor a Cleveland Browns fan growing up. He was a Cowboys fan.

“I liked the triplets, but we were drawn to Alvin Harper,” said Hartline, who has caught 25 passes for 455 yards through four games. “Michael Irvin and Emmitt (Smith) and Troy (Aikman), those are the guys, but I liked Alvin a lot of the times.”

Not surprisingly, Hartline also confirmed that he was contacted this week about providing something from the Cardinals game that possibly could wind up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his hometown. He actually used to play his high school football games for GlenOak High School at the Hall of Fame’s Fawcett Stadium.

During his interview with the Cincy media, Hartline was able to reflect some on his childhood and recall his many visits to the Hall of Fame. He has a new appreciation for it now.

“Yeah, if you go to YMCA kids or any kind of like babysitting or what not, I guess the Hall of Fame is like every other week,” Hartline said. “They try to pitch it to you and you’re like a little kid. Now, it’s like I would enjoy it so much more. The theater there, I know they’re still expanding, but I definitely have been there a handful of times for sure.

“They have all the rings there, which were pretty cool. Obviously, the heads of the people that are inducted are pretty neat. As a kid, you like that whole theater experience when it kind of takes you through camp and through a full season as you’re rotating through the theaters.”

There won’t be any time for sightseeing this weekend as Hartline and the Dolphins will try to erase the memories of back-to-back overtime losses by getting past the Bengals. On this Sunday Hartline won’t be the hometown kid getting cheered on by the home crowd because he’s on the visiting team – and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

DOLPHINS-BENGALS CONNECTIONS

Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle spent the past 11 seasons with the Bengals, first as cornerbacks coach (2001-02) and then as defensive backs coach (2003-11) . . . P Brandon Fields is from Toledo, Ohio . . . WR Brian Hartline and LB Ausin Spitler were teammates at Ohio St. and are from North Canton and Bellbrook, Ohio . . . Bengals CB Jason Allen, a former Dolphins first-round selection, spent five seasons in Miami (2006-10) . . . Cincinnati TE Donald Lee played two seasons for the Dolphins (2003-04).

A WAKE-UP CALL FOR OPPOSING QUARTERBACKS

Cameron Wake’s 21 sacks on the road since 2009 are the second most in the NFL during that span. The only NFL player with more sacks in road games since the 2009 season is DeMarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys, who has 32.5 quarterback hits.

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