Although I included this in Thursday afternoon's blog about the coordinators, it bears repeating because on my housetop where I constantly scream to the world the Dolphins need wide receiver help, any nugget of news suggesting the help is coming is going to get extra attention.
Dolphins offensive coordinator Dan Henning did say this week that rookie Brian Hartline is going to get more playing time very soon, and I'm told that soon starts Sunday against New England.
"Hartline is coming along," Henning said. "We haven't pushed him to the front as much. We probably will here in the near future. We like him. He's making plays. He seems to show up as much as Greg [Camarillo] showed up in training camp the first year we were here, albeit we know and he knows what his shortcomings are. But he's an accountable guy.
"Hartline isn't quite as accountable yet. He hasn't been through the ropes and once in a while he'll blow this or blow that. But he has the ability to make explosive plays and we do need to get him the ball more."
Well, unless the Dolphins plan to open in a three- or four-wide package and stay there all game long, or unless the offense gets 30 or so more snaps than usual, the fact is when Hartline gets more snaps, someone will have to get fewer.
So who gets bumped down?
The choices among Miami's receiver corps is, well, almost everyone and anyone.
Greg Camarillo? I love this guy because I still believe he is Miami's most polished and dependable receiver. But something obviously happened between last year and this year because of his knee injury. Coaches don't believe him to be as explosive (which is bad because, running 4.6 40s, he was never a track star to begin with).
And the proof that something is up is in Camarillo's numbers. Last year he caught 55 passes for 613 yards and a 11.1-yard per catch average. He also scored two touchdowns. And he did this in only 11 games because he went on injured reserve after that 11th game.
Well, through 11 games this year, Camarillo's production has dropped by about half. He has only 28 catches. He's gained only 281 yards and he hasn't scored a TD. His yards per catch is also down by 1.1 yards.
So he is a candidate for less time.
Ted Ginn Jr.?
He was demoted earlier this season, at New York and New England, following that meltdown game against New Orleans that made it clear to me he'll never be a go-to guy. But for some reason, Ginn quietly worked himself back into the coaching staff's good graces and started games against Tampa Bay, Carolina and Buffalo.
Given some new life in the five games since New Orleans, Ginn has responded with a resounding seven catches. Seven catches! In five games! Seven catches is a half of work for Wes Welker, but I digress.
The fact is I'm not all that troubled by Ginn's number of catches. The fact is the troubling numbers with him are his average yards per catch and his drops.
Ginn has 25 catches this year. And he has eight drops. That means Ginn drops almost one-quarter (24.2 percent) of the passes in his hands. And in the last six games, Ginn has not once climbed into double figures on average yards per catch. Miami's alleged deep-threat receiver is averaging 8 yards per catch since Oct. 25.
So you know what happens to kids in high school and college who drop one out of every four passes they touch and average only 8 yards per each rare catch?
They get moved to cornerback.
Ginn? He regained his starting job.
For perspective and to be fair, I want you to know I'm not picking on Ginn because he is failing to meet standards set by Andre Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald or anyone else playing outside his universe. He is failing to meet standards set by, well, Ted Ginn.
Last year Ginn led the team with 56 receptions for 790 yards. He had a 14.1-yard-per-catch average and scored two touchdowns. So far this year, he has less the half the number of catches (25) for a humilating 268 yards. And his yards per catch have dropped by nearly 4. In the year we expected him to step forward, to break out, to improve, he has taken a drastic step backward.
So maybe the Dolphins have seen the light. He is a candidate to lose receiver snaps.
Davone Bess is not really a candidate to lose snaps. Although his yards per catch average is down from 10.3 last year to 8.8 this year, he be hella ballin' of late, with 13 catches for 169 yards (13.0 yards per catch) the last three games.
Bess is on pace to finish this year with more catches and more yards than he did last year. In that regard, he is alone on the Miami receiver corps.
So, my opinion which player gets fewer snaps Sunday? Both Ginn and Camarillo.
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