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Hartline: Beat New England, turn attention to Buffalo

Brian Hartline is a bright guy. A reporter asked him on Tuesday if he's practiced doing what he did against Pittsburgh last week -- catching the ball that is not exactly on target, getting both feet down and in bounds and falling as he does all of that.

"Practice that play?" he asked. "I don't practice falling in practice."

The guy thinks about the question and his response. He's told me he likes measuring talent and I think he might have a future in personnel after his career ends.

Right now, however, he's concentrating on Sunday's game against New England.

He did a conference call with the New England media on Wednesday. This is how it went:

(On facing Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib) – “It’s exciting, I always enjoy going against the top rated, quote, unquote corners in the league and he is one of the guys that is always well talked about. I hope he is coming back well from his injury, if end up seeing him I am looking forward to the opportunity and the matchup."

(On his impressions and if he sees any difference in the Patriots secondary over the past few weeks with a number of them battling injuries) – “Really just watching all the games it just how many different guys have been playing. I don’t think its necessarily seeing a guy play injured or who he is trying to pull up there. Its just seeing a guy here that is moved around and a guy there, that’s probably been the biggest notice and I am just speaking from the back end from the corners to the safeties and the nickel players, so that is probably where I have seen the most, the versatility and the amount of the defensive backs that have played."

(On Aqib Talib stating that (Hartline) plays at one speed and if that is something that he practices) –“Yeah I have just always been that kind of guy. Every once in a while you can kind of mix it in, but I have always kind of been a 100 percent kind of guy all the time and it another thing that can get you into trouble, but sometimes it can be to your advantage, so it just depends on how things go. Hopefully it’s a nice hot day down here come Sunday and we will see how it plays out."

(On his impressions of Ryan Tannehill’s development and if there are specific areas that he has seen him improve on since last season) – “By this point it’s not about last season, we have basically played a full season so seeing his growth even throughout the season this year I think has been well documented. I think he is playing well, I think he is doing a great job in two minute situations. He is doing a great job at commanding the offense which we kind of see on the inside, it seems like and feels like we have carried more pass opportunities the last three, four weeks and he has handled it well. He has put the ball in great spots. Guys are making plays on the ball and we are turning them into big plays. So to take that next step and kind of carry the team on his back is really what he is doing at this point."

(On how the team recovered from a four game losing streak while dealing with outside distractions to get back into playoff contention) - “In the NFL four games are important, but so much goes on so you can recover. Our backs, we felt like got up against the wall a couple times and we responded in the right way. But overall nothing really changed. Everyone wants to think that there was some miraculous change, but nothing changed. The situation really for all intents and purposes was not in the locker room. The individuals were outside the locker room, they were not on the team. The biggest hole that we had to fill wasn’t any quote, unquote, distractions, it was the fact that we were missing two staring offensive linemen and if that happens to any team in the NFL it can cause some rifts and getting guys to step up and play. But we had that and guys were able to step up and make some plays that kept us in games, we didn’t pull all of them out, coming out of that, but we still played well and at this point some guys are getting more and more comfortable in the positions they are in and Bryant (McKinnie) is doing a great job on the left side. So it was just some growing pains really in the end and we have grown through it and we are looking forward to these next three game opportunities. You guys can kind of understand, New England always demands your full attention, so to think of anything other besides that would be doing ourselves a disservice."

(On if he feels if there is any room for error the rest of the way) – “I think anytime you play December football you don’t have much room for error, it just depends on what caliber. I am sure New England feels the same way. They want to either finish off the division or earn a first spot or whatever they are going for, so everyone feels that way. Just because ours is in a different line or a different level doesn’t make it less important. We have our goals, other teams have their goals as far as I know a lot of things are not locked in the NFL, so basically every game is important for every team throughout the NFL at this point and we are one of them."

(On if he’s aware that the Patriots are 5-1 in their last six visits to Miami) – “I didn’t not but I think the last time we played them and we beat them I believe was my rookie year so that makes sense."

(On what it would mean to beat them on Sunday at home with that in mind) –“Nothing more than another win.  Like you said every game is important.  It’s obviously important, we have three division games to finish the year, New England being one of them.  In the end, it’s always good to beat New England they are the division leaders, that’s always important to us.  To say it’s worth more or weighs more, I think that’d be wrong.  As soon as we win this game, if we do win this game, pull this out, which we do plan on doing that we have to turn our focus right away to Buffalo and move on.  It’s not really a big celebratory situation and obviously when you play a great football team, a good football team at that matter it’s a good time to test your team.  It’s a good time to test yourselves, the one on one match ups put it all to the test, the team as a whole and see where you are after all this work you’ve put in come the middle of December, so it’s a great opportunity like I said."

(On what Ken O’Keefe has brought to the team) – “Well actually both, Coach Phil McGeoghan played at (Maine)and was from that area and coach (Ken) O’Keefe but they’re great, they’re a great combo.  Coach O’Keefe, we’ve grown together as a tight knit group and Coach Phil McGeoghan has done a great job too.  He’s a younger kind of coach and was at UCF if I’m not mistaken, or USF and he came here two years ago.  You kind of have an older guy who’s been around the block and seen a lot of things, a lot of intellect along with a younger guy who’s very smart but has also played the game a little bit in the NFL in his younger days.  It’s a great mesh, we have a great group of guys the coaching staff does a great job leading us and we follow and Coach O’Keefe has really helped me bring my game up to another level as well as my other receivers in the room."

(On what surprises him most with Charles Clay, and how comfortable has Mike Wallace become in the offense) – “Mike’s always been a factor, whether we have any kind of glamorous stats or not, that’s never changed.  (Charles) Clay’s always been a factor as well and I’ve see it for the last couple years, it was just a matter of continuing to work, continuing to get that opportunity and when you get that opportunity really shinning.  He’s had some small opportunities throughout his career so far, the last couple weeks have gotten him more attention but what he’s done and the mismatches he creates has never been a secret to us at least.  Maybe we’re doing a better job of using him, I don’t know but he’s making some great plays right now, he’s getting a lot of opportunities and in order for us to be successful he has to be able to keep doing that.  I’m looking forward to watching him play and enjoying him play this weekend with us. "

(On what’s the secret with him having good success on third down) – “Catching the ball."

(On how he’s able to stay open with extra attention due to his success) – “Yeah, I think that’s a credit to the coaching staff moving me around, providing opportunities.  Really in the end, I think catch rate and all that kind of stuff that I check every now and then, it’s pretty good throughout the league.  I just pride myself with when the ball is in my area, coming down with it.  Maybe it’s not always the prettiest thing in the world, but sometimes they’re not always pretty but converting when you need to convert and making the plays when they are there and really creating that trust within my coaching staff and my quarterback so that’s just how I’ve gone about my business."


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tvegas, you think they are overachieving? I thnk they are just hitting their stride. Other than o line where do you feel this team is talent deficient?

Anderson, factor in Tannehill's rushing td and they're even.

Tannehill vs Brady! No its the Dolphins vs Patriots! Don't think Tannehill will be out playing defense when when Brady is on the field.


Everyone gets beat in the NFL and Nolan is no exception. But while I don't think he's an ALL-Pro, I do see marked improvement from Nolan Caroll this year and even more over the course of the last several games.

He's the defensive version of RGIII though in the sense that the dude takes a beating just about every game that he plays.

Fins are gelling as a team at the perfect time. The one stat that stands out to me is our D holding every team but one to under 30 points (Saints in dome).

If we can keep Brady to under 21 points we win.

No one cheats like the cheatriots. The Dolphins have got to try having a 4 touchdown lead in the fourth quarter to have a chance against the refs and the cheatriots!

tvegas, I don't think the Fins are overachieving either. Why? Because we beat two lesser teams? We were SUPPOSED to win the last 2 games, so that's not overachieving to me. Overachieving would be beating the Patriots, twice. Or any top-tier team (Panthers, Saints, etc.). Winning the division would be overachieving. Pretty much all knowledgeable watchers thought the team would be around 8-8 this year, give or take a game or two. Most thought we did enough in the offseason to get better, but still had a ways to go to overtake NE. And that's pretty much where we are. So I think the team is playing up to expectations after underachieving in the previous few weeks.

I don't think that's the speed Talib was talking about...


I understand. My point is that Tannehill is so much more bigger than RG3. He doesn't look as bad when he takes a hit. On top of that being a former WR he knows how to take a hit. Tannehill is also more of a run you over than run around you kind of runner. Last thing a defensive player wants to do is a helmet to helmet hit against a qb even if it is when the qb is out of the pocket.

DC is 100% correct. We didn't let up the lead. The coaches didn't make adjustments & the Pats did. We had no answer.

You don't go from leading by double digits to losing by double digits because players stopped playing. No, they were outcoached by a superior coaching staff. END. OF. STORY.

Miami needs 2 game plans. 1 for the 1st half & 1 for the 2nd.

Hopefully we execute well enough in the 1st half that they change things up anticipating the same thing. Then go into the 2nd half & change things up.

That's how you beat NE. Once they get a read on what you're doing, they eventually put it together & win late.


I believe Sparano is the strength coach for the Mary Knoll Women's College Field Hockey team.

Nolan Carroll is the Dolphins #2 CB.

If Coyle has shown 1 thing is that he knows how to develop DBs.

Our Rush Defense has gotten worst but our Pass defense has gotten better.

Not hearing too much about how we should have traded the franchise for RGIII, while Tannehill was 'a HUGE reach at 8'.

Fukking putzes.....

Posted by: Craig M | December 12, 2013 at 09:02 AM

Since no one else bit & gave you the attention you so desperately desire, I'll do it for you.

Don't you EVER get tired of being such a whiny, repetitive bi&ch?

No, those Tanne haters aren't here but, PREDICTABLY, YOU ARE!

Same whiny, repetitive & meaningless post about what others said 2 years ago. Get a life or find some purpose in your life other than to be a schlep.

Most people did think Miami would be 8-8 and maybe 10 or 11 ins depending on the development of Thill. Which I say the last three games he has done great. and is on track to finish the season where ost have said they would overachieving no right on schedule i say yes

Spo is in Mexico coaching minor league soccer where the whole point of the game is the one thing he loves.

Think about it. If it takes zero skill to play soccer it should take even less to coach it. Even Rodney Dangerfield could do it.

Excellent interview from Hartline, Dolphins season certainly in the balance this Sunday, it'll be interesting to see if they try to take some of the pressure off Tannehill by sticking to the run game even if it's not working.

Last game I felt they asked him to do too much after the Patriots came out firing in the second half. Can't panic like that with the play calling, the Patriots will make their run, you have to weather it better.

Don't you EVER get tired of being such a whiny, repetitive bi&ch?

No, those Tanne haters aren't here but, PREDICTABLY, YOU ARE!

Same whiny, repetitive & meaningless posts

Posted by: M stands for Mouthy Moron | December 12, 2013 at 11:56 AM

This is the guy that berates Craig on a daily basis repeating the same complaints. Hey pot, you and kettle should get together and compare notes.

This team should already be at double digit wins.

Pats & Bills game should be W's if not for idiotic coaching. Ravens game should have been a W to.

Flubbing the Bucs game was inexcusible. Should have been another W.

What would fans say if Miami had won 3 of those 5 and be sitting at 10-3 right now? Tanne would be HOF material & everyone happy.

What I see is a team who, since those games, has finally stopped making the critical plays to help the other side. The offense is showing REAL signs of being able to score points. 34 in the Pitt game & at least 38 were possible vs. the Jets. The O is starting to break out.

That should lead to winning at least 2 of the last 3 games & getting into the playoffs & possibly winning the 1st game.

I'm sure Belichick primary focus for the week has been warning his team what a trap game this is for them.

While Philbin has been preaching we must play a 60 minute game. Had we did it the first meeting, we win going away, 34-6.

At least he gets his points across in 1 post.

Unlike you, who takes 4-5 to get his point across. Mentally challeneged are we?

Stop spamming you dope!

Posted by: LOL | December 12, 2013 at 12:04 PM

If we just won that Baltimore game alone we'd probably be Playoff bound. This team is frustrating to be a fan of, that's for sure. But that all may be changing, we'll have to wait and see.

It's pretty ridiculous to say a team "should have" won games, every team in the league feels that way, the Ravens have four losses of three points or less, I'm sure their fans would say the Dolphins shouldn't even be alive in the playoff race.

We are 3-1 since BullyGate and the departure of JMart & Cogs.

What does that tell you? They both were fvc*ing up the dynamics in the locker room.

I'll bet you there are no more O-Line meetings at the strip club! Cogs was Alpha on that unit, but it was also the worst in the league for sacks & rushing yards.

There is new life in the locker room with them gone and I feel like the team has had the handcuffs taken off.

Stranger things have happened but they could easily win out and actually be dangerous in the playoffs.

No love at all for the Patriots but "spygate" is such ancient history at this point we may as well be discussing how the JFK assassination will be affecting the Cowboys this week.

And frankly, I always thought it was probably much ado about nothing in the first place (gasp).

In any regard, I like Miami's chances Sunday. The team is showing some swagger and confidence in December for the first time in a LONG time.

Fish need to get over the mental hump with these guys and learn to put teams away. Finish.

defense--stop Edeleman and Emendola( wilson/Jones) and get off the field on 3 rd down. Hit brady early

Offense-T-hill read option 3 times min and pound the ball to set up play action for big play.

big game for Phiblin. What did he learn from first game when he was blatanly outcoahed

Offense just needs to stick to the plan and not have Tannehill try to out duel Brady if the game starts turning that way.

I know it's obvious to say that quarterbacks are affected by pressure but Tom Brady is one of the few quarterbacks in the league who can't be affected by any coverage or defensive scheme EXCEPT pressure - so it's even more critical that Miami gets after him.

Early hits lead to phantom pressure, they need to bring it early and often.

Dashi i dont like socxer but these guys are superior athlethes! Do you think you can ever be comditioned enough to run around like thos guys?? To think there not athletes is insane.

Biggets concern with Tanehill is his inability to throw deep enough so Wallace doesn't have to come back for the ball...he should be able to throw long enough to allow Wallace to make over the shoulder catches. Maybe with the advent of a better "O" line he'll have enough time to wing them deep ones for Wallace to chase down.

NH, with Bryant McKinnie on the team, I'm not sure the volume of raining dollar bills has decreased. Not Incognito beside McKinnie for a full year would've been a blast!


Has Ross given any hush money to Jonathan Martin? Have you heard anything about this?

Why a folks from NoVA such douchebags? Don't answer because I know because I know the deal. Anyone from NoVA = TOOL.

Jeff, NFL never loses in court, you should've learned this by now. JMart won't receive a dime and will be lucky to find emplyment in any capacity after this saga is over...

It's pretty ridiculous to say a team "should have" won games, every team in the league feels that way, the Ravens have four losses of three points or less, I'm sure their fans would say the Dolphins shouldn't even be alive in the playoff race.

Posted by: Cetus | December 12, 2013 at 12:22 PM



Close games that turn on a play or two are the NORM in the NFL and every single team (and fanbase) laments games they "should" have won but didn't. And they all blame the same things. The coach, the QB, the officials, etc. Never, EVER that the other team made the plays necessary to win.

But then they turn around and forget it works both ways. You WIN some of those games as well (as Miami has) and then it's what "we" did right and the other fans turn to roast their own team on all they did wrong to blow it.

It really does even out, aside from the very few teams who are either enjoying a completely dominant season or a dreadful one. The Dolphins are not any more or less the owners of "should have won" games than 90% of the rest of the league.

mark ro$$ shut him ^
not the nfl

2 watt, what's the first thing Ross did when he heard of this?

he called in the NFL to clean it up.

Ross didn't make all that money by just handing it over to any jelly roll who biatches about his job...

Another thing: A ton of fans seem to actually believe that certain refs and/or announcers actually "hate" their team and are "out to get them."

Well, I've lived in seven different NFL cities and guess what? In EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM the fans say (and believe) exactly the same thing.

Goes with the territory of being a fan, but it's never even been remotely true. Not unless the same refs and announcers just hate EVERYBODY.

no grievance from cogs
not j mart. he paid cogs off

MIT, much has been publicized about McKinnie's night life, doesn't much matter because on Sundays he pretty much comes to play.

Also, imo, Jake Long covered some of Cogs misgivings. Even seen plays Cogs hung Long out to dry. Cogs was plain average at best against pass rush stunts. Saw many times Cogs did not rotate and take right man on those stunts and it looked like the LT allowed the sack, but Cogs did not pick up that cross-over pass rush correctly.

No, I don't beleive the NFL hates the Dolphins but they really, really do love the Patriots....

I'm guessing Ross already paid 10+ mill and the remainder of Martins contract. A cheap price to pay for this to go away.

david g. not so much.
seasons back McGwire was doing a phinz/skins game and during the broadcast " phinz were getting killed btw"
that jaxmule was wearing an indian head dress

Sam, not going to find much argument form me. McKinnie is a man after my own heart. Whores it up with the best of them but mans up every Sunday.

Martin has only "spoken" through his attorney. It sucks, agreed, but that's his right.

No need for "hush money." He's still on the payroll, as is Incognito. And the team would not b stupid enough to do that, anyway, given the p.r. black eye that would result from it being revealed.

My take is that the investigation will ultimately amount to very little. Probably a minor suspension and fine for Incognito---perhaps some financial penalty for the team. Incognito will walk and eventually sign elsewhere. Martin will be traded for a lower-round pick or backup player and that will be that.

Hey, I can recall a LOT of games where the announcers were showering Shula with the kind of praise usually reserved for Roman generals.

As Dolphins fans, we may have thought of that as completely normal and justified but how do you think it went down elsewhere?

We never seem to put ourselves in the other guy's shoes with stuff like this. Same with refs "out to get us" and games we "should have won."

It all cuts both ways, eventually.

It's no coincidence the oline is performing better without Cogs. He was also part of the problem with Martin.

Cogs was a decent lineman that did have serious brain farts on certain plays. You guys may not believe me, but, Jake Long made Cogs life a lot easier on the left side.

Is it also coincidence Cogs does not play in St Louis and all of sudden Long does not seem to be "REGRESSING" anymore?

Bad calls go both ways usually. Though I still tend to think that the Pats seem to have a lot go their way. The Carolina game was a nice change of pace.

David G, you are 100% right about all that but it's FUN to pretend it's Us Against The World. That's what fans do, lol!!

Yup, crying that officials and "the league" and "the media" are against your team is just delusional loser talk.

EVERY fan base has idiots spouting that nonsense.

Ha! Hey, I'm not immune to doing it myself!

Incognito is done in the NFL. Stick a fork in him. No one is stupid enough to sign him even if he doesnt get banned......

Right now, "I Really Hope" our Dolphins beat the Patriots Sunday.

Until they do this, all it will ever be for Dolfans is a "Rain Check" of never ending hope.

Jmart will win a hand shake fro Cody Wallace


Cetus, I currently live outside Philly and guess what?

The announcers "hate" the Eagles. The refs are "out to get them." And anytime Philadelphia loses a game they "should have won" it's because the coach is an idiot with bad "clock management" skills and the quarterback should be benched.

Same old, same old, folks.

I miss Jake Long...

rdubs, don't drop a ball around Cody Wallace. You hear his excuse for what he did?

Posted by: CommonSense | December 12, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Its called: "Benefit Of Doubt".

Refs ALWAYS give to the Good Teams over the bad. It's EXTREMELY RARE that refs LOSE GAMES. However, its fairly common BAD TEAMS do not win them.

Football will always be a game of EXECUTION, not ALLOCUTION.


The formal inquiry by a judge of an accused person, convicted of a crime, as to whether the person has any legal cause to show why judgment should not be pronounced against him or her or as to whether the person has anything to say to the court before being sentenced.

Yeah, let's separate "bad calls" going both ways from the NFL's desire to influence games in the favor of the New England Patriots. NO OTHER TEAM gets penalties made for their QB. I don't remember any team having 3+ games decided by PI's in the waning moment extending drives. That was the whole uproar over the Carolina game. The Patriots COULD NOT BELIEVE they wouldn't get that call (since they've always gotten them before). They were completely STUNNED (because they all EXPECTED the call. Because they've gotten calls for MUCH LESS).

The refs protecting the Pats stands alone in its sheer absurdity.

As for other teams, yeah, what goes around, comes around (ask Pittsburgh).

Sam, that's the difference. You "hope" something will happen. I "wish". As in, "I wish the Pats would try to come down here and beat us." It's a different mindset.

- Kings of Comedy

I miss the good 'ole days when Jason Taylor breathed fire and spit nails every time he looked across the line of scrimmage and saw Tom Brady.

He was very much indeed, our localized "Brady kryptonite.

Those were the days :)

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