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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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You are not allowed to miss Jake Long. He is a traitor and should get the Cody Wallace treatment!

Anyone who doesn't believe the patriots get a little something, go back and watch those three critical penalty calls. Three drives that ended in points that should not have. Don't tell me that wasn't huge.

I believe it goes back to the role the NFL allows Kraft to play with the competition committee et al. I remember people would complain about Shula in the same way in the olden days but to be honest I'm a bit too young to really remember if there was an imbalance in officiating back then but this is obvious to anyone who doesn't wear red, white, or blue.

I would like to be a fly on the wall in the Fins locker room this week.

The mission couldn't be any clearer. Beat the Patriots at home and keep playoff chances alive.

It seems like I have said this is a must win several times this year but here we go again.

It may not be a must win but its the biggest "need to win" that this particular group as seen yet.

Philbin and company need to get these guys jacked up. If ever some of these guys wanted to play their best game, now is as good a time as any.

Starting with the pass rush. If this is truly an elite group with Wake, Vernon, Soliai, Starks, Odrick, Jordan, and Shelby all healthy, they need to put Brady on his back on multiple occasions.

You've got the game at home on your turf. Don't need to lay an egg here.

Buffalo is next and they're reeling but who knows what the weather will be like there and it's still a rivalry game. A win this week will build confidence.

rdubs, the leg twitch is still the best part of that clip, hahahahaaaa

I just finished wrapping MY package.


I have been thinking about the PI before the half and the batted pass by Olivier and it still makes me mad. A sack turned into a first down. Still makes my blood boil

Wow, the 2nd time in 2 days my posts have disappeared after being posted. Yesterday 2 post "disappeared". Now today, my last post vanished after being posted.

Here's what the post said:

I really miss the good 'ole day when Jason Taylor breathed fire and spat nails every time he looked across the line and saw Tom Brady. He was our very own localized Brady kryptonite.

Those were the days!

I can not understand why that was deleted?

Don't forget Aaron Dobson tripping over his own feet within five yards that turned into holding on a 3rd down and the pass went nowehere near DObson on the play to boot. Jimmy Wilson makes no contact at all with Gronk and gets called for PI, a Brady fumble gets misplayed by Vernon trying to recover the fumble and it's illegal touching. My goodness....

Sam, that post did appear on the last page.

And Jake Long's wife deserves the Cody Wallace treatment, from me. I will take the hands free approach though :)

The batted pass was one of the worst calls I've ever seen. Usually that happens when someone is trying to push it towards someone or away from another player.

Not when someone is by themselves trying to recover an fumble.




and toss that salad. Have to eat healthy, ya know?

CS, agreed. Why would Vernon have not punched it straight bakc if that what he was trying to do, instead he swooped his arms like he was trying to bring it in and the ball got away from him.

Jim Nance was all over that call but Phil Sims knowing where his bread was buttered with the NFL tried to cover up that fukkery...

hhaha, balanced diet rdubs!

MIT, very strange, that post first appeared as the 3rd post on this page. Then suddenly it disappeared. So I went back to the last page, it wasn't there either. No, "MAGICALLY", it has appeared as the last post on the last page.

Very Strange. Maybe the herald inadvertently deleted it, then reposted it as the last comment on the last page. I'm 100% certain it wasn't there when I last looked.

Hope it isn't a "Herald Conspiracy" to drive me nuts. That isn't a major accomplishment at all. My shell's been cracked and disposed of long before I heard of the Herald. :)

I am glad that they are talking about removing the replay power away from the officials. With technology why dont they have a room with like a million damn screens and 10 guys watching the replay and then relay that to these crappy refs. Dont the refs watch the replay on little crappy TV's? If you had a room filled with giant screens and the play outcome was decided by a committee of qualified people. Wouldnt a lot of these dumb calls be reversed? PENALTIES SHOULD ALSO BE CHALLENGE ABLE AS WELL

Again, for me crying about officials because your team didn't play well enough to win is just loser talk.

Fans of every team in the league, including New England, feel like the refs are against them.

It's called cognitive bias, same thing that makes people believe astrology is real. You notice 'questionable' calls that go against your team, notice 'questionable' calls that go for the other team, don't notice ANY of other 'right' calls.

HOLY EFFE! A NFL analyst on the website picked us over NE. Must be a jinx.

Don't forget Aaron Dobson tripping over his own feet within five yards that turned into holding on a 3rd down and the pass went nowehere near DObson on the play to boot. Jimmy Wilson makes no contact at all with Gronk and gets called for PI, a Brady fumble gets misplayed by Vernon trying to recover the fumble and it's illegal touching. My goodness....

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | December 12, 2013 at 01:22 PM

MIT, exactly why I say its a "Benefit of The Doubt" thing with refs. Good teams historically get it over bad teams.

Only consistent winning will solve this problem. It all begins with our team performing consistent enough execution to determine its on fate.

Luck occurs when preparation meets opportunity. When this team can consistently win, we'll begin to get benefit of the doubt calls from the officiating too, when playing lesser teams, then at times playing other good teams.

It all begins with consistent winning execution to determine our own fate. Bad teams set themselves up for benefit of the doubt calls to go against them. Because the refs do not believe these type teams will win against better teams anyway.

Lets blame the refs.

I don't think you should be able to challenge a penalty. Just too much of a grey area. There is probably a penalty on every play to some extent (holding, illegal contact etc). Nobody would get a 1st down ever again.

Cetus, you're generalize a lot there. I don't think every call that goes against the Dolphins is a bad call.

But to honestly say the Pats don't get special treatment is putting on blinders. See Tuck Rule.

generalizing... I am so smart, smrt.

Posted by: CommonSense | December 12, 2013 at 01:45 PM

Yeah Cetus, ditto. It's called abject stupidity.


What does abject mean? LMAO

Ha! Sam, good one!!! This team during the last generation is enough to make all of us die hards a little nuts...

CommonSense, you misread what I wrote, I said fans notice questionable calls against their team and ignore questionable calls against the other team.

Not that fans think every call against their team is a bad one.

I could be wrong, But, I thing Joe Robbie sells out this Sunday. A December game with playoff implications have been extremely rare over the past decade.

Joe Robbie should be an ablazing inferno of dolfans attending this game.

It'll be a sellout but any season ticket holder can tell you it'll be 30-40% Pats fans.

Posted by: Sam I Am | December 12, 2013 at 01:53 PM

I could be wrong, But, I think Joe Robbie sells out this Sunday.

Those who say I/we shouldn't ocmplain about the calls in the last pats game, think about what you are saying. All those penalties occured on 3rd downs or about to be 3rd and 40something.

Giving the patriots first dowwns there is like giving them an extra three turnovers. Tell me what team in the NFL has a chance when they have a minus three turnover differential. The refs took THAT GAME out of the Dolphins' hands.

Actually the Ravens game was almost as bad as the Pats and Jets games usually are in Joe Robbie. Surprised me to see so many Baltimore fans, guess that's what a Super Bowl will do for you.


Posted by: Cetus | December 12, 2013 at 01:54 PM

As with NY/NJ, LOTS of transplant New Englanders dwell in the State of FLA.

Sorry Mark, I just disagree, I think blaming the refs is just lame, the Dolphins didn't do nearly enough to win that game. They panicked after halftime and let themselves get drawn into a shootout. Two Tannehill picks later and that's all she wrote.

Yea, I just don't know where all those Baltimore fans came from.

Bandwagon I guess.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | December 12, 2013 at 01:55 PM

No denying this, just not the sole reason for the loss. 2nd half oline play was beyond atrocious and ZERO 2nd half points.

Refs had ZERO to do with our 2nd half offensive disaster. 2 TDS and we win 31-27.

Nance was all over that play i know, but Simms did critsize all those pass interference calls and the non call on Hartline.

Is this a Simms/Nance game this week?

And Cetus, take away those penalty calls and what exactly did the Pats do? Not any more than Miami did. Who had the great game for NE??

Wallyfin, I believe I read from Barry Jackson that is Simms and Nance.

Good teams more often than not overcome bad officiating. For bad teams, bad officiating is but lowering the casket and filling the grave.

Bad teams are already dead.

To be fair, there are also usually a very large number of Dolphins fans at away games, too. Far more than most teams (aside from Cowboys, Packers, and a couple of others depending on how they're doing at the moment).

MIT, take away those penalties and we probably only lose 20-17, instead of 27-17. It does not excuse the atrocious of our 2nd half offense.

Truth be told, we lost the 1st Pats meeting because we played a little less than 30 minutes of football on both sides of the ball.

Football is still a 60 minute game.

Mark, I'd agree the teams played similar games if Miami's defense came away with six sacks and two picks.

Bottom line is Miami didn't play well at all and didn't do nearly enough to win. You can cry about the refs all you want but they aren't the reason Miami lost.

I've actually never been to a Dolphins away game, seems cold.

Speaking of fans, Bills fans just LOVE to tell everyone how "loyal" and "rabid" they are but here's a little fact they do NOT want you to know:

Remember that great playoff game with the Oilers years ago? The one that was the greatest comeback in playoff history (and just about any other game) that Buffalo won in OT?

Guess where the ONE place in America it wasn't televised was. Buffalo. Western New York. Didn't even come CLOSE to a sellout.

Next time you hear that crap from a Bills fan just remind them of THAT.

I can't rememeber the last time we won a game Simms was calling.

I remember being up on the Jets by 3 scores and he was walking through how they could get back in the game and it seemed like he had a connection to the Jets sideline. Everything he said, they did and won the game. I'm sure it was all in my head but thats what it seemed like.

pressure! pressure!
♪ ♫ ♩ ♬

I like pressure

Posted by: 2 watt | December 12, 2013 at 10:44 AM

3 beats in that bar/measure of music 2 watt! Are you saying this game will be a "Waltz in the Partk "(sorry) for the Fins?
Musicians may respond to this posting.
Go Dolphins.
Fins MUST withstand the first onslaught of the Pats hurry up offense.

"Park" not Partk.

There's really only a handful of franchises where the fans are genuinely loyal and show up regardless of how the team is doing.

Green Bay, obviously. Denver as well. To a slightly lesser extent Seattle (which has become a great sports town)...Kansas City...maybe a couple of others. Hell, even Pittsburgh (which has a tremendous fan base) had a TON of empty seats the other day. Nobody could have missed it.

The rest? They all suffer from PLENTY of no-shows when thing aren't going well. The only difference is that many of them have a larger corporate ticket base than Miami but those folks stay home in large numbers, too (not that it matters to the team's finances--the tix were sold).

Miami does NOT have tremendously loyal fans, I agree, but they are also not all that different from the vast majority of fanbases out there.

Do we REALLY need to see a Mike Shanahan press conference every freaking day on NFL Network?

Sorry, but his travails and RG3 are just not all that fascinating.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | December 12, 2013 at 01:51 PM

Mark, and all: I was born in Miami, had season tickets the first 4 years of the Fins existence, thus have an EXCUSE(!) for the Dolphin love affliction I so stoically suffer.
I'm wondering how folks, for instance where you reside also fell in to the trap?
Please forgive the little excursion of topic. Just curious.

Sam, those penalties, the three blatant ones anyway led directly to 13 points and we lost by ten. You do the math...

Their definitely seems to be a conspiracy to uphold the legacies of Beliichick and Brady. The refs won't let this team get blown out.

Personally, I think some of these refs are placing bets in Vegas. With all the injuries,there are a lot of people betting against the Pats these days yet they keep on winning.

@ 2:26... you can blame my allegiance to the team squarely on the ... logo.

I think I was about 9 years old the first time i saw an NFL game ... saw the logo and got really interested. That game... John Riggins super bowl. A year later Marino arrived then I saw tha air show and I was hooked.

If marino never came along, I think I may just as easily be a Chargers, Vikings, Eagles, or Saints fans as I also loved those helmets too...

Mark, for me it was they (I believe it was) $12 tickets on the 30 yard line. Or some such ridiculous price. And, of curse $5 to the Cuban to park on his lawn! Those guys cleaned up.

Why am I so pumped up for this game? Just feels like we can put a beat-down on these Patsy's.

B Hartline=good attitude. Thumbs up dude. Reminds me a little of Welker.

Where was there a quote from Wallace about a "new offensive wrinkle"?

C'mon Phins, tha "wrinkle" mentioned by Wallace might actually be his running a definitive pass pattern on the shorter stuff, instead of just sort of "drifting" out into an undetermined area.

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