Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Brian Hartline used to be one of Ryan Tannehill’s security blankets as he would throw to him early and often, even at times when he clearly wasn’t open. This season though, Hartline has basically disappeared from the offense and no one is quite sure why so Joe Philbin tried to explain.
“I think sometimes, as I’ve said before, I think we’ve talked about Charles Clay a little bit in this regard sometimes. (Hartline) has two years of production of 70-plus catches. Sometimes teams commit, whether they play cloud, whether they double-cover, there are multiple different coverages. We are a progression-based passing game. Sometimes it’s just the way the ball rolls and the snaps are thrown, it just hasn’t been. He hasn’t been targeted quite as much, but I’m sure he is going to have his days.”
Philbin said that they never teach Tannehill to throw to a specific jersey and instead, to throw to the open guy and the guy who has the best chance to catch the football and gain yards. With that said, he made it a specific point to note that Hartline isn’t frustrated about the lack of receptions and that Philbin likes the way he comes out and competes hard every day.
With the offense sometimes stuck in neutral, we’ll see if the Dolphins come up with specific plays designed for Hartline. It seems that this might be one option to increase Tannehill’s confidence during the game as this is who he is most comfortable with on the field