Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Ever since Ryan Tannehill entered the league three years ago, Brian Hartline has been his go-to guy on the field, almost to a fault. Now, in 2014, Hartline has become sort of an after-thought as he has only caught 16 passes for 161 yards and 1 touchdown. However, he doesn’t blame this on Tannehill but instead, says it’s because of the inconsistency of the offense as a whole.
“I would say it’s the inconsistency on the offensive level. I wouldn’t say anything about his inconsistency or his play, because all of us aren’t playing at a high enough level to either pick up each other’s slack or however you want to phrase it. I think the offensive inconsistency is what’s frustrating. I think that, as far as commenting on his play, would be silly, and him commenting on mine. In the end, no one is going to hold Ryan to a higher standard than himself, and I’m sure if you were to ask him that, he would give you all kinds of things that he thinks he’s doing well and also things he wishes he was doing better on.”
However, Hartline followed that up by saying that no matter what way you look at it, Tannehill is a vital part of the offense and he of course needs to step up the game and make things work.
“He’s our quarterback. He’s touching the ball every single play. It’s probably up to him to make things work, whether it be a run, a pass, selling different looks and getting safeties to move and completing footballs. It’s also our responsibility to catch the ball for him. So Ryan is a vital part to our offense, but he’s not all of it. I think we should complement him and I think that the rushing attack can give him with play action, so I think it will all work together. But to say your quarterback is not a vital part of it would be a mistake, especially in this day in the NFL. He’s definitely a vital part, which is easy to say, but I think we all play our part.”
Despite the improved rushing attack, Hartline still believes that the offense has a long way to go and they need to do a much better job starting on Sunday against the Chicago Bears.
“Yeah, we obviously have a better running attack, so anytime you do that, it gives you consistency in your offense. But, that being said, I don’t think we’ve been very consistent as far as the performances go. We’re pretty up and down and we’re still working on trying to find the best ways to be a consistent football team. At this point, the running game is definitely a staple, but the consistency we do lack on offense, we’re trying to work on.”
If the offense can play like they did in the second half against the Green Bay Packers, they should have no problem keeping up with the dangerous Bears’ offense. If they don’t, it may be a long day in Chicago followed by a long plane ride home.