Written by Steven Wilson | Twitter: @stevenjwilson11
A second-round selection from the 2014 NFL Draft, Jarvis Landry looked like a veteran this past Sunday against Green Bay. The rookie was targeted eight times by quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the duo connected six times for 75 yards and a touchdown. When asked about his relationship with Landry this week, the third-year quarterback gleamed with pride and excitement.
“He’s a physical receiver,” stated Tannehill. “He has great hands. I think you saw on the touchdown catch, he can go up and make a great play, [with a] guy right on him.”
No. 17’s confidence in his new wideout cannot be understated, especially with Landry catching nearly everything throw his way. The pair hooked up for an 11-yard score in the third quarter of the Dolphins match-up with the Packers this past Sunday. Landry ran a shallow post and his quarterback let him make a play.
Click here for highlights from Sunday's game against the Packers, including Jarvis Landry's TD catch
“He has really strong hands, and he makes the contested catch,” Tannehill explained. “He’s explosive. I think we see that in the return game. I don’t know how many explosive returns he’s had this year, but it’s been a big factor for us as far as field position goes. We are excited to have him. I think he’s getting more confidence [with] the more reps he gets on the offensive side of the ball.”
With No. 14 emerging as a solid slot receiver for the aqua and orange, on the opposite side of the field Brian Hartline did not catch a pass versus Green Bay.
“I think we have to get him involved,” said Miami’s QB, who threw Hartline’s way twice this past Sunday and was intercepted once. “I think some of that is unlucky just in the way the plays have worked out. Some of it is just me not getting him the ball when he’s had the opportunity. Whatever it is, I think we have to get him involved, and consistently.”
Now in his sixth year, Hartline has reached the 1,000-yard plateau in back-to-back seasons, but has underwhelmed ‘phins fans this year. Through five games in 2014, No. 82 has been targeted 28 times and has caught 16 passes. His 161 yards and solo touchdown are half of what he totaled through five games last season. In 2013, Hartline amassed 25 catches (39 targets) for 332 yards and two scores through five outings.
“He’s such a consistent player that can be great for us in the pass game,” admitted Tannehill. “[We need to] make teams defend both sides, Mike (Wallace) as well as Brian, I think that’s important for us.”
Hartline is currently third on the team in receiving yards behind Mike Wallace (313) and Landry (186). Despite preaching distribution in the passing game, Tannehill has only completed 10-or-more passes to five different receivers.