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Hartline makes his move for starting job

It’s always difficult to project what rookie wide receivers will succeed in the NFL, and 2009 is shaping up to be as unpredictable as ever.

San Francisco’s Michael Crabtree remains a holdout and Philadelphia’s Jeremy Maclin is trying to hold on to a gig on special teams.

Cleveland’s Brian Robiskie was expected to be the most “pro-ready” rookie, but he’s been outplayed by his supposedly “raw” rookie teammate Mohammad Massaquoi.

Oakland is currently starting two rookies at wideout, but most observers would tell you that fourth-round pick Louis Murphy looks as good or better than top-ten pick Darrius Heyward-Bey.

Perhaps the most surprising rookie receiver story is unfolding in Miami, where Robiskie’s old college teammate Brian Hartline is making a serious run at a starting flanker job opposite Ted Ginn.

Hartline started Thursday night and led the team with three catches, five targets, and 79 yards. No other receiver had more than one catch or three targets with the starting unit.  (Ted Ginn has been invisible all preseason.)  The starting job was expected to go to Davone Bess (who caught 54 passes as an undrafted rookie) or Greg Camarillo.

Hartline’s ascension could leave last year’s surprise Camarillo planted on the bench.  Camarillo caught a 52-yard pass late in Thursday’s game, but his post-ACL surgery lack of speed showed up dramatically on the play. 

The Miami passing game wasn’t flashy last year, but it was awfully efficient.  If Hartline steps up, Chad Pennington should have an improved young wideout group.  And we haven’t even mentioned Hartline’s rookie teammate Patrick Turner.

Turner, of course, was drafted a round ahead of Hartline.

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14 Responses to “Hartline makes his move for starting job”
  1. Desides says: Aug 28, 2009 4:20 PM

    “(Ted Ginn has been invisible all preseason.)”
    Except the first game, when he was responsible for 74 yards of total offense in the first quarter.
    The team is more interested in finding a starting receiver opposite Ginn than feeding Ginn in the preseason.

  2. worldinmyeyes says: Aug 28, 2009 4:27 PM

    Hartline = starter = desperate. Where’s the guy who called me out on Henne not being starter material? What say you now?

  3. tinshaker says: Aug 28, 2009 4:27 PM

    Ted Ginn was the star of game 1, he had 3 catches for 45 yards and cleverly drew a pass interference call that gained Miami 35 yards and got them out of their own end zone on 3rd down. He also had 61 yards on 2 kick returns yesterday.
    He has been used very sparingly, but hardly invisible. This is pre-season and Miami has a lot of rookie and sophomore receivers that need reps, so don’t expect them to have one of their star players soaking up all the reps and pass targets during the pre-season.
    Also, Camarillo caught the ball on a 6 yard out and then outran the defense for 40 yards – he’s never been a speedster, so that’s pretty good even if he wasn’t injured.

  4. Abe Froeman says: Aug 28, 2009 4:40 PM

    Yeah, gotta agree with others, Ginn has hardly been invisible. You should try watching the games before you make such ridiculous claims.

  5. RexRyan'sStressedLapband says: Aug 28, 2009 4:54 PM

    Wow Rosenthal, your boss sure has you stuck on this shtick of making the Fins out to be a bunch of wannabes, doesn’t he? Last night’s game was horrible, but I think a lot of it had to do with the ridiculously slow pace of the game, even without the 45 minute delay. Miami is a solid squad this year, and you can bet I’ll be here (as well as the rest of my co-fans you can bet) to tell you all about it come December/January.

  6. ftomeo says: Aug 28, 2009 4:56 PM

    Someone hasn’t been following the Fins that closely.
    Sparano is so confident in Camarillo he doesn’t feel the need to rush him just to give him time. It may take a while to work back in, but he is a lock.
    Otherwise, Miami has been challenging Turner, London, Hartline, Armstrong, and several others to step up. And that’s why much action hasn’t needed to go to Ginn or even Bess.
    What I think we see at play here, however, is that Hartline, Bess, and Camarillo are of similar mold in some regards: dependable, good route running making up for the lack of speed, can and will do anything they are asked to. But, unlike Bess and Camarillo (and Ginn), Hartline is a bit bigger and tougher and physical. So if it is Ginn and Bess or Ginn and Camarillo, Hartline will be a good compliment to the smaller guys.
    Now, Turner… he’s been a bust unfortunately. A shame for a big mutherf’er.

  7. JoeSchmoe says: Aug 28, 2009 5:02 PM

    Go Bucks!!!

  8. cnelson13 says: Aug 28, 2009 5:11 PM

    If you think Ginn’s been invisible this preseason, it’s because you haven’t been watching. I don’t know why you try to analyze specific things about every team when you don’t watch any of them.

  9. IntenseDolphinatic says: Aug 28, 2009 5:43 PM

    It’s obvious you know nothing about the Dolphins. Clueless. Ted Ginn has looked very good this preseason.
    Greg Camarillo did get caugt from behind last night and it was easy for THOSE(more than one) defenders to do it. Fot you Cam lovers don’t be shocked if he is cut or on the PUP list. Cam, Bess and Hartline are basically the same type of WR. Why do we need all three of them? I like him too but, this is a business, right?

  10. Route36West says: Aug 28, 2009 5:44 PM

    Um the special teams gig was never Maclin’s to begin with. Desean Jackson has been the punt returner from last year and Quinton Demps has been the kick returner since last year. They have gave Maclin reps at both as well as Danny Amendola and Ellis Hobbs.
    Jeremy Maclin now has moved up the roster at the postition he was drafted for and is now the starting slot reciever. Also since his hold out ended he has got better everyday/game and particulary last night he played better then any reciever (excluding jason avant) in the Eagles win against the Jaguars.

  11. dahuz3 says: Aug 28, 2009 5:53 PM

    Just another “overrated” “slow” Buckeye making it in the NFL…

  12. p ditty says: Aug 28, 2009 9:00 PM

    By now I would consider letting Crabtree sit if I were the 49ers. Rookie receivers are notoriously worthless (save for hard studying, practice attending ones).
    If I was the 49ers GM( fortunately I didn’t marry that York beotch) I would offer minimum wage for this year and no signing bonus. Crabby has already screwed himself, why screw the franchise too?

  13. ftomeo says: Aug 29, 2009 11:18 AM

    “Cam, Bess and Hartline are basically the same type of WR. Why do we need all three of them?”
    Why sign Cam to a hefty contract when undrafted Bess proved he could substitute for him? Why draft Hartline when you’ve already got two on the roster? Apparently, the Trifecta feels they can’t have enough scrappy WRs.
    The question I have is why can Miami fine gold when it comes to smaller, possession type receivers (don’t forget Welker) who aren’t too quick but can get open through solid route running but they can’t seem to find that big go-to receiver they’ve been looking for since the Orande days.

  14. texasPHINSfan says: Aug 31, 2009 12:57 PM

    the Fins are in a great position with both QB’s AND WR’s… something we haven’t been able to enjoy in a long time.
    None of our WR’s are A-list guys like Fitz or Calvin Johnson, but we don’t really need them. You can make do with efficient guys who aren’t “me first” types. All of our starting WR rotation (Ginn, Camarillo, Bess, Hartline) would be more than happy to get any playing time anywhere, yet are all suprisingly effective.
    Good problem to have, this is.

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