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Brian Hartline: Dolphins have AFC East’s best receivers

Ryan Tannehill, Brian Hartline, Jonathan Martin AP

If you paid any attention to free agency this year, you know that the Dolphins made their receiving corps a priority.

They re-signed wide receiver Brian Hartline before anyone else could snatch him away and then landed Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson to go with him on the depth chart. It’s a big change from what the team had on hand last season and Hartline was asked whether the Dolphins have the best receiving corps in the AFC East during an appearance on the NFL Network.

“Absolutely, I think we are,” Hartline said. “Add Dustin Keller in there, Lamar Miller’s a great back and Daniel Thomas is a great back out of the backfield. The whole passing game is an advantage of ours.”

It’s not an outlandish statement. There’s not much competition from the Jets or Bills when it comes to receivers. The Patriots are still figuring things out at wide receiver, but their tight ends help make for a more difficult decision between the two teams.

Not that the winner of an offseason debate about the best receivers matters all that much. As Larry Fitzgerald would surely tell you, having the best receivers in the game doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t have a quarterback who can get the ball to them. We know Tom Brady can get the ball to pretty much anyone who the Patriots send out to catch passes, but Ryan Tannehill doesn’t have Brady’s resume.

The expectation is that Tannehill will be much improved this season and the upgrade to the receiving corps is as big a reason why as any other. Should things work out as planned, the Dolphins will be a lot closer to answering questions about the best team in the AFC East than the far less significant ones about the best position group.

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28 Responses to “Brian Hartline: Dolphins have AFC East’s best receivers”
  1. mazblast says: May 13, 2013 11:47 AM

    Consider the source.

  2. whatnojets says: May 13, 2013 11:47 AM

    Cellar dwellers just behind Buffalo

  3. axltcu says: May 13, 2013 11:48 AM

    Brady got the Pats to the AFC Championship with Reche Caldwell and Jabar Gaffney as his top two receivers. He’ll do just fine with what his has this year.

  4. footballalldayeveryday says: May 13, 2013 11:51 AM

    Like there’s much competition in the AFC East?

  5. mjdelconte says: May 13, 2013 11:52 AM

    Can’t really argue with this. The Pats have major injury issues to Brady’s top 2 targets. The Jets (sorry Jets fans) are a joke offensively. The Bills are in limbo at just about every conceivable position including QB. The Fins have built a solid core on offense.

  6. hughtucker17 says: May 13, 2013 11:54 AM

    What he said will be completely invalid by the end of the season when the Patriots put up record numbers yet again!

  7. doe22us says: May 13, 2013 11:58 AM

    So says the guy that scored just 1td all season, go on with your bad self, and stop feeling good about yourself until the season starts.

  8. rectumdamnnearkilledem says: May 13, 2013 11:59 AM

    Not really a Miami fan, but I might actually watch a few Dolphins games this year. They definitely made their team more exciting on paper. Let’s see how that translates to actual games.

  9. nyyjetsknicks says: May 13, 2013 12:08 PM

    I refuse to comment on this until we get Titus Young’s opinion.

  10. blacknole08 says: May 13, 2013 12:18 PM

    On paper, yes. Wait til Wallace starts dropping passes like he did in Pittsburgh though.

    But as far as production, the Patriots still have the better receiving core.

  11. Sideline Mob says: May 13, 2013 12:20 PM

    The Dolphins absolutely have the best receiving corps in the AFC East. What they do not have is the best QB, RB, TE or offensive line in the AFC East.

  12. themagicfanguy says: May 13, 2013 12:22 PM

    Sorry but no. Amendola, Dobson, Boyce, Gronk, Hernandez, Ridley, and Vereen. Wallace is slightly above average, the rest are practice squad.

  13. dolphinatic13 says: May 13, 2013 12:28 PM

    You’ve got to love the spirit behind a bold boast like that. The only way to shut up the haters is to go out and act like the best receivers in the conference. I can’t wait…

  14. Stiller43 says: May 13, 2013 12:32 PM

    Strictly WR’s, he’s completely right. Make it “pass catcher,” and gronk/hernandez have ya beat

  15. squinn21 says: May 13, 2013 12:48 PM

    Die hard fins fan here! While I’m finally excited about the team for a change, I wish Hartline would keep his mouth shut. A few weeks ago he said we have “a championship offense.” Why don’t you prove it instead of say it? We haven’t won a playoff game in over 10 years and have a consistently fielded a mediocre at best offensive unit. Guy has scored 1 TD last year and is now making all kinds of statements.

    PROVE IT!!!!!!!

  16. joemontanawasthegreatest says: May 13, 2013 12:51 PM

    You have to beat the best to be the best. The Dolphins could give the Pats a run this year, but until they beat them they are just a contender with talent.

  17. japmen says: May 13, 2013 12:59 PM

    Hartline should shut up until he gets more than a few TDs on his total resume. With that said, Miami does have the best WR group in the division and a pretty good one compared to the rest of the NFL. They still have to win games and score more than 18 points a game. An offense is more than just 2-3 guys.

  18. m3dman3 says: May 13, 2013 1:23 PM

    Too bad they are all China dolls

  19. jayovalentine says: May 13, 2013 1:45 PM

    Said : No one ever

  20. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: May 13, 2013 2:01 PM

    themagicfanguy says:
    May 13, 2013 12:22 PM
    Sorry but no. Amendola, Dobson, Boyce, Gronk, Hernandez, Ridley, and Vereen. Wallace is slightly above average, the rest are practice squad.

    ————————————-

    Excuse me. Take out the two TE’s, and exactly who are these people? He’s got a point. But until Tannehill and Miami prove it on the field …

  21. meytonpanning says: May 13, 2013 2:37 PM

    The thing with Miami and New England isn’t so much that they have raw talent, it’s that they have exceptional offensive playbooks and players that fit their molds.

    I’m not even a fan of any AFC East team, but I’m really excited to see how NE and Miami look offensively. Belichick is always creative.

  22. nflgreedleague says: May 13, 2013 2:41 PM

    I love the Patroit fans! They haven’t won the SB since… anyway they remind me of the Bills of the 90’s losing every SB they are in, ha, get a life!
    Keep hanging on to that past glory, aging QB and desperate HC I’m sure you’ll make it this year, NOT.

  23. 305phinphan says: May 13, 2013 2:51 PM

    I would rate the receivers in the division as follows:

    1. Wallace
    2. Steve Johnson
    3. Santonio Holmes
    4. Hartline
    5. Amendola

    Its not that far fetched as a statement people are making it out to be.

  24. Sometimes Interesting says: May 13, 2013 2:53 PM

    “squinn21 says:
    May 13, 2013 12:48 PM
    Die hard fins fan here! While I’m finally excited about the team for a change, I wish Hartline would keep his mouth shut.”

    Keep his mouth shut? He was *directly* asked by a reporter if the Dolphins had the best WRs in the AFCE.

    This is another case of the headline not telling the story, or the reader reading the headline and little else.

  25. tfaulk says: May 13, 2013 6:29 PM

    “He was *directly* asked by a reporter if the Dolphins had the best WRs in the AFCE.”

    Not only that, but the questioner actually dismissed the Jets and didn’t mention the Bills.

    And after Hartline said, “Absolutely…” etc… he went on to say it’s a QB driven league and they need to get the parts on the field to see how things really play out in the end.

  26. scjohnny says: May 13, 2013 7:16 PM

    Pats fans deep down know the loss of Welker is huge,say what u want about he dropped a pass in the super bowl but it was not one of Brady’s best throws…amendola is a similar guy but by know means is he Welker & wes killed us everytime so I think its time for Fins up!

  27. edwinmoses says: May 13, 2013 8:44 PM

    Stevie Johnson is the best #1 receiver out of all of the WR’s in the AFCE. the only one who rivals him is a TE, Gronk. Bills got Robert Woods who will have the best season of all the rookie WR’s. UDFA Da’Rick will show skill right away as well. Mix that w/ TJ Graham and I believe Bills will surprise a lot of people in the air. Fitz routinely did not see or was not able to hit Stevie routinely. Stevie would beat his man on a consistent basis. Jus slow it down MIA, slow it down…

  28. fourthandafoot says: May 14, 2013 2:05 AM

    He’s right, well right now he’s right. Miami does have the best AFC East WR core but by the start of the 2014 season Buffalo could have the best squad if their 3 rookies get u to speed. Robert Woods is unusually polished for a Jr and Da’rick Rogers just needs to grow up and could need a full year to get it but has the potential to be the best WR in the division. Marquise Goodwin needs a couple years to learn how to play. Buffalo has some nice potential there.

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