As the Miami Dolphins prepare for their 2012 NFL home opener vs the Oakland Raiders the word is that the wide receiver group has one guy approaching 100% health, and another fading away from 100% health.
The 6’2″ dynamo that is Brian Hartline looks to be getting healthier and healthier as he tries to fully recover from a calf injury. He was targeted a team high 8 times during week 1, but caught just 3 of those passes. His return to health means a return to practice where he can work on his connection with rookie QB Ryan Tannehill.
Hartline has good quickness, and gets to his full speed right away in his routes. He is a very good pass catcher. He attacks the ball and uses his good hands to snatch the ball before it gets too far into his body. He is good in tight spaces and is not afraid to make the physical catches. Hartline is one of Miami’s best options vs zone defenses as he is adept at finding soft spots in the zone.
I am excited to see the formations where Hartline is the outside WR, with Davone Bess as the slot-WR on the same side. I think these two savvy players could really work off of each other to help create better passing lanes and opportunities for Tannehill.
Hartline is a good deep threat, but Miami’s top deep threat is likely Anthony Armstrong. Word is that the speedster was limited at practice this week, and is listed as doubtful to play this weekend. Armstong’s hamstring is acting up which is hampering the 3rd year WR.
Armstrong is a guy that has opportunities in Miami so this injury is a sure disappointment for the former Intense Football League, and Arena Football League star. Armstrong caught just 1 pass in week 1, but he was open for a deep ball that Tannehill threw poorly for an incomplete pass. With Legedu Naanee thoroughly struggling the opportunity is clear for Armstrong, but looks like he will miss the Raiders tilt (too bad as the Raiders secondary will yield big plays).
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