In his second NFL season, Ryan Tannehill took a big step forward and showed positive growth that should set the stage for his continued development as the Dolphins’ quarterback. Much of that progress can be credited to wide receiver Brian Hartline as well, with whom Tannehill has built up quite the rapport.
Of course, the Dolphins will need big-time playmaker Mike Wallace to step up his game should they wish to be successful this season, and rookie Jarvis Landry could play a factor as well. However, Hartline will be the heart of the Dolphins’ offensive attack, giving life to new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor’s plans and providing Tannehill with a much-needed outlet playing behind an entirely new offensive line.
Hartline has been a consistent and dependable presence for Tannehill and the Dolphins in the passing game. He will be pivotal to Tannehill’s improvement going forward.
In two years together, the duo has successfully combined for consecutive 70-catch, 1,000-yard seasons. They were still able to excel last season despite poor protection and the addition of high-profile free agent Mike Wallace. Unexpectedly, Hartline outperformed Wallace (Wallace caught 73 passes for just 930 yards).
Lazor’s spread offense will seek to maximize all of the offensive weapons’ greatest qualities while taking pressure off the offensive line to keep Tannehill on his feet. Lazor is expected to utilize an offense similar to the one employed by the Philadelphia Eagles, in which Nick Foles became an instant star and wideouts DeSean Jackson and Riley Cooper had career years.
That should be good news for Hartline and Tannehill, as they’ve already produced well together despite playing in a shoddy offensive system with poor offensive line play and limited weapons in the passing game .
The former Texas A&M Aggie is entering into what is often a “prove it” year for young NFL quarterbacks in his third season. The Dolphins are hopeful the 25-year-old’s game will take another step forward in 2014 and continue to show that he was worthy of the first-round pick they spent on him in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Luckily for both sides, the reliable Hartline will be present to aid Tannehill in his continued development toward becoming an elite-level NFL quarterback.