For many the answer is obvious, and it is really, Davone Bess was our best WR last year and its not even close, he had 26 more catches then the next guy, Camarillo, who was our second best WR, then Hartline and bringing up the rear is Ginn, a poor group for a team but underrated still, one key WR away from being a top WR corps, sounds contradictory but it's an interesting situation.
Leftcoastfinfan started this, lol, this is in many ways an answer to a comment he posted in another thread, so just bear with me if you will, thank you in advance.
Lets look at the some stats right off the bat, these are from PFF sans rankings, lol.
|#||Name||Team||Snaps||# of Pen||TA||Rec.||% Ct||Yds||Yds / Rec.||YAC||YAC / Rec.||LG||TD||In||DP||MT||Fu|
Right off the bat Hartline is in a huge, somewhat insurmountable hole, 76 to 31, that is a huge difference, his status as a rookie is not applicable here, we're talking best, not good for a rookie, which he was, I'm not arguing that, who's best is the question.
I didn't particularly like Hartline coming out of camp, he just seemed less than ready, and he was, but he came around during the year and I started to like his grit, but still don't think he brings anything we don't already have and I'm still in a wait and see mode with Hartline, I'm not convinced yet.
Why am I in a wait and see mode with Brian Hartline, well it's easy, he was very fortunate last year, I can pick 5 of his big plays that were more luck and pluck than great WR play, and these 5 plays are 2 of his TDs(Pats and Bills), the long play against the Saints, the long play vs Car and the long play vs Tenn, those are his three longest plays of the year.
The two TDs and the Car play were all defensive mistakes, they stopped covering him, maybe it was because of a lack of respect, IDK, but in each one of those plays the D just lets him go and he is wide open and uncovered, IOW anyone could have made those plays, it wasn't his great play that made it happen, it was their mental errors.
The Saints play he does a nice job of creating a slim opening and making the catch, but then Sharper takes a bad angle and also gets in the CBs way slowing him down for a sec and he STILL catches Hartline from behind, Sharper should have had him, and if he didn't get in the CBs way he would have had him sooner, IOW hartline was fortunate that play went as far as it did, yet its also a reminder that he's not that fast, once the CB gets back into full stride he closes the gap quickly, you couldn't catch a fast WR in that situation.
The Tenn play is luck and pluck, the ball is going to the DB and Hartline does not do a good job of getting in position to catch the ball but he does manage to bat the ball out of his hands and lucky bounce it into his hands.
There's plenty of guys who have had a big avg year never to duplicate it, and it's a small sample(31 catches), you take away those three plays and his avg goes from about 16 to 12.
Reggie Willians avg 16 one year, Ben Watson avg over 15 one year even Ernest Wilford avg 16 one year, a few lucky catches can change your stats a lot when you only have 30 or so catches.
I've heard a lot about Hartline as a deep threat, well there it is, lol, those three plays are what that's based on, this is why they say stats lie, we need to see him do some more before we can say he's a deep threat.
Deep threats run by people, they're hard to keep up with, not guys who get caught from behind with a good head start, lol, can we lay off the deep threat thing until we see him catch ONE deep ball that didn't bounce out of the DBs hands, because that is the only deep pass he's caught.
All the more impressive was the Patriots at times were double-covering Bess, a tactic Dolphins coach Tony Sparano noticed toward the end of their first game against the Patriots in Week 9.
"I think that there was clear emphasis on the Patriots' part to try to take Davone away," Sparano said.
That's right. Bess has gone from undrafted to a double-cover danger.
"He's better than the rest of those guys, that's all there is to it," Tasker said. "Ted Ginn Jr. is a kick returner. (Brian) Hartline and (Greg) Camarillo are complementary guys. They don't have any quality receivers except Bess."
I've heard the comparison of Bess to Camarillo, Hartline's more like Camarillo, Bess and Camarillo do share some characteristics but there's a difference, Bess has elite quicks, he can change direction so fast that DBs just cannot stick with him, even while being double covered, Camarillo has good qucks but he uses very polished route running to get open, it's likely thats why it took him a couple years to "get it", he's also a good blocker, he's got great body control.
Davone Bess was 2nd in the league in 1st downs on 3rd down, with 28, 1 behind the league leader S Smith Giants, he produced at a very high level in clutch situations, he kept drives alive, he gets open practically at will, he caught a pass every 8 snaps he saw, everyone else on our team was 13 or more.
Camarillo has been in the league since 06, and despite the fact that Bess came in in 08, he has more career catches, thats right, Bess is the Dolphins leading career WR after two years, Camarillo 4yrs, Ginn 3yrs, and Bess has more catches than either.
Hartline, like any 2nd year man has to prove he can do it again, and even get better, Bess proved that this year, he's shown he can be relied upon in crucial situations to get it done, he turned 28 third downs into first downs, he's proved it for two years, 130 catches in his first two years, not too shabby.
A couple Bess highlights:
Bess big play in a playoff game;
And now for the perfunctory poll,..........