BEREA—There has been plenty of talk about injuries to the Browns wide receivers and the lack of playmakers on the roster at the receiver position.
However, there has been one receiver who has been very consistent since he’s arrived on the scene in Berea.
Brian Hartline-who grew up and played high school at Canton Glen Oak and Ohio State—has been very consistent day in and day out on the practice field and in the first two preseason games.
“I just prepare every day like it’s a game, that’s how I go about things,” Hartline said. “If the quarterback is willing to give me an opportunity, then it’s my job to make the play.”
The Browns signed Hartline to a two-year contract in March as an unrestricted free agent after six seasons with Dolphins. The 28-year old Hartline caught 298 passes for 4,243 yards, including 13 touchdowns with Miami. He also had two 1,000-yard receiving seasons and caught at least 70 passes twice.
“Brian has been everything we expect him to be,” Pettine said. “As I’ve said before, going against him twice a year in New York and Buffalo, all he did was run good routes and got open and caught the football.
“It’s easy to see why he’s been productive,” Pettine said. “He’s a guy that has proven you can depend on.”
Josh McCown has found chemistry with Hartline in the preseason. Hartline has five receptions for 48 yards in the first two games.
“Brian is just a pro, he’s just a pro’s pro,” McCown said. “When he steps on the practice field, you can tell there’s an urgency to that day’s work, and to getting better and maximizing the time.
“He does that as well as anybody and it’s reflective in his production. That’s been a good thing for us.”
Hartline, (6-2, 200), said he kept track of the Browns last season even though he wasn’t here and that is one of the reasons he wanted to return to Ohio.
“Last year, was a great foundation year for the Browns,” Hartline said. “When I was down in South Florida, I noticed a 7-4 football team ahead in the division that I instantly put in the category of at least a wild card.
“We’re done with the foundation now. We’ve moved on and want to compete for division titles. That’s our goal. There is nothing wrong with that.”