Support Ted Ginn - For the #2 Spot
When Ted Ginn, Jr first came to Miami, I was astonished, but not disappointed. After Brady Quinn fell on the draft boards like the Stock Market last fall, I figured – like nearly everyone else – that the Dolphins would grab him right away.
Now, I was not particularly happy with Brady Quinn as a pick. He reportedly had problems with accuracy, had a reputation for not playing well in big games and was one of the most arrogant college players I had ever seen.
Still, the Dolphins had a major need at quarterback, so I figured that they would jump at the chance to take Quinn.
So when it was announced that the Dolphins had selected Ginn over Quinn, I was as surprised as anyone, but – like I said – not disappointed. I knew very little about Ginn, other than he was a small speedster from Ohio State. And Cam Cameron – an offensive football expert – liked him immensely.
And they had another quarterback in their sights – John Beck.
Cam Cameron tried to make it clear that they were not expecting Ginn to be a serious contributor at wide receiver right away, but that he hoped Ginn could return punts and kickoffs, which Ginn did. As a rookie, he more combined yards that any other offensive rookie in Miami’s history and returned one punt for a touchdown – along with two other touchdowns that were called back because of penalties.
I often wonder if he’d gotten as much venom from the fans as he did if those two penalties had not erased those two touchdowns. He probably would have – the fans wanted Brady Quinn and nothing was going to change that.
Today, however, it looks like Cam Cameron – offensive genius or not – made a mistake in taking Ted Ginn, Jr in the first round. It has become clear in his third season that Ted Ginn will never be a truly dominating player. Yes, he is faster than almost anyone in the league – in a straight line – but his size, his hands and his route-running leave him as a supporting receiver at best. When the game is on the line, he does not come through.
His failure to come down with that potential game-winning touchdown pass against the Colts and his two drops in the last quarter yesterday are both indications that he does not have the talent to be the game-breaking threat that the Dolphins hoped he would be when they drafted him.
He could be a very good number two receiver and he can definitely stretch the field with his speed, but he doesn’t make the tough catches when most needed and he doesn’t fight for the ball very well.
So I’m afraid it’s time to declare that the Dolphins do not currently have a number one wide receiver. I have always liked Ted Ginn and have thought that he received more criticism than he deserved. And I think he has a place on the team as the number two or three man, running the deep post and sideline routes. But he is not the guy to jump up and fight the defensive backs for the ball or go over the middle in traffic for the tough catches.
So, because of that, it’s time for the Dolphins to start thinking about who that will be. It may turn out to be Brian Hartline – perhaps the second biggest surprise of this year’s draft for Miami. Or perhaps Patrick Turner will start to play well.
But whoever it is, the Dolphins probably won’t find him this year.
However, they do need to find him….
Curt "DOLFAN in New England" Fennell