Ninjames' Note: Hey guys, sorry it took me a bit to get this up, it was supposed to go up about an hour ago but I wasn't home in time. That being said, here's another edition of my 49ers profiles. Sorry folks, no catchy title this time, mostly because I couldn't think of something catchy without being particularly rude. This is my fourth one, which leaves me somewhere around 76 to go. Today is Ted Ginn Jr.
The 49ers recently acquired Ted Ginn Jr from the Miami Dolphins. His arrival was a mixed bag as far as reactions are concerned. Some had high hopes of what he could bring to the team, and others heeded the warnings from various Dolphins fans who were... rather eager to weigh in on the situation and weren't so hot about it. Make the jump to see what I've got to say about him.
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Ginn had a very productive high school career. It's not something to base everything on, but I always find it interesting to see how much potential a player had at the time. As a defensive back and a wide receiver, Ginn was made USA Today's 2004 defensive player of the year, a 2004 parade all-american, the 2004 super prep national defensive player of the year and participated in the US Army All-American Bowl, where he was named the MVP. As a senior, he intercepted eight passes and returned five of those for touchdowns.
Ginn was a very hyped player in college. He was recruited by OSU and saw limited time as a freshman, but still compiling decent receiving and rushing yardage while taking four punts for touchdowns. He was made a starter for his sophomore season and had good totals, including a couple special teams touchdowns. In his Junior season, he did even better, finishing with 781 receiving yards and another 706 yards on special teams. He had two more special teams touchdowns that year, including one taken on the opening kickoff in the 2007 BCS National Title Game.
In his college career Ginn received All-American honors as a returner twice, All-American honors as an all-purpose player twice, and All-Big Ten once. This was all good enough to make Ginn the 9th overall pick in the 2007 draft by the Miami Dolphins. It didn't turn out to be a great pick.
After being booed on draft day when the Dolphins passed on Brady Quinn, by fans, players an analysts alike, Ginn set out to prove people wrong. He didn't do much in his rookie season, but he did get voted to the pro bowl as an alternate kick returner. 2008 was a better year for Ginn, but he began to have a case of the dropsies. Balls would hit him directly in the hands and they'd end up on the ground. He'd put himself in good position right on the sideline, but never really seemed to get "it" as far as playing wide receiver in the NFL goes.
Ginn had a breakout game against the Indianapolis Colts in 2009, where he caught 11 passes for 108 yards... but also dropped two very catchable touchdown passes. The drops continued, and Ginn was demoted to a backup role. He then took out his frustrations by returning two kicks of at least 100 yards for touchdowns in week 8 against the New York Jets. Ginn was given more time as a receiver after that, but continued to struggle as a wide receiver and eventually became slightly ineffective in the return game.
So he was traded, to us, the 49ers--to hopefully be a kick returner, and maybe even a decent wide receiving deep threat. Who knows at this point? One thing to note is that Ginn had arguably his best game as an NFL player against the New York Jets as a returner when he was... fired up! Maybe what it takes for Ted Ginn is to have something to motivate him? He was angry, frustrated, and eager to show his skills, so he did. Not as a receiver, but as a kick returner. Much is said about Coach Singletary and his ability to motivate, so it's definitely something to think about.
So we do have a wide receiver with a case of the dropsies and is probably a little inconsistent in the return game, albeit a threat on every attempt. He's athletic, that's for sure, his lowest unofficial 40 yard dash was rumored to be around 4.22 and in his high school days he won numerous awards for track, sprinting, hurdles and the like. He was initially recruited in college to be a track star and qualify for the 2008 Olympics but he chose football instead.
One other thing I've been wondering--when you take Ginn's hands into consideration.. I know it was only high school, but Ginn was a very productive defensive back and didn't really show that much ability as a receiver going into college. What if Ginn had devoted his natural athleticism for being a defensive back as opposed to a wide receiver? It's obviously too late in the development now, but I have to wonder if we wouldn't have a beast of a cornerback on our hands right now if he just stuck to playing as a DB and being a returner. Just something ot think about.
Ginn also has a learning disability, he has admitted to as much and had professed that it takes him two to three times longer to learn things than normal. One of his problems in his rookie season in the NFL was that they handed him a full playbook before he got on the field, why not give him some simple routes and let the athleticism take over? Another thing to wonder is whether or not that stunted his initial growth, perhaps if we start him out slow and are a little patient over here, Ginn could develop into something more. Just a thought.
Here's a highlight video of Ginn's... may want to mute it, unless this song is your thing. :]
Ted Ginn Highlight Film (via playmea)