Yesterday seemed to be something of a relief for Miami speedster Ted Ginn Jr. After being benched for dropped passes and overall poor play at wideout, Ginn took two kicks back for touchdowns in the Dolphins’ 30-25 win over the Jets. So while Ginn still has aspects of the receiving game to work on, he’s still a valuable member of the team and lifelong Dolphins respect that too much to not unload on him, yes?
Well, actually, no. During the course of the week, a veritable Who’s Who of Dolphins greats were attending charity events, including hosts O.J. McDuffie and Bob Kuechenberg. The two, alongside such luminaries* as Jim Kiick and Mercury Morris, absolutely unloaded on Ginn, calling literally every aspect of his play into question. Kuechenberg, as he so often does, led the verbal assault.
From the MIAMI HERALD:
“He’s an embarrassment and a coward,” Bob Kuechenberg said. “He’s got alligator arms. It’s sad. I don’t even know that he has the ability. I haven’t seen it.”
McDuffie lamented, “Every good team has a solid No. 1 receiver, and we have nobody. Just a bunch of twos and threes. Teddy can run, but how much of a football player is he? You either have it or not. Teddy is not as astute a player as I thought he would be. I’ve seen him go down when nobody is around.”
Jim Kiick diagnosed Ginn’s problem as mental. “He doesn’t concentrate. And his route running is not good.”
Mercury Morris said Ginn “needs to talk to either me or [inspirational speaker] Tony Robbins about becoming enlightened and doing the opposite of the things he thinks are right.”
It’s almost an unfair fight to begin with; aside from Hines Ward and maybe Anquan Boldin, there probably aren’t any wideouts in today’s game that old, grizzled veterans from the ’70s are going to appreciate for their toughness. But with Ginn hasn’t made a tough catch in his life and shies away from contact, two things that are akin to taking a dump right on the 50-yard-line logo in a retired NFLer’s eyes.
For what it’s worth, other legends like Don Shula and Dan Marino, while also disappointed in Ginn’s play, asserted that benching him was out of the question - if for no other reason than Ginn’s a high draft pick and the ‘Phins aren’t exactly deep at receiver.
Those are circumstantial issues, though, and the reality is that throwing at Ginn has been a horror show on Sundays. Kuechenberg’s words, while unduly harsh (and totally par for the course for the old guy, of whom Jason Taylor once said “he needs a hug and a hobby”), are rooted in truth. And if Ginn’s going to work things out, it’ll probably happen with rep after rep after rep in practice, not by putting the team out a position to win and giving him 60 snaps during a game. Dude has a long way to go before he’s a legitimate wideout, and that seems abundantly clear to the former Dolphins quoted here.
*90% of the time, we use that term sarcastically, but no; Jim Kiick and Mercury Morris are actually legendary Dolphins.