2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Panthers' Ginn looks to capitalize on fresh start

    2013-06-13 02:14

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By STEVE REED
AP Sports Writer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Ted Ginn Jr. has never liked being labeled a ``specialist.''

Now the six-year NFL veteran is looking to take advantage of a ``fresh start'' with the Carolina Panthers and prove to critics he can still play wide receiver in the NFL and be more than just a returner.

Ginn, the ninth overall pick in the 2007 draft, left the San Francisco 49ers this offseason as a free agent after what he called a ``tough season.'' Although the 49ers reached the Super Bowl, Ginn was pretty much a non-factor in the passing game, catching only two passes.

He was used in the return game, primarily on kickoffs, but Ginn said he's ready to contribute more.

``I want to show the world that I can still play receiver,'' Ginn said. ``I got kind of bashed over the years, being labeled a specialist.''

It wasn't always that way.

During his first three seasons in the league with the Miami Dolphins, Ginn averaged 43 receptions and was used frequently as a ball carrier on reverses, as well as on special teams as a kickoff and punt returner.

But it wasn't enough production for the Dolphins, who traded Ginn to the 49ers for a fifth-round draft pick after three seasons.

Over the last three seasons in San Francisco, Ginn's playing time in the offense dwindled.

He caught 31 passes in his first two seasons in the Bay Area before disappearing almost completely in 2012. This past year he fumbled four times, losing three, which didn't help matters.

But he still can't pinpoint why he never really got much of a shot on offense.

``You kind of get caught up in the politics a little bit, that side of the game,'' Ginn said. ``You just have to roll with the punches and keep your name clean and your name right.

He's eager for a fresh start.

``I want to get back on track,'' Ginn said. ``Last year was a tough season. We went to the Super Bowl. But individually, I didn't feel like I got the proper reps I was supposed to.''

Ginn has impressed the Panthers so far in OTAs and minicamp and has coach Ron Rivera and quarterback Cam Newton singing his praises.

During Tuesday's practice Ginn turned heads when he raced down the sidelines, beat his defender and hauled in a perfectly thrown ball from Newton in stride for a touchdown. His offensive teammates roared with approval.

``Ted has been a spark,'' Newton said. ``Everyone knows he's fast. I found that out the hard way.''

Newton points to a practice where Ginn outran one of his throws and had to slow down to try to make the catch.

``He kind of embarrassed me so I told him, `Ted, from now on you will never outrun my football,''' Newton said with a laugh. ``So if y'all see a pass and it's overthrown and No. 19 is the intended receiver, just know that it's pride more than anything with him. He will not outrun my football.''

The Panthers are still practicing in shorts, so there's only so much you can tell about the players.

But Rivera said he's been impressed with Ginn's speed.

``That's part of the reason he's here, obviously. We know that with his speed he can blow the lid off, and he's showing it,'' Rivera said. ``But it also helps on quick underneath routes because with his speed, he gets the ball, sticks his leg in the ground, makes a cut and goes vertical. A 5-yard pass can turn into a 25-yard gain before you know it.''

Where Ginn might fit in the offense remains a mystery.

Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell are locked in as the starters, while the team signed Domenik Hixon from the New York Giants to compete with Ginn and others for the No. 3 receiver spot.

``Coming to Carolina, we have a great squad and a great team here,'' Ginn said. ``I'm just trying to come out and show them my talent and provide what I can provide on special teams, as well as at receiver.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Richard RodgersJul 1 05:03p

Green Bay Packers TE Richard Rodgers could see more playing time in 2015, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Rodgers played 528 snaps, while fellow TE Andrew Quarless played [ More ]

Rob HouslerJun 30 03:13p

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge, Rob Housler and Jim Dray could all end up taking over for TE Jordan Cameron, who is now with the Miami Dolphins. Head coach [ More ]

Sam BradfordJun 29 05:22p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) is expected to be in the final phase of his rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament once training camp begins. Bradford's second [ More ]

Charles JohnsonJun 29 02:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Charles X. Johnson appears to have everything it takes to produce in the NFL, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. 'He's got great work ethic, and [ More ]

C.J. SpillerJun 28 09:02p

New Orleans Saints RB C.J. Spiller has a perfect skill-set for head coach Sean Payton's system, which relies on getting the ball to players in space, according Chris Wesseling [ More ]

Tony MoeakiJun 25 07:12p

Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Moeaki will compete with TE Jacob Tamme for the Falcons' starting tight end job during training camp. QB Matt Ryan praised both tight ends for [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJun 25 03:52p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's reported weight gain this offseason is being overblown, according to general manager Dave Gettleman. Gettleman expects Benjamin to be ready to go for training [ More ]

Antoine CasonJun 25 03:03a

Free-agent CB Antoine Cason (foot) will miss the 2015 season due to surgery he underwent on Tuesday, June 23. Cason (Ravens) did not specify what type of surgery he [ More ]

Marvin JonesJun 24 09:13p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Marvin Jones (ankle, foot) did not play in 2014 due to multiple foot and ankle issues, but he is healthy and was impressive in organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp.

Keith WenningJun 24 02:43p

Free-agent QB Keith Wenning (Ravens) signed with the Cincinnati Bengals Wednesday, June 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Pierre GarconJun 24 02:23p

Washington Redskins WR Pierre Garcon could be featured more often in the passing game this season based on the offseason workouts. Garcon often lined up to the right of [ More ]

Martavis BryantJun 24 01:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers WRs Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant are expected to compete for the No. 2 wide receiver job during training camp. Both players performed well during offseason workouts.

Peyton ManningJun 24 11:53a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning was the subject of preliminary trade discussions with the Houston Texans, according to a source. The talks occurred before Manning restructured his deal and [ More ]

Rueben RandleJun 24 10:53a

New York Giants WR Rueben Randle was the best receiver on the field by a wide margin during spring practices, in the opinion of beat writer Jordan Ranaan. Randle [ More ]

Chris IvoryJun 24 10:43a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is listed as the starting running back entering training camp, according to beat writer Rich Cimini's unofficial depth chart. RB Bilal Powell is [ More ]

Devonta FreemanJun 23 10:22a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman enters training camp ahead of RB Tevin Coleman on the depth chart.

Joseph RandleJun 23 10:02a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle appears to be the clear leader at running back, and it's his job to lose in training camp.

Ahmad BradshawJun 22 11:32p

Free-agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw (Colts) has been suspended one game for violation of the league's substance abuse policy. If he signs with a team he must sit out for the first week.

Terrelle PryorJun 22 04:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Terrelle Pryor was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns Monday, June 22, according to a source.

Fred DavisJun 19 06:02p

New England Patriots TE Fred Davis was released Friday, June 19.

Dennis PittaJun 19 02:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) was not medically cleared to practice in minicamp as he continues to recover from his second dislocated and fractured hip in as many [ More ]

Isaiah CrowellJun 19 01:22p

Cleveland Browns RB Isaiah Crowell could be the workhorse back if his ball security improves, according to offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

Devonta FreemanJun 19 01:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman will be used in a lot of different ways, including as a receiver, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'I knew Devonta had terrific [ More ]

Chris OgbonnayaJun 19 11:32a

Free-agent RB Chris Ogbonnaya (Giants) announced his retirement Friday, June 19.

John MoffittJun 18 11:02p

Free-agent OG John Moffitt unretired Wednesday, June 17, and cleared waivers Thursday, June 18. He is free to sign with a team of his choosing. The Philadelphia Eagles, Miami [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 09:32p

Free-agent QB Terrelle Pryor is going to give it a shot at playing wide receiver in the NFL. Some teams have already expressed an interest.

Allen RobinsonJun 18 09:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson was described as 'unbelievable' by QB Blake Bortles Thursday, June 18. 'He's definitely a threat now in the red zone. ... He's physical. He [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 05:32p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Terrelle Pryor was waived Thursday, June 18.

Taylor ThompsonJun 18 05:32p

Tennesse Titans TE Taylor Thompson was waived Thursday, June 18.

Matthew MulliganJun 18 04:32p

Free-agent TE Matthew Mulligan (Titans) signed an undisclosed contract with the Buffalo Bills Thursday, June 18.

Carlton MitchellJun 18 04:22p

Free-agent WR Carlton Mitchell (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed contract with the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, June 18. WR Shane Wynn was waived.

Daniel ThomasJun 18 04:12p

Free-agent RB Daniel Thomas (Dolphins) signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears Thursday, June 18. Financial terms were not disclosed.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group