NFL: Dolphins Ted Ginn can’t catch on at key times
By Mike Berardino
DAVIE, Fla. — Ted Ginn Jr. understands why he has become the subject of widespread criticism in the wake of several crucial dropped passes and general underperformance.
“Yeah, I mean, you’ve got to,” the Dolphins wide receiver said Thursday, speaking publicly for the first time since a poor showing in Sunday’s loss to the Saints. “You’re in a high-performance business. If you don’t understand what people want out of you, then you shouldn’t be in this game.”
Ginn said he has leaned of late on his family, especially his father, as he has tried to handle the public outcry. He compared it to his sophomore year at Ohio State, when a slow start put him in the crosshairs of critics, but he rallied to a suitable conclusion.
“A lot of people had a lot of high expectations,” Ginn said. “Towards the end, it seemed to turn around and do better. The season’s not over. ... I believe you go through a little situation like this where you try to become great.”
Ginn was booed after his second drop of Sunday’s loss, a pass from Chad Henne that should have gone for a 15-yard gain late in the fourth quarter. That wasn’t the only time he became aware of the negativity among the fan base and in the media.
“Oh, yeah, I hear it,” he said. “I heard a lot after the game. It’s a part of football. You just have to grow up, play hard and keep playing.”
Two end zone drops against the Colts in Week 2 have been followed by long stretches of near invisibility for Ginn, who also had a third-quarter drop turned into a key touchdown by Saints safety Darren Sharper.
Conveniently lost in the hubbub this week is that Ginn hustled back and slapped the ball away from Sharper just as he reached the goal line.
Replays and a Sports Illustrated photo subsequently showed Sharper fumbling through the end zone before breaking the plane, which would have made the proper call a touchback. Instead, despite a challenge from the Dolphins, the Saints were credited with a touchdown and pulled within 24-17 en route to a 46-34 win.
Ginn didn’t address that subject during his three minutes with the media but coach Tony Sparano said he had seen the SI photo and refused to comment.
The Jets don’t just enter Sunday’s rematch as the NFL’s leading rushing team. They are the first team in 34 years — and just the second in more than half a century — to rush for 300-plus yards in consecutive games.
“Massive,” Dolphins defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni said. “Running for 300 yards, never heard of it.”
O.J. Simpson’s 1975 Buffalo Bills were the last to do so, according to NFL Network, joining the ’56 Colts, ’50 Giants, ’34 Bears and ’34 Lions as the only teams in league history that can make that claim.
The Jets have 634 combined rushing yards in a loss to the Bills and Sunday’s win against the Raiders. However, speedy running back Leon Washington was lost for the season against Oakland with a fractured fibula.
Rookie Shonn Greene, a third-rounder out of Iowa, will replace Washington in the backfield rotation with Thomas Jones.