Everyone knows Ted Ginn is fast. But Panthers coach Ron Rivera didn’t know just how fast until Ginn got on the practice field in Carolina.
Rivera, whose team signed Ginn as a free agent receiver/return man in March, said he has gained a real appreciation for just how speedy Ginn is now that Organized Team Activities are underway.
“You hear things from the outside about players,” Rivera told the Charlotte Observer. “But then when you see him for yourself, and you sit there and you go, ‘Wow.’ Watching Ted’s speed, his quickness, his route-running – and he’s catching everything right now. So we’re real excited about that, and his potential as far as a return man.”
Ginn, whom the Dolphins selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft, spent three years in Miami and three in San Francisco before arriving in Carolina. He has generally been a disappointment as a receiver, but he has the ability to be a game changer as a return man. The Panthers are hoping he’ll make some plays on offense as the No. 3 receiver, in addition to returning kicks, and Carolina wide receivers coach Ricky Proehl said the Panthers will find ways to make the most of that speed.
“He can really take the top off a defense,” Proehl said. “You don’t find guys like that. They’re hard to find that have that ability to run by people. This league is so talented. You got linebackers that run 4.5s. You got defensive linemen running 4.6s. To find someone with that elite speed is hard, and Ted possesses that kind of speed.”
Ginn didn’t make many “wow” plays in San Francisco last year, but his speed is wowing his coaches in Carolina.