Let’s say that in his mind the essential Ted Ginn is a 4.22, his personal best. If you never believed that, remember that he was timed in a college team drill at 4.28.
Parse it however you like, he moves at electron speed. You see him where he was not where he is. Which is the metaphor for his career.
Awards and honors, the fumble. Promise and expectation, the drop.
This is the problem: At the receiving position the book says you absolutely have to catch the ball. Run-with-it later-if you-can is nice. But first, ‘cetch.’
Lest we forget. The 2007 season: two touchdowns, three fumbles; 2008: four touchdowns, five fumbles; 2009: fourth in the league in dropped passes, including a drop late in a drive against New England that might have tied the game.
Where have you heard something like that just recently? And do I need to show you the clip again where he got hit in the head during the Giants’ game?
Excuses: He acknowledges a learning disability, although we know that with the help of tutors he got through college, braving hot and cold running girls, courses in hemp management, and the Apollo status that goes with football players at your Ohio State University.
Yes, this is old news. Consequences include that other drop—in salary, from $2.1 million to $1 million. Yes, he has some magnificent moments, some great returns. Yes, he was born to a human mother.
Nitty gritty: percentage of balls caught this season, through this week, 57.1 percent. Overall: 12 catches, three drops. And remember when those came.
And don't say, "Alex Smith did it." Like he's the butler.
Think of Wes Welker—light of light, begotten not made—who is a leading receiver, but not the leader. He has 74 catches, seven drops. Percentage of balls caught, 74 percent.
Pro Football Focus on Ginn. Offensive ratings: eight games, negative; three games, positive. Overall offensive rating: -3.5.
Sure he feels bad. He’s got the towel on his head to show us. Sure, I’m just sitting here in my Monday-morning lazy boy, waiting for somebody, anybody to entertain me. To show me what they've got, and I’ll be the judge.
But take off your diapers people. He’s capable of great individual plays but not capable of a great body of work. So play him where he does best and where he’s not under pressure. Where if he can do something, great. If he doesn’t, no matter.
And don’t play him as a receiver in the fourth quarter. Don’t go to him when he’s open and you think, ‘well maybe this time he’ll make the play.’
It’s in his head, ladies and gentlemen. No fault of his, but his head is in his hands, they have a mind of their own. It happens.
But that kind of thing is like an earwig; sometimes, you can’t get it out. You just have to leave it and hope it comes out on its own.