It's not every day that NFL teams sign 35-year-old players when they are looking for speed, but apparently that's exactly what the Chicago Bears did when they added wide receiver Ted Ginn this offseason.
The Ohio State product said he will not disappoint.
"I can still run," he said Wednesday, per Larry Mayer of the Bears' official website. "That's my attribute. I can run. I can catch. I can jump. Don't let the age and the years fool you."
Ginn was an electrifying playmaker in college and a threat to score every time he touched the ball as a receiver, kick returner or punt returner. That speed and his ability to make defenders miss in the open field convinced the Miami Dolphins to select him with the No. 9 overall pick of the 2007 NFL draft.
While he never fully lived up to the expectations that come with being a top-10 selection, he has four seasons with more than 700 receiving yards and seven kick and punt returns for scores in a career that includes stops on the Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints.
He had 10 touchdown receptions during the 2015 campaign and helped lead the Panthers to the Super Bowl. Ginn also helped lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl in the 2012 campaign.
Ginn is past his prime and has just two kick returns since the 2017 season, but he understands his role will be to take advantage of single coverage he faces playing alongside Allen Robinson by stretching the field as a deep threat.
"It won't be different," he said. "I bring speed. I bring that element of stretching the field, so I know I'll be helping that role."
He also said he signed with the Bears in part to work with head coach Matt Nagy, who was an offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs before taking his current position.
"He's a great coach, very down-to-earth, trusting his players a lot, trusting his system a lot, willing to work with you with how you play," Ginn said.
Ginn had 30 catches for 421 yards and two touchdowns during the 2019 campaign as a member of the Saints.