Throughout this season, and the 2013 season too, I think every one of us has been guilty of criticizing the butter fingered nature of our #19 Ted Ginn Jr.
A Look at The Drops By The Numbers
It's not without reason either, some of his drops have looked easier to catch than to drop, but he has managed it regardless. This season 100 players have 35 or more receptions, including Ginn who had 37. None of the other 99 have a higher drop percentage than he does with 10.1% from his 8 drops. In fact only Amari Cooper, Mike Evans, and Demaryius Thomas (all 9) have dropped more balls than he. Though they all have many more receptions than he, lowering their drop percentage. Cooper has been receiving some criticism in the press recently and he is the closest of the three to Ginn with 8%. Eric Ebron (9.4%) and Julian Edelman (9.1%) are also close behind him. This is a minor improvement for Ginn, who dropped 3 of his 26 targets for Arizona last season leaving him with a percentage of 11.5%.
Some of his drops have been costly, and some of them have cost us guaranteed scores. Yet even with them Ginn is important for this team and for Cam Newton. His speed makes him a valid deep threat for Newton to target. Would anybody else on the roster have been fast enough to even be in a position to drop the ball for some of them, or would they simply have been negatively recorded against Cam as overthrows?
I'm sure you all know he clocked 22.44mph during his 74 yard touchdown run last week, the fastest speed clocked in an offensive play all season. He's 30 and he can still burn people like that, surely that is a handy trait to have in your locker room. It's not a one-off, wind assisted, freak-like accident either. He clocked 21.93mph in the week 7 match up with the Eagles, again leaving defenders lost in the smoke coming off his heels.
So far this season Ginn has racked up 645 receiving yards, just 145 yards short of his career best from way back in his sophomore season in 2008. He has added a career high 8 touchdowns too, three less than the rest of his career combined. In the last two games alone Ginn has 7 catches for 200 yards and 4 touchdowns. Yes he may have the occasional, mind boggling drop that frustrates the life out of us fans. But currently his pros are outweighing his cons so we need to accept he isn't perfect, nobody is, and let him play his game. If his hot streak continues, then what better time to find his ceiling than heading into the play-offs?
I also think it is fair for us to assume that his upside will continue to outweigh his downside too. Baring the 2008 season his next two best season have come in Charlotte with Cam Newton throwing to him. He struggled through three seasons in San Francisco before we took him on the first time. His bounce back year earned him a 3 year, $9.75m deal with Arizona where he once again struggled to find a place in the offense.
It seems that Ted Ginn Jr needs Cam Newton and, right now, Cam Newton needs Ted Ginn Jr.