|NFL DRAFT: Dolphins' 1st pick leaves fans unhappy|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 28 April 2007 16:47|
By STEVEN WINE
AP Sports Writer
MIAMI (AP) -The Miami Dolphins went for Ginn instead of Quinn, and fans at the team's draft party jeered new coach Cam Cameron for the decision.
With Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn on the board, the Dolphins decided against addressing their most glaring need in the first round Saturday and instead took Ohio State receiver-returner Ted Ginn Jr.
Thirty minutes after selecting Ginn with the No. 9 pick, Cameron made a three-minute appearance at a draft party in the Dolphins' indoor practice bubble. Fans greeted him with boos and continued to jeer as he spoke, and some made a thumbs-down gesture.
``Hey, we need that thumb to go this direction,'' Cameron said, pointing his upward. ``Ted Ginn is going to be someone you're going to enjoy watching play for a long, long time as a Miami Dolphin.''
During Cameron's speech, some fans began to cheer for Ginn, while others broke into a chant of ``Brady! Brady!''
``I understand why they would react how they reacted,'' Cameron said later. ``That was no surprise. But we have to do what we believe is right. ... Our commitment was to get the guy we felt had the biggest impact on our team this year.''
Dolphins fans at NFL draft headquarters in New York also booed the decision and chanted Quinn's first name. He wound up being taken 22nd by Cleveland, while the Dolphins waited until the second round to pick a quarterback: Brigham Young's John Beck.
The Dolphins devoted the entire first day of the draft to offense. They used their second pick in the second round to take 311-pound center Samson Satele of Hawaii, and in the third round they selected running back Lorenzo Booker of Florida State.
With general manager Randy Mueller in charge of the Dolphins' draft for the first time, owner Wayne Huizenga praised him and Cameron for making a first-round selection they knew might be unpopular.
``If you're a new coach just coming in - and Randy, this is his first year being responsible - I give them all the credit in the world for the decision they made,'' Huizenga said.
Still, even Ginn found the decision surprising.
``For sure when Brady Quinn was there, and you know Miami is hurting for a quarterback right now, and Brady Quinn is a great quarterback, to be in competition with him and for me to beat him out was good,'' Ginn said. ``I guess the coaches saw something in me that they liked.''
Cameron's relationship with Ginn dates back nearly a decade. Ginn's father, Ted Sr., is head coach at Glenville High School in Cleveland, and Cameron met a 13-year-old Ted Jr. while recruiting as head coach at Indiana.
``We drafted the Ginn family,'' Cameron said. ``Ted Ginn and his family will give us everything they have.''
Hours after the Dolphins' draft party ended, Beck became the first quarterback selected by Miami in round one or two since Dan Marino in 1983. Beck said he was rooting for the Dolphins to pick him - especially after they bypassed Quinn.
``When they didn't take him, I was thinking 'OK, this is because they're liking me,''' Beck said. ``I just want to be able to go there and accomplish great things.''
Beck, who threw for 79 touchdowns and 11,021 yards at BYU, enters an unsettled quarterback situation. The Dolphins may still complete a long-anticipated deal to acquire 36-year-old Kansas City quarterback Trent Green, who would serve as caretaker at the position while Beck is groomed. It's unclear whether Daunte Culpepper, acquired a year ago, has a future with Miami.
``I think there's still stuff to resolve,'' Beck said.
The Dolphins hope Beck, Ginn, Satele and Booker can bolster a sputtering offense that has been the primarily culprit in the team's five-year playoff drought.
Ginn scored 26 touchdowns at Ohio State, including a Big Ten-record six returning punts. He made 59 catches for 781 yards and nine scores as a junior last year, and he was the second receiver drafted, behind Calvin Johnson, who went to the Detroit Lions with the No. 2 pick.
Ginn shrugged off his awkward role in the Dolphins' unpopular decision.
``I can't really worry about how the fans feel about the pick,'' he said. ``I can just worry about how I can come in and change the game for them.''
Some draftniks accused Ginn of running poor routes, dropping too many passes and struggling to get off the line. But top Dolphins receiver Chris Chambers, who played for Ginn's father in high school, endorsed the pick.
``It's an excellent choice for us,'' Chambers said. ``I know what type of player he is. He gives us an opportunity to be a little more explosive.''
Ginn returned the opening kickoff 93 yards in the BCS national championship game against Florida, then sprained his left foot in the end zone celebration and missed the rest of the game. He said he's now 80 to 90 percent and expects to be healthy for the Dolphins' mini-camp in June.