|Ginn says he's ready for bigger role with Dolphins|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 18 October 2007 12:07|
DAVIE, Fla. (AP) -The text message from Chris Chambers showed up on the phone of his protege, Ted Ginn Jr., soon after the trade that ended their brief time as Miami Dolphins teammates.|
``Keep doing what you do,'' Ginn quoted the message as saying.
Actually, the Dolphins expect more from Ginn than what he has done so far. That's why they judged Chambers expendable and traded him Tuesday to San Diego for a second-round draft choice in 2008.
The departure of the Dolphins' leading receiver ensures more playing time for Ginn, their top pick in this year's draft. He made only three receptions in the first six games but figures to become busier starting Sunday against unbeaten New England.
``I'm ready, man,'' Ginn said. ``I run all day. I never stop. It's going to be fine.''
While the trade created an opportunity for Ginn, it also meant the departure of his mentor. Both are natives of Cleveland, and Ginn's father coached Chambers for two years in high school.
Practice seemed strange this week without Chambers, Ginn said Thursday.
``Chris was helping me with everything,'' Ginn said. ``One day he's here, the next day he's gone. He's still the guy I always look up to, no matter whether he's here or not.''
Ginn's failure to make much of an impact so far has been one of the many disappointments for the Dolphins, who have matched the worst start in franchise history at 0-6. He played little in the first few games but will now become part of a three-man rotation at receiver with Derek Hagan and veteran Marty Booker.
Hagan, a third-round draft pick in 2006, has six catches in limited duty and is still trying to shake a reputation for dropping passes.
``It's time to step up,'' he said.
The trade showed the Dolphins are already thinking beyond this season. Recent improvement by the offense can continue despite the departure of Chambers, coach Cam Cameron said.
``If we're not sitting here with Ted Ginn and Derek Hagan, we can't make the move,'' Cameron said. ``Now it's just a matter of playing the game to see if they can make the same plays they make in practice.''
Veteran players acknowledged the trade as the price that comes with such a dismal start. The Dolphins are virtually certain to miss the playoffs for the sixth consecutive year, a franchise record.
``We're 0-6 and not a real good team right now,'' defensive end Jason Taylor said. ``We're rebuilding, and I'm man enough to see that and say it. It's not a good position to be in, but it's where we are right now. If that's the situation you're in, you do it. It's what needs to be done.''
One reason the Dolphins are woeful is their poor results with first-round picks, including 2006 choice Jason Allen, buried on the depth chart in the secondary. That puts more of an onus on the speedy Ginn, the ninth player taken in April.
The Dolphins defend his slow progress, noting he is only 23 and turned pro after his junior year at Ohio State. And he has showed flashes of his ability lately. In the past two games he made catches of 36 and 32 yards, and last week at Cleveland he broke kickoff returns of 96 and 57 yards - both negated by penalties.
Miami drafted Ginn in part because of his breakaway skill on special teams. He returned six punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns in college, and he said he has felt more comfortable on runbacks in recent weeks.
``It has slowed down for me,'' he said. ``At first people were getting on top of me.''
As for receiving, Ginn said replacing Chambers is not something he would have wished for, but he plans to take advantage of the opportunity.
``I've showed a lot in practice. I hope it carries over,'' he said. ``Being out there for 60 or 70 plays - I'm ready for it.''
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