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An analysis of Ted Ginn’s Special Teams Usage in 2008

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by Rhody Phins Fan, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. Rhody Phins Fan

    Rhody Phins Fan Well-Known Member

    Jan 14, 2009
    I’ve been rewatching the games from last year and I was impressed with many of Ginn’s returns. I hadn’t remembered him being very affective in the kick game so I decided to go back through the play by play and look at the numbers. He was actually not bad at all last year and there are also some misconceptions that I would like to clear up as well.

    Misconception #1: Ginn lost his job on kick returns

    This is spouted often but it’s not really true. If anything he actually gained the job back. The coaching staff wanted him to focus on being a wide receiver and he didn’t return any kicks in the first five games but after that he was the team’s regular kick returner. He returned more kicks than the rest of the team combined.
    Patrick Cobbs did start returning kicks the final two weeks but I’m not sure why since Ginn was coming off a string of awful returns or anything like that. Cobb was effective on kick returns but minus his one 60 yard return, his return average was 18.4.

    Misconception #2: Ginn runs out of bounds every chance he gets.

    People like to question Ginn’s toughness, especially on returns, saying that he searches for the sidelines to avoid contact. Of Ginn’s 32 kick returns, he went out of bounds on 10 of them but one of the times was when Ginn recovered a muff by Polite and immediately went out of bound so it is really 9 of 31 returns which is comes to 29% of his returns. I don’t know what the average is for most kick returners but this doesn’t seem out of the ordinary. Also, on the 9 kicks that Ginn did go out of bounds on he actually averaged 25.7 yards per return so when he broke to the outside he was very effective.

    Now to the stats:

    Punt Returns – Ginn only returned 7 punts or a 7.7 yard average, which is nothing special and it appears that Bess’ quickness is better suited to that role although the staff started using Ginn more towards the end of the year by having both Bess and Ginn back together to receive punts.

    Kick Returns – Ginn returned 32 kicks for a 20.5 yard average compared to a 19.9 average for the rest of the team. These numbers are skewed a bit by some weird kick returns that had nothing to do with Ginn’s return ability.

    * Week 8, Lousaka Polite muffed a short kick that Ginn picked up and was credited for a 1 yard return.

    * Week 10, Ginn returns a kick 100 yards for a touchdown but it is called back for holding and Ginn was credited for a 20 yard return.

    * Week 12, Patrick Cobbs steps in front of Ginn and gets in the way of the catch and Ginn muffs the ball and is tackled immediately for a 0 yard return

    * Week 12, Ginn, trying to make a big play with Miami losing, runs backwards and gets tackled at the 2 for a 4 yard loss on the return.

    The last one was a really bad decision by Ginn and although I don’t believe it has anything to do with his return ability I can understand why people wouldn’t want to remove that return from his stats so I’ll give it to you both ways. If you remove the first three instances his return average jumps almost a yard and a half to 21.9 and if you return the return for a loss it jumps up to 22.9.

    These return numbers don’t jump out as anything spectacular but the poor special teams blocking by Miami also has to be taken into account. Miami was third to last in the NFL in kick return average and if you remove Ginn’s stats they were the worst team in the NFL. The average NFL team kick return average was 22.8 yards and Miami’s without Ginn was 19.9. Clearly, Miami’s kick blocking was awful.

    Conclusion: I am not saying that Ginn was a great kick returner for us last year but considering everything I think he was still a good returner for us. Of the 29 kicks that he was able to return, 9 went over 25 yards and he had 6 returns over 30 yards. And lets not forget how awesome that Seattle kick return was even though that holding probably didn’t affect the return in any way since the defender would not have been able to catch Ginn anyways.


    Mar 22, 2008
    I'm hoping that we draft a WR in our top 3 picks, and that allows for Ginn to return some more kicks. I think he's electric on his returns and could really give us great field position.
  3. Rocky Raccoon

    Rocky Raccoon Greasepaint Ghost Staff Member

    Dec 2, 2007
    Good work Rhody. I didn't really understand why he didn't get more opportunities than he did considering how electric he can be. Focus on his receiving could be the main reason but I don't really see how returning kicks could hinder his progression as a receiver. Either way, the blocking was definitely not good on returns last year, and that's putting it nicely.
  4. Xeticus

    Xeticus Junior Member

    Mar 30, 2008
    Honestly one of the things i like least about Ginn is his special teams play. I caught a couple of games last year where it seemed to he didn't get any yards after the catch. I even remember the one where he tried cutting it back and lost yards. He hasn't impressed me on special teams. On the other hand I love watching Davone Bess. He's a shifty little bastard and exciting to watch. I hope they use him more on special teams.
  5. GISH


    Nov 23, 2007
    Over Yonder
    if our return unit improves even a little bit, we should see a handful more long returns from ginn this season.
  6. phineas64

    phineas64 Season Ticket Holder

    Experince should prevent or at least reduce the bad decisions like running backwards, and he's gto the ability to take it all the way, I'd like to see him handle the KR duties regularly. He's had what, 4 or five TD's called back in the last two years? Def a threat we don't have with anyone else. As a PR Ginn's not so good, I do like Bess but he's not really a home run threat, just good quick decisions that almost always result in positive yards.

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