The race for the No. 1 wide receiver spot for the Miami Dolphins is on.
In my mind, Ted Ginn Jr. clinched the spot with his dramatic, game-clinching catch against the Seattle Seahawks last year when he was double-covered and had only inches to spare at the back of the end zone on a perfect throw from Chad Pennington.
Despite not getting the respect with Dolphin fans and the rest of the NFL alike, Ginn has made a major imprint on the return game alone since he was drafted by former coach Cam Cameron. That year alone, Ginn had four touchdowns called back because of penalties.
No one seems to mention that when they talk about Ginn taking over for a team that traded the popular and gifted Chris Chambers in the middle of the season. With Chambers having a lot of injuries since then, the trade looks good now but during a 1-15 campaign, it looked dreadful and forced Ginn into the lineup without a coach on the field.
Well now after a playoff run and a whole season at WR under his belt, it seems Ginn is poised to lead a young receiver corps that seems to thrive in anonymity. Let's go through the names and see if the average fan will know any without saying "nope."
Camarillo, London, Bess, Patrick Turner (rookie), Brian Hartline (rookie), Wilford, Armstrong, Lowber, Brennan Marion (rookie) and Chris Williams (rookie).
Are you stumped yet?
Believe it or not, they're a very talented and extremely gritty group that remind me of the 1970s Dolphins. The rookies will be tested very soon but the others do nothing but catch the ball and get "another Miami Dolphin first down."
Adding a QB like Pennington, who believes any one in his huddle can get it done, you have the makings of a solid offense with everything depending on a healthy offensive line to set up the run game, with above average running backs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams.
It seems WR Earnest Wilford is being set up to be an all-purpose receiver, blocker, and h-back even though he was frustrated by not seeing the ball a lot in his first year with the team. The Dolphins' front office's strong point is loyalty, consistency, and the belief that every player can make a difference.
Keep your eye on this situation since the Dolphins have two good tight ends in Fasano and Martin. Don't be surprised if Nalbonne isn't given a shot to catch the ball because of his size and strength at 6'5" and 260 lbs. Ireland and Parcells haven't really missed on a TE in years.
Dolphin fans should be very excited, because the offense will be even more creative since the team has been together for a while and aren't looking to pay big money for costly stars like Anquan Boldin to come in and lack results. Now I'm not saying Boldin wouldn't be a good fit, he would. But at what cost?
Receiver coach Karl Dorrell is a former receiver in the NFL and was a head coach for the UCLA Bruins, so he has the pedigree to develop this unit into the top half of the AFC. With the "Wildcat" and a successful run game though, how good do they really have to be?
Against teams like their AFC rivals the Patriots, Jets and Bills, the Dolphins won with ball control and not high scoring shootouts. Therefore, the receivers just need Ginn to be the superstar, Bess as the replacement if he goes down, Camarillo as the latest edition of Welker, and the rest to work hard and learn their roles in the clutch.
This particular aspect of the offense will be improved and the rest of the league will find it hard to defensively match the offensive playbook of the 2009 Miami Dolphins.