Coach Tony Sparano was recently asked if he thinks the Dolphins have a No. 1 receiver on their roster. After an initial unreassuring pause, Sparano said that, sure, of course, the Dolphins have that guy on their roster.
But, Sparano adds in my column appearing in the Miami Herald today, he's just not really sure which receiver on the roster that is exactly.
Sparano suggests there are a couple of candidates that could step up and become that No. 1 guy. I would tell you there is only one candidate that can step up and if he doesn't, the Dolphins will go through another season without a No. 1 receiver.
Ted Ginn Jr. is that guy.
Look, no matter what happens, someone will lead the Dolphins in receptions in the 2009 season. But that won't make that guy a No. 1 receiver. I define a No. 1 receiver in the column so check it out and see if you agree with my definition.
But in short, guys such as Paul Warfield, Irving Fryar and O.J. McDuffie were No. 1 receivers. They were go-to guys. They were there in the clutch. They got open regardless of what the coverages were. And they had the other necessary attributes of a No. 1 receiver.
Outside of Ted Ginn Jr., there is no receiver currently on the Dolphins with those attributes. Some guys don't have the speed, some don't have the experience, some aren't healthy enough. All lack something.
Ginn? He's lacking route running excellence, consistency of production, confidence and respect. He's been working on his route running. Hopefully that addresses his consistency of production, and that would help his confidence and the respect he has among peers.
I don't know if Ginn will make the leap to being a No. 1 receiver. I do know if he doesn't, no other receiver currently on the Miami roster is likely to in 2009.
[Update: Todd Lowber will definitely not be Miami's No. 1 receiver this season. He was cut Monday.]