In speaking of his receivers last week coach Tony Sparano said he was "happy with group of players we have right now, been very productive over the last couple of years, and are continuing to get better."
And that's fine because a coach is supposed to show his players love, sometimes. But a coach is also supposed to know the truth and the truth is the receiver in which the Dolphins have made their biggest financial and emotional investment is not getting better.
Last year when everyone was expecting him to take a major step forward he took a significant step backwards.
That's not opinion.
Ted Ginn regressed in 2009 and the tangible measure of that is available at ProFootballFocus.com as Sam Monson's crew have broken down league-wide drop percentages for pass catchers.
The good news? Greg Camarillo, despite whatever shortcomings he has in his game, is nothing if not dependable. He didn't drop a pass in 2009 in tying for the NFL lead in drop percentage at zero. You cannot get better than zero drop percentage.
Camarillo had 50 catches on the season without a flub.
The bad news? Ginn.
Forget all you know about Ginn's draft pedigree and how in three years he hasn't really lived up to it. He's not dependable no matter if you think of him as a draft bust or a guy who came in as a street free agent. That's because Ginn had a 2009 drop percentage of 20.83, which was the third worst in the NFL behind only Kansas City's Mark Bradley (25.00 drop percentage) and Green Bay's James Jones (21.95 drop percentage).
Pro Football Focus defines a drop as when a receiver gets his hands on a ball, but drops a pass you would reasonably expect to be caught.
According to the tape study by PFF, Ginn dropped 10 passes while catching 38 passes last season. That means the guy dropped one of every five passes thrown to him.
And that followed a 2008 season in which Ginn dropped eight six passes while catching 56.
Fewer catches, more drops in 2009. That is not progress.
I will attempt to get you the statistics on Davone Bess and Brian Hartline today.
[Update: Bess dropped seven of 83 catchable passes. He had a drop percentage of 8.434 to go along with his team-leading 76 catches. Not terrible. Not great. Hartline dropped three of 34 catchables passes. His drop percentage was 8.824 to go along with his 31 catches. Interestinly one of the receivers that fell between Bess and Harltine's drop percentage was Randy Moss. He dropped eight of 91 catchable passes for an 8.791 drop percentage. Of course, Moss kind of makes up for those drops by, you know, catching 83 passes for 1,264 yards and 13 TDs. Perspective.]
Meanwhile, tight end Anthony Fasano was more dependable than probably some of you realized.
His drop percentage of 8.823 was about middle of the pack among tight ends. He dropped three of 34 catchable passes according to PFF. The most dependable tight end in the NFL last season?
Jeff King of the Carolina Panthers didn't drop any of the 25 catchable passes thrown his way. Former Dolphins tight end Randy McMichael (seven drops and a tight end-high 17.07 drop percentage) and Donald Lee (six drops and a 13.95 drop percentage) obviously struggled in 2009.