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Dolphins' likely No. 1 receiver improved heading into second season

DAVIE, Fla. -- Ted Ginn Jr. is wiser and healthier as he prepares for his second season with the Miami Dolphins. One thing that hasn't changed, though, is his demeanor.

Ginn remained calm after his selection by the Dolphins last year drew boos at the team's draft party. He stayed that way while going through an up-and-down rookie season.

And he's as low-key as ever now, even though he could be looking at taking over the top receiver role for the Dolphins this season.

"Every day I go out and I practice like I'm trying to be the No. 1 receiver," Ginn said after Miami wrapped up its mandatory minicamp Sunday. "I've just got to continue to keep doing it."

After missing most of the offseason last year because of a foot injury sustained in the national championship game, Ginn finished his rookie season with 34 catches for 420 yards and two touchdowns. He opened the season as a receiver and started nine games after Chris Chambers was sent to San Diego at the trading deadline.

Last year's other starter was Marty Booker, and he was released in the offseason before signing with Chicago.

That put Ginn in the likely role of the No. 1 receiver. The Dolphins signed Ernest Wilford as a free agent from Jacksonville in the offseason, and the other seven wide receivers on the roster have a combined three NFL starts.

Veteran cornerback Will Allen says he has seen improvement from Ginn this spring.

"I think he's more assertive," Allen said. "When you first come to the league, you kind of feel your way through, try to figure out how guys are. From a wide receiver standpoint, you have to be aggressive and I think he's starting to understand that you have to play fast, and play fast all the time. And he's getting better at it, you can see it each and every day.

Ginn came to Miami with a big-play reputation from Ohio State, but he had only one catch of at least 35 yards last season.

He did have an 87-yard punt return for a touchdown against Philadelphia and averaged 9.6 yards on punt returns and 22.7 yards on kickoff returns.

While its rare for a No. 1 receiver to also handle punt and kickoff returning duties, Ginn has no problem doing it. And Dolphins coach Tony Sparano also has no reservations.

"The best guy returning kicks will be the guy that goes back there," Sparano said. "If that ends up being Ted, so be it. Ted knows, no different than anybody else, the more jobs you can do here, the better off that we are going to be."

Multitasking is nothing new for Ginn, who scored touchdowns four different ways -- rushing, receiving, punt returning and kickoff returning -- in his three seasons at Ohio State.

Ginn showed glimpses of his big-play ability as a rookie, but he's not about to predict big things for himself even though his opportunities at wide receiver are likely to increase in 2008.

"I mean, we've just got to wait to see," Ginn said. "I'm not a talkative guy, I just let my actions show."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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