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Ted Ginn tired of being 'bashed,' labeled a specialist

It's been six years since the Miami Dolphins used the ninth overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft to select Ted Ginn.

Ginn never developed into the impact receiver the Dolphins hoped he'd be. Ginn was traded to the San Francisco 49ers, where more disappointment followed as he gradually was phased out of the offense under Jim Harbaugh.

Ginn -- now with the Carolina Panthers -- has proven himself to be a strong return man on special teams. He's driven to be seen as something more.

"I want to show the world that I can still play receiver," Ginn said, according to The Associated Press. "I got kind of bashed over the years, being labeled a specialist."

An opportunity seems possible with the Panthers. Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell are locked into starting roles. Domenik Hixon was signed in the offseason, but Ginn hardly is outclassed. Coach Ron Rivera has been impressed by Ginn's speed.

"That's part of the reason he's here, obviously. We know that with his speed, he can blow the lid off, and he's showing it," Rivera said. "But it also helps on quick underneath routes because with his speed, he gets the ball, sticks his leg in the ground, makes a cut and goes vertical. A 5-yard pass can turn into a 25-yard gain before you know it."

The Panthers didn't prioritize finding weapons to build around quarterback Cam Newton this offseason, but Ginn represents something of a wild card. We'd be surprised if he played a significant role on offense, but he's going to get his chance.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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