Carolina Panthers wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. played three of his previous nine NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. His contributions there weren’t great – 31 total receptions between 2010 and 2012 – but he got to play in a Super Bowl. And matching up with his former team still revs his motor.
“Oh, yeah. Definitely,” Ginn said when asked about Sunday’s home game against the 49ers. “But you know, it’s not about me. It’s about my team. All I want to do is be a spark. That’s what I try to do every week.
“So I’m not going to come in and try to do something different. Just go out and play football and have fun while we do it.”
In the three seasons since he left the 49ers, that franchise has gone through radical change. They bottomed out last season, going an NFC West-worst 5-11.
“I had great memories. I was on a team similar to now: A team building up to make a (championship) run. I went to a Super Bowl. I had great times with guys out there,” Ginn recalled. “(But) there are only about three guys out there who I played with on that team.”
This is Ginn’s second stint with the Panthers (his first was a single season in 2013). He has the speed to stretch the field vertically. But he had just one reception Thursday against the Denver Broncos, his only target of that game, for a 5-yard gain.
Is he concerned?
“It’s Game 1. You go out and play and whatever happens happens,” Ginn said. “In our (wide receivers) room whoever catches the ball, we are happy. I credit our guys and that’s nothing for us to be (hanging) our heads about. We’re 0-1 and we’ve got to play.”
Does he anticipate getting more targets going forward?
“That’s all up to the coaches,” Ginn said. “All I do is go out and get better at my craft. Look to the side and be a brother for my guys in the locker room. Be on point when Cam (Newton) needs me.
“That’s all the things I can control. After that, I control nothing else, so I just go out and play for my guys.”
Bonnell: 704-358-5129; @rick_bonnell