Bears Envision Ginn Adding A Key Threat To Offense

(670 The Score) For newly-signed veteran receiver Ted Ginn Jr. and the Bears, age is just a number.

Ginn is 35 years old and entering his 14th season in the NFL, but those are just minor details in his mind.

"I can run," Ginn said on a teleconference Wednesday afternoon. "I can still run. That’s my attribute. I can run, I can catch, I can jump.

"Don’t let the age and the years fool you."

Bears coach Matt Nagy helped recruit Ginn to sign a one-year deal with the Bears last week, believing he could fill a needed role in the team's offense. 

Ginn had 30 catches for 421 yards and two touchdowns for the Saints in 2019, with coach Sean Payton using his speed to help stretch the field.

The Bears plan to do the same with Ginn and hope he provides an element that was lacking last season, when Chicago averaged an NFL-worst 9.6 yards per reception and had only four touchdowns of more than 20 yards.

"It’s a vertical offense," Ginn said. "Just going out and putting the guys in the right spot and putting the combinations together. With (Mitchell) Trubisky and Nick (Foles) back there, they’re going to have the arm to be able to at least get the ball down there.

"That’s when you can create all the underneath and the short stuff. So, then you’ve got to connect on the deep ball. Just do my part, running as fast as I can to try and get down there and make a play."

The Bears' intention in adding Ginn was similar to their thought process in selecting Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet in the second round and trading up to draft Tulane receiver Darnell Mooney in the fifth round. Nagy knew his offense was lacking some key components.

Top target Allen Robinson produced a standout season with 98 receptions for 1,147 yards and seven touchdowns, but there was no consistent threat alongside him. The tight end position was a non-factor, and Kmet will now pair with veteran Jimmy Graham, who signed a two-year deal with Chicago in free agency.

Another factor missing in the Bears' offense was speed to stretch the field. The Bears' hope was that receiver Taylor Gabriel would fill that role, but he suffered multiple concussions and played just nine games in 2019. Gabriel's tenure in Chicago came to an end when he was released in February. The Bears are hopeful Mooney can develop in Nagy's offense, but Ginn will get the first chance at filling the key role.

"It's pretty evident to see there are teams in this league right now that are making that a focus in regards to trying to get some speed at the wide receiver position," Nagy said after the draft selection of Mooney.

"We thought that was important. We wanted to come away with that element somewhere."

The Dolphins selected Ginn ninth overall pick in 2007 draft, believing they added a game-changing talent. Ginn never produced at a level commensurate with his high draft slot -- he has caught more than 50 passes just three times in 13 seasons -- but he has remained in the league because his speed is still a weapon.

As the Bears reshape an offense that struggled in 2019, they view Ginn as another threat and gadget.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.