Ginn: Returns are another way to get hands on the ball

The newest member of the San Francisco 49ers, receiver/returner Ted Ginn, seemingly gives the 49ers an answer at a spot where there were only questions a year ago.

News flash: The 49ers were abysmal in the return game in 2009.


Arnaz Battle, now with the Steelers, averaged 2.9 yards on 21 punt returns (he also had 10 fair catches and lost two costly fumbles). Brandon Jones, who might have a difficult time making the team this season, also averaged 2.9 yards on nine punt returns.


On kickoff returns, the 49ers placed starting wide receiver Josh Morgan back there. He did well, averaging 28.2 yards on 13 returns. But the 49ers do not want a starting wideout handling the returns.


That’s where Ginn comes in. He’ll likely compete against Jason Hill and Jones for the 49ers’ No. 3 job. The 49ers acquired him for a fifth-round pick (No. 145 overall) to give the 49ers a threat in the return game.


Ginn just took part in a conference call with reporters. Here is what he had to say:


–I read this quote from his new coach Mike Singletary: “He’s a bundle of potential and his upside is off the charts. This guy can fly.”


Ginn said, “I’m glad they (feel I) have that type of potential. I’ll come in and live up to the expectations.”


–Ginn said he is joining “a great team, a great coach.” He spoke with Singletary this morning after the trade had been completed.


“I’m excited to be a 49er. They have a great tradition and great people that came from there. . . . It’s always good to have a new start. Coming to 49ers will give me a brand-new start. My time was up there (in Miami). Now it’s time to move on.”


–He said Singletary did not outline how the 49ers envision using him. He said he’s willing to “let my play talk whatever needs to be said.”


Ginn added, “I still have hopes of being an elite receiver. Special teams is one of the assets I have in my game.”


–Ginn said he wants to handle all the returns for the 49ers. His action on punt returns was limited the past two seasons after doing a good job as a rookie in 2007.


“I’m very open to it,” he said. “It’s one of the things I like to do. That’s me. That’s another way I can get the ball in my hands.”


Why did he return only 12 punts the past two seasons?


“I really can’t tell you, sir,” Ginn said.


–Ginn was the No. 9 overall pick in the 2007 draft. (Patrick Willis was the 11th choice.) He said being such a high draft pick came with a lot of expectations. Those expectations went unfulfilled with the Dolphins.


He said: “It’s a lot of pressure. You’re expected to be the guy. Sometimes it takes two or three years to get in-tune to the NFL. Being a first-rounder doesn’t make the person. You become who you become as you grow in the league.


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