CHARLOTTE – Everyone keeps asking, "Why is Ted Ginn, Jr. such a good fit in Carolina?"
Head coach Ron Rivera has essentially run out of explanations at this point.
"I couldn't tell you. I really can't," Rivera said Monday. "I've been asked the question, and I've said this or that. I don't know – there's a confidence about him, there is a swagger about him."
Ginn's confidence might very well be at an all-time high after recording touchdown catches of 74 and 46 yards against the Falcons on Sunday.
He now has eight touchdown receptions on the year, a career high. In 2013, his only other season in Carolina, Ginn caught five touchdowns, his previous career high. In the other seven combined seasons spent with Arizona, San Francisco and Miami, Ginn compiled six touchdown catches total.
That brings us back to the original question. Why so much success in Carolina?
To me, there are three people that have paved the way for Ginn to flourish as a Panther.
1. Wide receivers coach Ricky Proehl
No position coach understands how to bring the best out of Ginn like Proehl - at least that's what you gather when Ginn describes their relationship.
"Ricky didn't take my talent for granted. He enhanced it," Ginn said after signing with the Panthers this offseason.
Proehl sees Ginn as more than just a straight-line deep threat. In turn, Ginn has proven that he can effectively run a variety of short and intermediate routes, which make the go-routes all the more dangerous.
"We utilize and understand what his strengths are, and we understand what he doesn't do well," Proehl said. "We use his quickness, his speed and put him in positions where we can be successful. That's all I've ever tried to do with Teddy."
2. Offensive coordinator Mike Shula
Proehl has worked rigorously with Ginn on the finer points, and Shula has utilized his playmaking ability.
Everyone is aware of the drops Ginn has had this year, an area of his game he makes no excuses for. But instead of losing confidence in Ginn, like some would say has happened in his previous stops, Shula has stayed with him.
Even when he isn't targeted, Ginn's speed gives defenses a lot to think about. His presence opens things up for a run-based offense, and the Panthers take advantage of that. And when plays have been designed for him, Ginn has shown the ability to shake off previous drops and the play-caller has faith he'll come through.
3. Quarterback Cam Newton
Last, but certainly not least in Ginn's eyes, is Newton. After Sunday's game, Ginn said he owed all of his success to the quarterback, whose arm strength makes for a perfect combination with Ginn's deep speed.
"Without him there is no Ted Ginn," he said. "We really have a nice thing going right now."
For a wide receiver, earning the trust of the quarterback is essential. Newton trusts Ginn. His belief is unwavering through the ups and downs.
"That's the name of the game – to give your teammates a chance to keep making plays," Newton said in regard to Ginn recently. "Football is the ultimate team sport; especially offensive football. You've got to trust your guys."