John Ross is entering the Bengals’ OTAs after a very disappointing rookie season.
However, he is already showing reason for us to get excited about what he can bring during his sophomore season.
John Ross ran a deep post late in Tuesday’s practice that GPSed him at 23.2 miles per hour. According to NFL.com, that by far would have been the fastest play in the league last season, which went to Jacksonville running back Leonard Fournette at 22.05 miles per hour on a 90-yard touchdown run.
That is just an incredible number. Hobson also went on to write that there were only 20 plays last season where a ball carrier went as fast as 21.05 seconds. That only makes that even more impressive of a feat from Ross.
To be fair those guys did that in full pads, and Ross did his in shorts. Still running over 23 miles per hour is impressive no matter what. It should also be noted that A.J. Green hit 23 miles per hour during practice as well, so in case you though Green may be slowing down as he closes in on that 30-year-old mark, you’re wrong.
Ross has been impressing with more than just his speed though.
“He’s really coming along. He’s learning the offense well and he catches the ball really well,” wide receiver’s coach Bob Bicknell said of Ross. “We’ve got two or three deep plays where he’s been in position that we haven’t connected on, which is what we have to do to really be effective. Using your speed and using certain things in different routes and timing and all that, he can work on that a little bit. But I’m really impressed with how into it he is … He’s taken every rep he can.”
That drive to get absolutely every rep you can get at practice is exactly what fans should be glad they are getting from Ross. He isn’t sitting back feeling sorry for himself after a rough rookie season.
Ross is out there striving to get better. It is also good that Bicknell is keeping things in mind that Ross needs to work on. He is still only entering his second season in the NFL after all.
The second-year receiver will be competing with Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd for snaps as the starting receiver next to Green this season. We should expect the Bengals give their ninth overall pick from last year’s draft every opportunity to win that starting position during training camp and the preseason. It would be pretty shocking to see Ross buried on the depth chart to start the season off again, especially if he keeps competing like this.
As long as he has a solid preseason, we should be seeing him fly by defensive backs through 2018 pretty frequently.