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Bengals WR John Ross wants “to be a problem for other teams”

John Ross turned plenty of heads during minicamp, but he isn’t ready to settle for his progress so far. He’s also planning to work more with T.J. Houshmandzadeh this summer.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-Minicamp Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals minicamp has come to a close, and there are plenty of takeaways as we set our eyes on training camp. One of the biggest developments has been wide receiver John Ross looking more like the top 10 pick the Bengals made last season.

“He’s really got that elite speed and quickness and he can catch the ball,” wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell told Geoff Hobson of “He can catch the ball as well as anybody in drills. When he’s running right at me where you can really judge how he reaches and catches it, he frames it perfectly. He just needs to be more consistent, but he’s an impressive guy.”

That is what Bengals fans need to hear after Ross had one of the roughest rookie seasons we’ve seen in a long time. Ross went from being drafted ninth overall to not recording a single catch during his rookie season. Injuries and coaching decisions played a part in his limited opportunities, but he has found a friendly voice to keep him on the right track on the field who missed his rookie season.

“Me and [William Jackson] talk about it all the time. That was the first thing Will and I talked about this year,” Ross said. “(Jackson said) ‘Look at me. I got hurt and last year I had a good year. You got it. You work hard. You’ve got what it takes. Just work hard every day and you’ll l be OK.’”

Jackson is now sitting on the edge of superstar status if he can prove he can play like he did at times in 2017 during the course of a full season as a starter. The situations are obviously slightly different as William Jackson got injured early in camp and was put on Injured Reserve. Still, the matter of making a sophomore season leap is something Ross is after. He is proving that yet again by going to work out with former Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh during the break between minicamp and training camp.

“He saw how much I wanted him to be a part of it and how serious I am,” Ross said of Housh. “I like to improve. I don’t like to stay the same.”

As far as talent goes it never seemed like Ross was missing anything. During his rookie season it seemed like he was put behind the eight ball since he couldn’t join the team until later on due to a NCAA rule that has since been reversed. He also came in with a shoulder injury that caused him to miss valuable reps until he was cleared when training camp already was underway. Not to mention, the Bengals offense underwent a huge change in Week 2 as Bill Lazor took over as coordinator, which couldn’t have been easy on the rookie.

Ross is now trying to put all of that behind him. On a thrid-and-five in Bengals minicamp, Lazor sent Ross on a drag route. He just happened to be matched up with Jackson. He ended up out running Jackson and picking up the first down. That kind of play may not seem like much, but considering Jackson is one of the faster players in the NFL himself, it is a great sign of things to come.

“I want to be a problem for other teams,” Ross said. “That’s kind of what I’m going for.”