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Entering Year 3, John Ross is set for a Cooper Kupp-like breakout season

John Ross may finally come alive.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals brought in Zac Taylor, in part, because of his association with the success the Los Angeles Rams have had in his two years with the team. He helped transform their offense to one of the best not only in the NFC, but in the entire NFL.

That being said, part of the offense’s success came from the use of the team’s slot receiver Cooper Kupp, who has thrived as Jared Goff’s third option at receiver. A talent similar to the Bengals’ third-string receiver, John Ross, Kupp didn’t play the majority of snaps for Los Angeles yet was one of their most lethal weapons.

As a matter of fact, Kupp played in less than 80% of the team’s snaps and was targeted in far less than that prior to his Week 8 injury. However, McVay and Taylor kept him ready and the opportunities proved to be plentiful as the season progressed.

Kupp ended the year with 566 yards, easily on pace for his first 1,000-yard season. Along with Goff, who absolutely demolished his previous career high in yards, Kupp found success that was unmatched by other third-string receivers.

Now, with Taylor at the helm of the Bengals’ offensive game plan, it’s Ross’ turn to be unleashed. Let’s just say Ross is looking forward to a breakout year as well according to WCPO’s Laurel Pfahler.

“I think that’s the message from everyone on the team, the coaches, the training staff – ‘just be you, run fast and have fun,’ ” Ross said. “When I’m having fun, I’m a completely different person than the up-tight person I’ve been the last two years, overthinking and letting things get to me that I shouldn’t.”

Known primarily as the fastest receiver in NFL combine history, Ross has the most to benefit from a “run fast and have fun” style of play. His speed is what got him the highest level, and it should be what makes him a star on the brightest stage.

But, it’s Taylor who has to set him up for that type of success. After zero receptions in just three games his rookie year and just 21 receptions in 13 games his second year, Ross is on the verge of finding himself out of the league if he cannot produce soon.

With things finally going in his favor, Ross is set for a breakout year with the Cincinnati Bengals behind the culture that’s been ushered in by rookie head coach Zac Taylor.