Skip to main content
Raider Nation, Stand Up - View Schedule - Presented by Allegiant

Ross is Next Man Up at Safety


Q: You're kind of in a similar situation to a year ago, right, having to step in for someone who's injured? **

Ross:"It's not the scenario I want to be in, because I don't like seeing my boys hurt, with Tyvon [Branch] and U [Usama Young], but I'm better prepared. A year under my belt definitely helped, and the things I've been able to go through this offseason and during training camp actually helped, so I'm ready to step up."

Q: In what ways do you think the offseason and training camp helped?

Ross:"Just that I wasn't doing too much. Last year I played a lot of different positions and I was asked to do some things I wasn't accustomed to doing, so my body wasn't ready for it. Mentally it was just tough, so this year I'm doing less and it's very simple for me."

Q: What's been the biggest change the last two weeks under Coach Sparano that you've noticed?

Ross:"Just that he tells it how it is. He doesn't sugarcoat it for us, which most of the guys enjoy. Me, personally, I love it. It's given to us straight, no gray area. It is what it is, and so there's very, very little confusion about what he wants and what he needs from us."

Q: With that said, is it easier to believe that you guys can get over the hump; can turn this thing around?

Ross:"Absolutely, not a doubt in my mind."

Q: What makes you believe that though?

Ross:"Just the group of men we have on this team. The leadership we have and the young guys who are going to have to step up. Those guys have been dying for an opportunity, so now they get to prove themselves."

Q: Is there one factor you look at in regards to the third down defense issue and think, this is how we turn it around?

Ross:"It's a multiple of things. It's just something that we have to work on in terms of rushing, making sure we're doing our job, coverage, making sure we're handling things and just knowing what the opponent is doing. It's rushing coverage, working together."

Q: Can that snowball in a good way, the way it has kind of gone the other way?

Ross:"Absolutely. It's very contagious, just like interceptions. Wood [Charles Woodson] got one and then we touched the ball four more times yesterday, but we just didn't make the play. Good things are contagious just like bad things are."

Q: Have you had a chance to talk to Usama [Young]?

Ross:"Yeah, I talked to him yesterday after the game, and I talked to him a little bit today. I'll probably go see him in a few and check up on him."

Q: Is there one biggest thing you've learned from Charles Woodson in the last year or so? What's the thing you've taken from him the most?

Ross:"That you have to play all out. This guy [Woodson], you watch him yesterday, he's flying over piles and diving into piles and he's not taking anything for granted. He's chopping guys at the knees, and it's like, he's like almost 100 and he's doing that, so if he can do it at this stage, why can't I? That's what I really learned from him last year and then having the opportunity to watch him when I was in Miami, watching him play, I'm like, he's still doing it, so make sure that when my opportunity comes, that I'm playing the same way."

Q: [Interim Head Coach Tony] Sparano seemed to think that yesterday he was really amazing.

Ross:"He was. He made some unbelievable plays, just being Wood, I guess."

Q: Does Charles speak in meetings? Maybe tell some of the younger guys, 'Hey, we need to keep fighting out here.'

Ross:"He's vocal when he needs to be, but for the most part he leads by example, by the way he hustles to the ball. Things like that go a long way when you're dealing with a lot of young guys."

Q: You're the next man up, but I guess [Jonathan] Dowling also moves up a notch, what are your impressions of the rookie so far?

Ross:"He'll be fine. He just has to get used to the speed of the game and things like that, but I think J Dowling is going to be fine, no problems out of him."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Latest Content