It was a big day for Washington receiver John Ross, who achieved the highlight of his young career by speaking with local reporters for the first time.
OK, so maybe it wasn’t the highlight. But Ross did answer questions after Wednesday’s practice, shedding light for the first time on his development through the first eight games of his career.
Here’s a partial transcript of what he said:
(Ready for breakout game?) “I feel like I’m just a spark away. I’m being patient and I’m just waiting. I’m pretty sure I’m going to break out. Just waiting.”
(Did kick return TD give you confidence despite being called back?) “More, because now I know what I’m capable of and now that I know it looks like that with our guys blocking the way they did, I know it’s not the only run I’m going to get with these guys.”
(Frustrated having kick return TD called back?) “Honestly I’m used to it, because in high school I did it before. But it was my first one, and I was kind of hoping to have it count. It’d have meant a lot to the program, because it had been a long time since that happened. But it happened, and we’ve just got to go back and correct our mistakes and do it all over again.”
(Change in running east-west on kickoffs?) “That was a mistake. Everyone’s faster than high school, by far. Now I just understand that if I run north and south, it makes it easier.”
(How deep in the end zone will you go?) “I’ll take it 110 if they let me.”
(On young receivers stepping up) “Everyone is actually stepping up. We’re looking real good. We all understand that was a tragedy, that was a freak accident, but everyone’s stepping up and we’re looking good in practice. I hope it translates to the game.
“I’m ready for it, but I don’t feel like it just means something for me. It means something for all the wideouts. We all have to step up as a unit because we’re all a group. We’re just one. We’re not one person. We’re a whole unit.”
(Expectations going into season?) “I honestly didn’t think I would come in and play as much. But now I have the confidence and now I understand it’s not like high school and it takes a process. I’m just growing.”
(Biggest adjustment?) “The speed of everyone, just the speed of the game. There’s kickers now flying down. It’s just different overall. The coaching, the gameplans. There’s a different speed to everything.
“In high school I never really had to run full speed and that was a problem when I first got here because I thought that I didn’t have to run full speed. And now that I do run full speed, I understand that I can actually run past guys if I just trust myself.”
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple