WR John Ross
July 31, 2021
Q: How do you view this opportunity with the Giants? Obviously, things probably didn’t go the way you would have wanted at your last team. How do you view this chance? Do you view it as a fresh start? How are you approaching this?
A: I’m just taking it day by day. I’m thankful to be here. I’m just focusing on the time now. I’m not really worried about what happened in the past. Just looking forward to today, looking forward to tomorrow and the future, whatever that holds.
Q: When was the first time you remember hearing, ‘man, he’s fast?’
A: You mean just in my life in general? Just probably being a kid, my first practice ever. Just being out there with a group of kids and you know everybody kind of excluding me from the group. We’re doing sprints and I’m just outsprinting guys. I kind of vaguely remember that as a kid.
Q: Is that one of the first times you thought to yourself, ‘I am fast?’
A: Probably even before when I started playing football. Just being outside, being in the neighborhood playing with all the kids. We used to play a lot of games like freeze tag and stuff. I always felt like I would outrun kids and it was always kind of like that.
Q: Do you still feel that way on the football field at age 25 right now?
A: I mean, absolutely. I still feel good. I still feel like I haven’t really lost a step or anything, so I just am worried about my work ethic and continuing to work hard. I’ll stay the same as long as I keep my health right and continue to work.
Q: Where do you think you fit here? They signed (Wide Receiver) Kenny Golladay, they drafted (Wide Receiver) Kadarius Toney, they have (Wide Receiver) Sterling Shepard, but if a guy can run and produce and play special teams, he’s going to make the team. Where do you see yourself fitting in?
A: I mean, I don’t really try to view it as that, where I see myself fitting in. I just come here every day, and I try and work. Wherever I’m placed, I’ll be ready to work and that’s kind of my big focus. Not worrying about what my role is, this and that, I’ll let the coaches handle that. I just come here to do what I’ve been doing for years, just play football.
Q: Why do you think things didn’t work out for you in your first stop in the NFL?
A: Things happen, you know? I can sit here and pinpoint a bunch of things, but that’s kind of old now. I don’t really care to go back and worry about what happened. I kind of just want to focus on why I’m here now and the things going forward.
Q: Are you confident that those things can be fixed moving forward?
A: I mean, as long as I continue to work, absolutely.
Q: I was talking to (Wide Receiver) Dante (Pettis) the other day about you guys actually being together again. He brought me back to the beginning of free agency and he said you were kind of picking his brain about a bunch of things, but he said he hung up the phone and didn’t realize you were actually considering the Giants until you actually signed. You guys have a pretty good bond, what’s it like being together again here in New York?
A: Man, it’s like we never left. Being back on the team together, all the jokes are still the same, goofiness and everything. It’s good to be around. It’s my first time being on a team with teammates from college, so this is pretty cool.
Q: Is there any part of you, I asked him this and he said, ‘not really, it’s too early,’ but you guys are all competing for spots. The idea that it could come to you and Dante and maybe another guy to make this roster and make this team, what’s that like knowing that you guys are working together and competing together and ultimately working against each other or at least competing for the same spot?
A: We both know what we’re here to do. At the end of the day, it’s never nothing against each other. I think me and Dante know that with our past, we’re dealing with and competing against ourselves and trying to be better than what we were the last couple of years and that’s all we’re focused on. Not so much me and Dante but everybody in the room. I think (Head Coach Joe) Judge preaches, don’t worry about other things, worry about yourself and work hard every day and you’ll get treated how you work, so that’s all we care about.
Q: Football and life in general is somewhat of a learning experience. What have you learned that’s going to help you at this point?
A: That my life is bigger than football. I think that kind of got to me over these last couple of years. I think I put too much stress into the game and not into myself. I learned that I just need to take this day by day, take it for what it is and like I’ve been saying earlier, just continue to work hard every day. I’m here to do a job and that’s what I should be focused on.
Q: In particular on the football field, what do you have to get better at?
A: My story is obviously out there. I think my biggest thing isn’t my ability, it’s my availability and me being healthy. You can tell when I’m not healthy, you can see when things aren’t going right, and I think that’s my biggest thing. I haven’t played 16 games yet and I’m going on my fifth year. I think that says a lot and that’s a big deal.
Q: (Safety) Jabrill (Peppers) said, he was taking some punts with you the other day and he said, “I looked over and he was there and then I looked over and he wasn’t.” Do you think that could be a good pathway for you to get on this team?
A: I mean, absolutely. I think everybody can play special teams and if that’s another avenue that I have to take part of, then I will, absolutely. Anything to help this team win, I’m willing to do it. If Judge walked over to me and said, ‘Come try kicking the ball’ then that’s how I’m going to do it. That’s just my focus, every day come in and work and whatever. Whenever something comes up and the opportunity is granted, I have to face it.
Q: John, what does go through your mind when they kick the ball to you and the ball is in the air and you know that no one is going to outrun you on the field. What’s going on in your mind? Where’s your confidence? Where’s your psyche at that point?
A: I just love having the ball in my hands. So, when the ball is kicked to me or whatever the case may be, I just think to myself, ‘Go have fun, go be yourself. Go be the person that got you here.’ That’s all I can think of. Go in and just be you.
Q: And then it becomes a game of tag like when you were a kid right?
A: Absolutely, running away from people trying to get to my destination.