The Bengals made wide receiver John Ross the ninth overall pick in last year’s draft, and he had about as bad a rookie season as possible: He never caught a pass, and the only time he touched the ball, on a running play, he fumbled.
But Bengals coach Marvin Lewis denies he has any issues with Ross, and thinks a much better second season is in store.
“He wasn’t in my doghouse. I don’t have a doghouse,” Lewis said. “I think he’s all the ability we wanted. That’s why we drafted him. He had to get fixed. We knew he was injured going in and he got nicked up a couple of times in his lower legs and the other shoulder was bothering him. He’s all fixed now.”
It’s true that Ross was dealing with injuries, but even when he was healthy the Bengals sometimes made him inactive simply because they didn’t think he was one of their 46 best players. That’s not what you want from a Top 10 pick.
Ross set the record for the fastest 40-yard dash in the history of the Scouting Combine, so there’s no doubt about his athletic talent. But it’s time for him to be known for something other than running fast in shorts and a t-shirt. This year, the Bengals need Ross to do something on the field.