Bengals hoping John Ross can play fast

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The Bengals already know John Ross can run fast.

Now they need him to play that way.

The third-year wideout has a chance to shine in a new Bengals offense, but only if he can play at the same rate he runs in a straight line. His 4.22-second 40 at the 2017 Scouting Combine made him a first-rounder, but he didn’t catch a pass as a rookie and only caught 21 last year.

He’s getting plenty of reps in new coach Zac Taylor’s system this offseason, with A.J. Green coming off toe surgery, and fellow wideout Tyler Boyd said the time was important for Ross.

With John he’s still thinking,” Boyd said, via the team’s official website. “He’s thinking and then he reacts. I feel like once he gets comfortable and makes plays he’ll be fine. He’s just got to cut it loose. He’s a great player. He runs his routes clean and he’s the fastest guy in the league. Once it comes to him and he can just react, it’ll be like a hot knife through butter.”

His speed ought to provide an interesting complement to Green and Boyd, as he can do things most other players cannot. And as he looks to make a name for himself for something other than track speed, he likes the chances this system could give him.

“I love it,” Ross said about the new offense. “I think it will play to all of our strengths. We all complement each other really well in a way that will be hard to defend with everyone on the field. . . .

“I felt like my year one was last year because I played 17 plays my first year. It was just get in there and run around a little bit. Last year I got a lot of reps and got good experience. It is almost like I got a redshirt year. I got the gist of things and now I know what to look for.”

And they’ll be looking for more from him, in a hurry.