Exclusive Q&A: Devin Ross Discusses His Journey to the NFL, Expectations for This Season, and More
Aug 9, 2018; Green Bay, WI; USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Devin Ross (83) runs for a again against the Green Bay Packers defense at Lambeau Field. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin via USA TODAY NETWORK
So far this offseason, the New England Patriots have seen change throughout their roster. While they have lost some important pieces on both sides of the ball, the changes have created opportunities for other players on the roster.
One player looking to make an impact is Devin Ross, who spent last season on the practice squad. After years of battling injuries, the Colorado product will be looking to make a name for himself this coming season.
Ross, who has been with the Patriots since last season, spoke with us regarding his days at Colorado, adjusting to the NFL, and what fans should expect this upcoming season.
This interview occurred on March 27
Jamie Gatlin (JG): How has the NFL been different than College football for you?
Devin Ross (DR): I would say, more serious and detailed oriented. Focus on little things way more than in college. Film study is a lot more aggressive and there is more of it. Your mainly with your position group unlike in college when I was with the whole team or just the offensive unit. Now it’s more position friendly but the game has slowed down since I played a no-huddle offensive at Colorado and now we huddle every play. That has been surprising because I thought it would be way faster.
JG: What would you say has been the hardest adjustment so far?
DR: For me, just staying durable. I’ve already been on three teams. The two teams I was with before I got hurt, which is why they released me. I just feel like it’s been being available at all times, I’ve had some freak injuries that I never had before growing up or playing in college. Learning the plays is pretty easy because that is all we really have to focus on.
JG: After your time in Tennessee ended why did you pick New England?
DR: I have a good agency that also has clients like Tom Brady and [Julian] Edelman. I initially got injured my rookie year in the final preseason game against the Vikings and, during my recovery period, that’s when the Patriots first called me to work out. A few months later, right after the 2018 season, they reached out again. Then they called me before the fourth preseason game in 2019 to see if I could play.
I had been with the Eagles for a month-and-a-half before but had broken my wrist. Last year, the Patriots signed me in Week 7 to the practice squad and I was able to learn the plays and get accustomed to how they do things. I feel like I had a good time there and they liked me so they signed me back.
JG: The Pats have lost and added a lot of guys this offseason, how do you think that will affect the team this year?
DR: I feel like that team does something different every year. They have a whole system of how they run things and you can’t really question it. I feel like the team will be a success as long as they have the great coaching staff that we have. We just have to compete and get better as a team every day. That’s the plan.
JG: With the departure of Brady, what do you expect from Stidham this year?
DR: I was with him every day because I was on the practice squad so he was the quarterback for the scout team. He knows the offense like the back of his hand, he helped me learn a lot of the offense and grasp the route concepts. He knows the offense really well from my point of view. He has a really good arm and all the intangibles. I feel like he will be ready, he has the motivation and the mindset to get the job done if the opportunity comes and I’m very confident in whoever Bill [Belichick] chooses at that position.
JG: How do you think the coronavirus will affect the NFL season? Has it pushed back any training that you would usually be doing right now?
DR: It has pushed back a little for me. I’m used to going to a facility and training on my own but I can’t do that right now. I just hope that nothing get’s postponed. I’m sure the OTA’S will get pushed back in some way, they’ve told us that is to be determined and that was supposed to start in April. I just hope that it doesn’t go too far, but it depends on how this whole thing gets handled because we all want to perform and play the sport we love.
JG: What should Patriots fans be looking forward to this year?
DR: For me, I’m just a very determined player and had the opportunity to make a great Tennessee team my rookie year but I got hurt in the preseason. The GM told me I was going to be the fifth receiver but I was undrafted so it didn’t work out. I’ve just been hungry ever since and come in every day to work as hard as I possibly can.
I’m excited about the opportunity to play in a meaningful game, and I feel like everyone in the organization is hungry and they bring the right guys. We have a good future and season ahead.
JG: What are your favorite memories from your college days?
DR: I would probably say my top one is when we won the Pac-12 South my junior year. In recent years, Colorado had never really had any success overall in the Pac-12. That was our first time really being a good team, we ended 10-4. I’ll never forget that.
It was my best year there and we had one of the best receiving corps in the nation.
The second would be scoring two touchdowns in the “Big House” at Michigan stadium. Playing in front of 111,000 people was awesome. Tom Brady was also the honorary captain for that game, which brought more fans to it and being able to score in that stadium, I’ll never forget that.