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Ross plans to "lay it all out there" in final week

Aug. 24, 2013
 

The job description doesn’t matter to Jeremy Ross.

If the Green Bay Packers want the 25-year-old receiver/return man to line up as long-snapper, he’s willing to do it to earn a spot on the Green Bay Packers’ 53-man roster when final cuts are due in roughly a week.

However, Ross knows very well the strongest suit in his hand remains as the point man on kickoff and punt return duties, dual roles he re-assumed the controls of during the Packers’ third preseason game on Friday night against Seattle.

After experimenting the past few weeks with Johnathan Franklin and Micah Hyde on kickoffs and punts, respectively, Ross was back on both units against the Seahawks and did nothing to hurt his candidacy for the roles.

On the Packers’ first offensive possession, Ross returned a Steven Hauschka kickoff from 5 yards deep in the end zone to the Packers’ 28 for a 33-yard gain before later notching an 11-yard punt return.

In the area he’s struggled lately – offense – Ross caught the only ball thrown his way for eight yards and avoided being in the vicinity of any turnovers, the primary strike against him over the past couple weeks.

Packers special-teams coach Shawn Slocum all but said the return duties would fall on Ross should he make the 53-man roster. At the moment, that’s the only thing the first-year receiver is concentrating on.

“I definitely want to make the 53. That’s a goal of mine,” Ross said. “That’s a goal of everyone. I’m going to do whatever I can to be a part of that 53 and be out there Week 1, and being whoever they need me to be out there.”

Randall Cobb missed his third consecutive game on Friday with the lingering bicep injury he’s been dealing with. The Packers haven’t ruled Cobb out from kickoff and punt return duties this year, but his recent injury could make them reluctant to use him in that capacity going forward.

Ross made a strong first impression last December before muffing a punt in the Packers’ 45-31 loss to San Francisco, but he still seems to be the most natural and explosive of all the other players they’ve thrown in at the position.

With a week left in camp, the Ross campaign hopes to maintain a modest lead in the polls.

“I think you have to tighten in and focus a little bit more,” Ross said. “Really, nothing changes preparation wise. I think you always prepare the best that you can. I think going into this next week it’s a matter of preparation and preparing the same. Going out in this last game and just trying to lay it all out there.”

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Get Green Bay Packers updates as they happen from our reporting team: (from left) Mike Vandermause, Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty.

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