Rashad Ross' big-time playmaking ability landed him a spot on two different practice squads last season.
This year, he's hoping that the flashy plays he's making this preseason will earn him a spot on the Washington Redskins' 53-man roster.
"This is my second time going around, and last year I was getting ahead because of my tendency to get the big play, and they kept me on the practice squad," Ross said. "This year, I'm continuing to focus on myself and I'm hoping that means I can take the next step."
Evan Redmon of Son of Washington provides another look at the Redskins' 24-23 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.
Ross – originally signed by the Tennessee Titans as a college free agent – was on Tennessee's practice squad before spending the last two months of the season on the Kansas City Chiefs' practice squad.
Signed by the Redskins on May 23, Ross has impressed on the field during the preseason.
Against the New England Patriots, Ross returned the opening kickoff of the second half 37 yards. Then on the next drive, he hauled in a 35-yard pass from Colt McCoy.
On Monday against the Cleveland Browns, Ross logged a 45-yard reception and returned two kicks for a combined 64 yards.
Flashing his elite speed, Ross said that opponents are having difficulties keeping up with him, thus allowing the long gains.
"I feel like I'm getting a good break off the line with my speed," he said. "I'm firing; I'm beating the corner off of the line. When I beat the corner off of the line, it's a footrace and I feel like I have the advantage."
That advantage has led to a 33.7 yards-per-kick return average – fourth highest in the NFL during the preseason – and a team-high 179 all-purpose yards.
With preseason games against the Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the coming days, Ross is hoping to extend his quality performances.
"I'm hoping to do the same things I've been doing," he explained. "I feel like I've been doing good, based off of everything I've done. So whenever they call my number, and whenever I get it, I'm just trying to make the same impact I have been making."
Being embracedThe veteran wide receivers within the Redskins' talented receving corps are always willing to provide insight and assistance to all of the rookies.
This acceptance includes taking Ross -- a player Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson and Santana Moss have all posted about on their social media accounts -- under their wing.
While Garcon is able to show Ross how to consistantly perform at an elite level, Jackson and Moss are able to extend their leadership of the former Arizona State Sun Devil to the return game as well.
"It's great to have people like them helping," he said. "When I was in college, I watched them play. DeSean is one of my favorite players, so just being around him and watching him practice makes me a better player."