Rashad Ross was excited to learn that his excellent preseason resulted in a roster spot, but knows that he must continue to grow as the season progresses.
After leading all receivers in receiving yards, receptions and touchdowns during the preseason, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said the decision to keep Rashad Ross on the team's 53-man roster was a "no brainer."
"You talk about going out there and making plays, I'd be lying to you if I had cut him," Gruden told the media Sunday following the team's first practice preparing for their Week 1 opponent, the Dolphins. "You'd say, 'What about this guy? This guy made all kinds of plays and you cut him. You're lying.' We talk about taking advantage of your opportunities, making plays and we're going to do what's right by and the right thing was to keep him. Great story."
Ross wasn't expected to make the team's roster and wasn't exactly on the radar heading into the preseason, but after stringing together great performance after great performance, he became one of the team's best 53 players.
"Talk about a long shot making the team," Gruden said. "He came in there, returned kicks, returned punts. He led the league in receiving I think in touchdowns and everything. He's a great guy to have because obviously DeSean's [Jackson] got great speed. It's another guy that can really, really stretch the defense when he's in the game."
Ross was signed by the Redskins last offseason after stints with the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs.
The Arizona State product showed glimpses of talent last preseason, but was ultimately one of the team's last cuts. He would eventually appear it two regular season games with the Bears before returning to Washington last December.
Not one to enjoy taking so many stops early in his career, Ross made it priority to make it on a team that includes Jackson, one of his favorite players growing up.
Check out these photos of the Redskins' offense preparing for their Week 1 matchup against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015, at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va
"I feel great because I wanted to really be a part of this team," Ross said. "I mean, just bouncing around, coming here two times, being cut, coming back and finally not getting cut now, it's just so good being here."
Ross is similar to Jackson, as they're both smaller players capable of beating opponents at the line with a quick burst who can burn them long as well.
"Since we have the same body type, same type of speed just looking at his routes, looking at how he work, I'm trying to do the same thing as him," Ross said. "Just because we've got the same body type."
Admittedly fatigued following Thursday night's performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars when he recorded 10 receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown, Ross said his grind won't stop just because he's now on the active roster.
"I feel like I'm growing a lot, and all I can keep doing now is keep working and keep working on it and get better and better," he said.