Bengals wideout John Ross had 210 receiving yards all of last season and he had no receiving yards as a rookie, which led to him making changes this offseason that included a new uniform number.
The first glimpse of the new-look Ross was a good one. He caught seven passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-20 loss to the Seahawks and showed the kind of ability that made him a first-round pick in 2017. He also showed some resiliency as he followed up a pair of drops with big plays that gave the Bengals a chance to win on the road in Week One.
After the game, Ross said head coach Zac Taylor and the new staff have helped boost his confidence from where it was in the past.
“Without a doubt,” Ross said. “I think that’s what a lot of players lack sometimes. Like me, I can honestly say now I lost confidence in myself the last two years. Now I come in with a different mentality, and now I’ve got to go out there and continue to believe in myself.”
Ross said he’s “not going to go home and say, ‘Wow, what a job I did’” after losing a game, but the outing was a positive development for a Bengals team that’s playing without A.J. Green and looking for pieces to build around in the long term. While one strong game doesn’t mean Ross will be such a piece, it’s a starting point they’ve been looking for in Cincinnati.