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New York Giants CB Aaron Ross Embracing Role as Veteran Leader for Defensive Backs

August 9th, 2013 at 8:30 AM
By Doug Rush

When the Jacksonville Jaguars released Aaron Ross in a salary cap move over the winter, it made sense for the New York Giants to want to bring him back into the fold, and he wound up being one of the very first free agents the team signed back in March.

'Stretch' photo (c) 2010, AJ  Guel - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Now, after just one season away from the team that drafted him in the first-round of the 2007 NFL Draft, Ross is loving life and loving being back on the Giants, where he has won two championships during his six-year career.

When Ross was with the Giants from 2007-2011, he was a fixture at cornerback, but his play did drop off, a reason why the team let him walk as a free agent and let him sign a three-year deal with the Jaguars. Now that he's back with the Giants, he's not expecting to start with Corey Webster and Prince Amukamara likely to assume those roles, and with Terrell Thomas vying to win playing time and maybe gain back his starting position, too. Ross is likely to compete and get the nickel corner spot for the Giants, which is according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, just fine for Ross.

“It was almost like a slap in the face if someone moved you into the nickel role," he said. “I like getting dirty a little bit.’’

The ego-check that Ross has gone through as a veteran is something that defensive backs coach Sam Madison has referred to as him accepting his role as a leader on the team and knowing he will play a big part in the secondary, both on and off the field.

“He seems happy, he’s comfortable with his role," Madison said. “He’s matured."

Madison remembers when Ross first entered the league as a rookie looking to make a name for himself while at the time, he was a seasoned veteran playing the role of veteran leader and established star who Ross would lean on for advice and support when needed. Now, six years later, it is Ross who is the one who is having the younger players looking to him for advice and leadership. Madison feels that it is something the 30-year-old has done a great job with and should continue to do well with as a member of the Giants.

“He’s taken his responsibilities on the football field very seriously," Madison said. “He’s finally matured and understands what it takes to become a professional. Last year I think it kind of hit him in the face, for him to come back, you don’t get a second chance, sometimes. Once you leave you’re gone. But he came back."

From the way Ross talks about his only season with the Jaguars, it wasn't an experience that he was fond of; one he referred to as a "paid vacation" once he was back with the Giants. Ross talked about how the Jaguars wanted to win, but knew there was no chance at getting to the postseason and carried that mentality around all season long, which was fitting because the Jaguars finished 2-14 in 2012.

The draw of playing in and potentially winning a third Super Bowl is what lured Ross back to New York and to the Giants, who welcomed him back with open arms and a one-year deal in the off-season. 

The former University of Texas cornerback has 10 career interceptions and 247 career tackles in 78 career games; 65 of which were with the Giants.

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Tags: Aaron Ross, Corey Webster, Football, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Prince Amukamara, Sam Madison, Terrell Thomas

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14 Responses to “New York Giants CB Aaron Ross Embracing Role as Veteran Leader for Defensive Backs”

  1.  Aziz Mohamed says:

    Repost:

    The Steelers game is going to be televised on NFL Network.

  2.  Krow says:

    The fiscally smart player (such as David Diehl) knows one simple fact … ‘you”ll never make this kind of money again’. Words that they all should etch in stone down in their cellars … somewhere in a very prominent place that they’ll see every day.

    Ross is poised to become quality depth. This is a role he can hold for several seasons. And in that capacity he can earn close to $1,000,000 a year. By the time he walks away from football he’ll have made more than enough to retire in style for the remainder of his days. He’s smart … give him his due.

  3.  Krow says:

    Despite being an idiot I’m sad to hear what happened to Plax. Yes, he’s a fool … Chuckles the Clown … wannabe gangsta … all of that. But he was a huge part of the most improbable win in Giants history. I hope it all turns out well for him, but I have to admit that I’m far from certain it will. Good luck Plax, and that was a sweet touchdown in Supe XLII.

  4.  JBeast2 says:

    I like having Ross back, when we drafted him i wasn’t sure if i liked his game but during his rookie year he won me over i think that was the season he had a pick 6 on the Jets? and he tackled the Dallas rb and separated his shoulder the kid showed some toughness. I dont want him to be the starter but he is great depth

  5.  GOAT56 says:

    Nosh – we kept Cruz on a long term deal but for a lot less than you were saying. You were willing to pay him 9 mil. He didn’t get #1 because he’s not that. If Nicks re-signs it’s CLEAR that he will get more than Cruz because he’s the true #1 as we tried to tell you. Cruz got Mike Williams money – high end #2 WR.

    I think you’re wrong to say Pugh can’t play tackle because of short arms. Of course longer arms are an advantage but it’s not like all great OTs or pass rushers have them. Contrary to your belief our staff is smart. They are not playing Pugh at tackle because he can’t play there. Some talent people get lazy with prospects because they look a certain way and therefore should play certain positions. And Pugh very well might end up playing guard or center down the road but that doesn’t mean he can’t be successful at RT.

    •  Krow says:

      His 5 year extension was worth $43 mil … or $8.6 mil a year. Pretty close to Nosh’s and Herman Cain’s favorite number.

      •  giankees says:

        That is without adding any to this yr where he makes 2 mill so actually its closer to 7 mill avg over he 6 yrs

    •  F0XLIN says:

      Everyones favorite PFF did a piece on the effect arm length had on playing OT

      https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/08/06/does-arm-length-affect-ot-play/

      “These graphs convey the same information. Still, there’s no correlation between arm length and performance. Another interesting thing that you can see from these charts is the wide variation in arm lengths for right tackles vs left tackles. Looking at the left tackle chart, all but 4 of the qualified players had arms between 33 and 36 inches long. Looking at right tackles, that number jumps to 13, and is apparent on both ends of the spectrum. So not only are the guys with tiny arms stuck on the right side, but so are the “long-limbed athletes”.

      Any way I break it down, there doesn’t seem to be any correlation between arm length and performance. Still, I would be remiss if I didn’t admit to the limitations of this analysis. First of all, the sample is limited to players whose arm length was available online. In most cases that means they attended the combine or a pro day at a big school, and most likely biases the sample somewhat against lower draft picks and undrafted free agents. The other consequence of this limitation is that old web pages that list arm length for some of the older draft classes are no longer available online. This excludes some of the oldest qualified players. Also of note is that I used a simple linear regression, without controlling for other variables. This means that other variables (age, height, strength, college conference, etc.) could very well be the most important factors in predicting performance that would account for the large variance seen in all the data. If arm length was a huge factor, it should still show up in this analysis, but a more minor effect might become clouded.”

      Although Pugh’s arms are 32in, below the sample size PFF used, the fact they they found zero correlation to arms length and performance, especially for RT is enough proof in the pudding for me

      Side note, both Fluker and Warmack laid some mean blocks last night, really would have loved one of them in the mix

  6.  fanfor55years says:

    Krow is 100% correct about the smarter players figuring out they’ll never make this kind of money again and deciding to “play a role” as required to hang on to a spot in the league a few more years.

    In Ross’ case, I was not happy to see him go and was very happy when they brought him back. I think he can be an important part of the team. I find it interesting that Sam Madison is saying “He’s matured”. It takes some time for many of these guys who were absolute studs in college (and in all previous football incarnations) to realize that they have to really work, hard, to excel in this league where EVERYONE was a stud. You know that expression “Youth is wasted on the young”? Well it certainly applies in the NFL. With some exceptions, the knowledge and wisdom that players who last 7-10 years in the NFL accumulate could have made them Pro Bowlers earlier in their careers when they had the athleticism too. The good news, though, is that as they gain experience and absorb good coaching, a number of older players can make up for a lost step with an understanding of what is likely to happen in a given set of circumstances on the field. Players like Aaron Ross, Corey Webster, Justin Tuck, David Diehl and Antrel Rolle are critical in regard to team chemistry because they can all “coach up” their teammates and help them anticipate when the younger players would otherwise not have a clue.

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