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Old 05-31-2007, 08:22 PM  
Marco Polo Marco Polo is offline
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Europe's best aiming to become Chief factor

http://cbs.sportsline.com/nfl/story/10204743

He's a running back for the Kansas City Chiefs. He will lead the league in rushing. He will lead the league in carries. And his name is not Larry Johnson.

So let's see a show of hands. How many out there ever heard of ... Derrick Ross ?

I'm right there with you. Which is one reason I wanted to find out how a little-known running back from Tarleton State, a Division II school in Texas, could make the Chiefs as an undrafted rookie and go on to lead this year's NFL Europe in rushing, carries and yards from scrimmage.

"A lot of hard work," said Ross. "I guess I just want it."

Well, he's got it, all right, and I'm not talking about a successful spring that has him producing big numbers in all the right places, including 109 yards rushing in the first half of last weekend's win. I'm talking about what's next for Ross, which is reporting to the Chiefs' training camp.

It's hard enough to make a 53-man NFL roster, but look at the position Ross plays. He has to line up behind Johnson, Michael Bennett and fifth-round draft pick Kolby Smith and hope to catch someone's attention.

Two words for Derrick Ross: Good luck.

"That's OK," said Ross. "Just watching the guys in front of me will only help me get better."

Now, how can you not like that response? I guess that's why I just enrolled in the Derrick Ross Fan Club. I know the odds are against him making it as a running back in Kansas City, but so does Ross. And you know something? He's not fazed. In fact, that's why he's playing football in Cologne, Germany.

Ross had never been to Germany before this spring. He'd never been to Europe, either. In fact, he'd never been out of the United States. But he welcomed the chance to participate in NFL Europe because he had something to prove to Kansas City and any other NFL club that might be watching him.

"I wanted to show the Chiefs I can play running back," he said. "I know I come from a small school, but I wanted to show them I can play in this league."

I'd say that ship has sailed. Ross has 20 or more carries in six of Cologne's seven games, and while his 3.8-yards per-carry average isn't overwhelming, his totals are. He has 259 more yards than the closest running back and 220 more yards from scrimmage. He also has three 100-yard games.

But that's not why I like this guy. What I like most about him is his resilience, his honesty and his determination. OK, so it doesn't hurt that he's courteous, making sure to mention his offensive line and the team's coaching staff every time he's asked to talk about his success.

But you can't help but root for the underdog who's unafraid to stare down long odds, and I just described Derrick Ross.

He knows what awaits him in Kansas City. Heck, a year ago he had three carries all season and was inactive nine games. Now the Chiefs have gone out and drafted another running back. Ross isn't an idiot. He understands that complicates things and probably makes a roster spot more difficult to reach.

But you must remember: He has been down this road before. This is one of three undrafted rookies to make last year's opening-day roster. So Derrick Ross knows what it's like to clear hurdles the size of the Chrysler Building.

"You have to wait your turn," he said. "I'll play special teams and be patient. All backs have to do that. For now, I'll keep working on the little things to make me better."

Ross' best hope in Kansas City is to make it as a special-teams contributor, and pull for him to make it. I am. I like that he has done what he hoped to do in NFL Europe. I like that he's always looking for areas to improve, mentioning pass protection a part of his game that needs polishing. Mostly, I like that he knows what he wants and is working to get there.

"I really think I can be a No. 1 back," he said. "I really do."

Here's hoping he's right.
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:29 PM   #2
Count Zarth Count Zarth is online now
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:32 PM   #3
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:40 PM   #4
Phobia Phobia is offline
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He's pretty good. And he is very courteous.
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:54 PM   #5
el borracho el borracho is offline
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1. Why didn't Ross get any playing time last year when Bennet was hurt?

2. Why did we draft Smith in the 5th if Ross is so good?

3. Any chance Ross makes the roster and Smith goes to the practice squad?

4. I wonder if Ross has any trade value?
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el borracho
1. Why didn't Ross get any playing time last year when Bennet was hurt?

2. Why did we draft Smith in the 5th if Ross is so good?

3. Any chance Ross makes the roster and Smith goes to the practice squad?

4. I wonder if Ross has any trade value?
1. He was pretty rough.

2. I guess they wanted a better look at Smith and thought he was a good value there.

3. Sure, why not?

4. I don't know. I do know they put him on the 53 man roster because they thought there was enough interest that he'd have been snatched up off the practice squad.
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Old 05-31-2007, 10:08 PM   #7
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Donnell Ross will hang around for the last preseason game and play his balls off. He'll show passion, determination, and a great attitude. In the second half when we're playing with young scrubs, he'll lead the bunch and get buttloads of rushing yards, and end up winning that game for us.

Joe Posnanski will write an article about him. Warpaint will provide coverage. He'll win over the hearts of fans and steal the hearts of women.

Then he'll get cut.
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Old 05-31-2007, 10:11 PM   #8
blueballs blueballs is offline
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be nice if it carries over to the NFL level
than try and get something for Bennett
good player just can't stay healthy
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Old 05-31-2007, 10:12 PM   #9
Thig Lyfe Thig Lyfe is offline
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Old 05-31-2007, 10:14 PM   #10
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He was terrible last year. Maybe playing in NFLE will clear up some of his inadequacies.

It'll take him awhile before he lives off the ire I have against him over the puntblock fiasco against San Diego, but hey, why not.
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Old 05-31-2007, 10:38 PM   #11
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All I want to know is this -

Has he learned to not touch the ball after a punt has been blocked by your team after the ball has traveled past the line of scrimmage?
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Old 05-31-2007, 10:44 PM   #12
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I think Ross might develop some mysterious injury during camp, ala Svitek, and go on IR for the season to rest up after playing a full season in NFLE. Then, next season, he would have a chance to replace Bennett or to be the third back after Smith.
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Old 05-31-2007, 11:28 PM   #13
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I've always liked him.
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Old 05-31-2007, 11:29 PM   #14
Phobia Phobia is offline
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I've always liked him.
But, but.... he made that one mistake on a fluke play....
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Old 05-31-2007, 11:30 PM   #15
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Didn't he block a punt or something?
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