The Redskins’ decision to keep “long shot” wide receiver Rashad Ross on the 53-man was a “no brainer,” Coach Jay Gruden said on Sunday.
“You talk about going out there and making plays,” Gruden said. “I’d be lying to you [about our goals and expectations] if I had cut him. You’d say, ‘What about this guy?’ This guy made all kinds of plays and you cut him. You’re lying.’”
Gruden stayed true to his word—that the best 53 players would make the team—and selected Ross as the No. 6 wide out behind Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Ryan Grant and Jamison Crowder.
Indeed, Ross earned his spot. The 25-year-old second year pro, who has already bounced around among four NFL teams, led the league this preseason in receptions (25), receiving yards (266) and receiving touchdowns (4).
“We talk about taking advantage of your opportunities, making plays and we’re going to do what’s right, and the thing was to keep him,” Gruden said. “Great story. Talk about a long shot making the team. He came in there, returned kicks, return punts.”
It’s unclear how much Ross will play or exactly how he’ll be used, but it sounds as though Gruden will find a role for him.
“He’s a great guy to have because, obviously, DeSean’s got great speed [and he’s] another guy that can really, really stretch the defense when he’s in the game,” Gruden added.
Ross said he’s just glad to have a nerve-wracking 24 hours behind him.
“I was very relieved,” he said. “All offseason, all the hard work, I feel like it paid off. But that doesn’t mean I can stop now. I need to keep grinding.”