Oakland Raiders backup Brandian Ross feels ready to step in


Aug 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oakland Raiders safety Brandian Ross (29) and cornerback T.J. Carrie (38) against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Raiders 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

By all accounts, Brandian Ross’ time as the starting safety for the Oakland Raiders in 2013 was an abject failure as the replacement for Tyvon Branch wound up being the second worst safety in football according to ProFootballFocus with an embarrassing -23.2 rating for the season. In fact, Ross wound up cut during the preseason as the team found him expendable as a converted cornerback safety with seventh round pick Jonathan Dowling filling the final safety slot in the Raiders depth chart.

Now with Branch out and Usama Young also out for the season, it will be Ross back in the safety position over the rookie Dowling. With the Raiders putting their faith in Ross rather than giving snaps to the rookie in Dowling, Ross told CSN Bay Area’s Scott Bair that he is ready to answer the bell after his 2013 didn’t go exactly as planned.

From Bair: 

"“It’s not the ideal scenario because you never like seeing a friend hurt, but I’m prepared for the additional responsibility,” Ross said on Monday. “I have another year under my belt and my experience will help. I’m ready to step up.”“I wasn’t doing too much this time around,” Ross said. “Last year I was asked to play a lot of different positions and I was asked do things I wasn’t accustomed to doing. My body wasn’t ready for it. Mentally, it was tough. This time around, it’s very simple for me.”"

Ross does have a point that with a year of snaps at safety under his belt that things could go better for him this go around, but after statistically ranking amongst the worst in football at the position there won’t be much hope for Ross to come in as a dependable player until he proves himself. Of course Ross’ motivation will be to prove his doubters wrong, but after a 2013 that went so badly for him there will need to be significant progress made before he is considered anything else but a liability that is out there because two other safeties have already went down. A harsh reality that Ross feels prepared to change when it comes to removing the tag of being one of the worst players in the league at his position.