John Ross on tough rookie season: 'It's a new year'

After a disappointing rookie campaign, Bengals wideout John Ross' name is re-surfacing prior to next week's NFL Scouting Combine.

He became the combine's speed king last year after breaking running back Chris Johnson's record of 4.24 seconds in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.22 seconds. Several draft prospects are aiming for his record this year but Ross isn't dwelling on it, at all.

"At this point, it doesn't matter to me," Ross said, according to the Bengals' website. "It's not like I'm getting any royalties from it. Records are meant to be broken. If it happens it happens. There's nothing I can do about it.

"At the end of the day, it really doesn't mean that much to me. I'd rather be playing than recognized for running."

Ross' rookie season did not live up to the expectations. He was limited to just 17 snaps, no catches and one fumble for the year. The wideout is hoping for a fresh start to prove he's worth the Bengals drafting him with the ninth-overall pick.

"I'm looking forward to August. I don't really care what the combine is talking about," Ross said. "... I've been through a lot last year. But it's a new year. A lot of new things coming. The emphasis from last year looks to be change."

Ross blames his poor performance last season on missing a portion of the offseason program due to NFL rules and his late start for training camp after rushing back from shoulder surgery in March.

"That was the problem. My body didn't respond the way I wanted it to," Ross said. "Coming in late, I didn't get to train. I was out of shape. That was pretty tough on my body. Rushing into it. Being out of shape. My body couldn't take the physical aspects of the game we do every day. I thought I could. I think it kind of wore me out faster than I thought. I really didn't catch up until the end of the year when I started to have better practices. It all started to click together. It was already kind of too late. It was best to rest, get my body right."

Now that he's been in the NFL for a year, he knows what he needs to do to improve.

"I've been drafted. I've been in the organization for a year. I know what to expect, what it takes to get on the field. I've watched the film of myself. I know what I've done wrong. So now it's correction and growth."

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