football Edit

No Excuses, Ross Just Wants To Learn And Improve

Through highs and lows, Greg Ross' mission is to simply get better, no matter whatever it takes.
Through highs and lows, Greg Ross' mission is to simply get better, no matter whatever it takes. (Jenna Miller, THI)

CHAPEL HILL – For Greg Ross, everything he does on the football field is an opportunity to learn and get better.

Compartmentalizing struggles in a manner that make them lessons is how Ross approaches things while highlighting the positives. So, when Ross looks back on last season, he sees the rough patches but also views them as a means to improve.

You can’t fix a mistake that already happened, you can only learn from it and try to avoid it happening again. So, if you ask the North Carolina cornerback about his performance last fall, don’t expect a litany of things he could have done better. Ross doesn’t roll that way.

“Last year, I had to come in and step up,” he said. “It was a great opportunity to get my feet wet, get the feel for the games, so I feel me playing last year I gained a lot of experience that would help me carry over into (this) season.”

Ross, a junior this coming season, played eight games for the Tar Heels registering 31 tackles along with three PBUs. He started six times and ended up playing 519 naps for a team that finished just 2-9.

Ross breaks up s pass versus N.C. State last November.
Ross breaks up s pass versus N.C. State last November. (Jenna Miller, THI)

That’s plenty of experience to where Ross knew exactly what he needed to improve on during the offseason. Smoothing out those rough edges has been a daily process for Ross.

“I feel like I’m doing good,” he said. “I come out every day go to my coach and see what I can get better at and come out the next day and work on that. Address every day, take it day by day, come out and compete with my guys and get ready for a great season.”

It certainly helps that he’s learning from one of the greatest college corners of all time and a former all-pro in Dre’ Bly, who is on new coach Mack Brown’s staff.

“I love working with Dre’ Bly,” Ross said. “With his history here, you can learn a lot from him, he gives you technique points on how to play the ball, how to make plays. The biggest thing with us is to get the ball back to the offense and make plays on the ball.”

Ross continued gushing about the Tar Heels’ legend.

Ross (35) versus Pitt last season.
Ross (35) versus Pitt last season. (Jenna Miller, THI)

“He’s a great coach. He’s a player’s coach, you can talk to him any day,” the Maryland native said. “He’s just like one of us, he still wants to play ball, so everything we do he still tries to involve himself like he’s out here with us like we’re all one family.”

And Bly has been teaching Ross and the other corners the intricacies of UNC’s new defense. It looks chaotic to the outside world, but the players get it and they love it.

It allows them more opportunities to make plays, they have all said, and that sits well with 6-foot-1, 175-pound Ross.

“The 3-4 front, the variety of coverages, variety of blitzes we run, it’s a variety of things that we’re gonna do that gives us an advantage but also gives the front an advantage…,” he said. “A lot of disguise, a lot of different looks to give the offenses problems.”

Ross will also look different this fall. He’s a changed player, and improved player he says, because he learned how to learn from his mistakes.