Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports
CB Aaron Ross stands on the sideline with Terrell Thomas.
Cornerback Aaron Ross, a former first-round pick in 2007, is back with the Giants after spending the 2012 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars. For Ross, playing with the loathsome Jaguars was a culture shock he regrettably referred to as "a nice paid vacation to Florida" back in April in an interview with NFL AM (h/t Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk).
Winning championships has been ingrained in Ross' football DNA ever since his rookie season, but Jacksonville clearly wasn't the proper setting to allow that passion to thrive. Now, the 30-year-old defensive back and two-time Super Bowl champion couldn't be happier to be back with a perennial contender.
"Every team talks about winning a Super Bowl, but being here for five years, it's something that is embedded in you," Ross told Tom Rock of Newsday. "It feels like I'm refreshed. I'm happier. It just feels like a huge load is off my back."
The change of environment has done wonders for Ross, who is standing out at Giants training camp for the first time in a long time. After two very successful seasons in 2007 and 2008 in which he snagged six interceptions, returning two of them for touchdowns, Ross never asserted himself as a consistent starter.
This season, Ross is expected to compete primarily as a backup and for nickel corner duties. With Prince Amukamara and Corey Webster entrenched in the two starting positions, Ross' biggest competition this summer will be Jayron Hosley, a second-year defensive back from Virginia Tech.
"I like playing nickel," Ross told Rock. "I like getting dirty a little bit."
Ross' current one-year, $715,000 deal, per Spotrac, doesn't exactly reflect his original draft position six years ago, but judging by his attitude heading into the 2013 season you'd never tell.