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KC Chiefs OC Matt Nagy Shares Team’s Plan For WR Justyn Ross

Ross hasn't made a huge impact this season, but Nagy shed some light on the team's development process for its talented young wideout.

During organized team activities (OTAs), training camp and the preseason, you would've been hard-pressed to find a player getting much more hype than Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Justyn Ross. The buzz has yet to translate to regular-season success, though.

Four games into the 2023 season, Ross has one catch for six yards. That grab came in the club's opener against the Detroit Lions, and the former Clemson star has logged just one target since that night. No. 8 has played just 48 offensive snaps the entire year, currently ranking sixth among all Kansas City wideouts.

With some other young receivers such as Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney not making the level of impact many expected coming into the year, folks are campaigning for Ross to see an uptick in snaps. On Thursday afternoon, Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy was asked what Ross has to do in order to earn a more significant workload within the offense. According to Nagy, Ross's development is an ongoing process that might not result in a payoff of sorts until weeks into the future. 

"Just keep doing what he's doing in practice, which is working hard and trying to learn the different positions in the offense," Nagy said. "We're learning what routes he does well, he's learning what routes he can get better at and then as coaches and teachers, we've got to develop him and continue to make him be better. And then when you get an opportunity, whenever that is, whether that's today, this weekend or five weeks from now, make the most of it. His attitude has been phenomenal, he's very talented. Let's just keep developing him as coaches." 

This answer shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, as head coach Andy Reid has always valued versatility and an in-depth understanding of multiple receiver roles. Until players display a high level of comfort doing several things in the scheme at a respectable level, the odds are stacked against them seeing the field a ton in games. Because Ross is more of a possession threat, ball-winner or red zone prototype at this stage, it's led to a relatively quiet first quarter of the season for him.

Ross flashed some of his potential during the preseason, hauling in six passes for 59 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns. As he continues to adjust to life in the NFL following what was effectively a redshirt 2022 campaign, however, it was never in the cards for him to be a top-four contributor at the wideout spot in Kansas City this year. The franchise's belief in him is unwavering, but he's more of a long-term investment that could pay off once the numbers game swings back in his favor. It's reasonable to expect him to get more involved over the course of the year, as Nagy hinted at, although it's clear that there's still plenty of work the 23-year-old still has to do before truly having a breakthrough moment.

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