Former Pro Bowl defensive back Kevin Ross begins his third season with the Cardinals as cornerbacks coach after he joined the team on 2/5/13. A 14-year NFL veteran as a player, Ross enters his 10th season as an assistant coach after previous jobs with Oakland (2010-11), San Diego (2007-08) and Minnesota (2003-05). In Arizona, Ross reunited with head coach Bruce Arians under whom he played as a team captain during his senior season at Temple in 1983.
Last season, cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie were both selected to the Pro Bowl. It was Peterson’s third consecutive Pro Bowl selection at cornerback and Cromartie’s third straight Pro Bowl and fourth of his career. Arizona’s defense allowed just 18.7 points per game, the fifth lowest average in the league, while allowing 20 points or fewer in an NFL-high 13 games. The Cardinals defense allowed just 299 points, the first time the team has allowed fewer than 300 points in a season since 1994 (267).
In 2013, Ross helped the Cardinals defense finish as the NFL’s sixth-ranked overall unit and force 30 takeaways, including 20 interceptions, which tied for the fifth-best total in the NFL. Peterson made his second consecutive Pro Bowl at cornerback and was also named first-team AP All-Pro.
Prior to joining the Cardinals, Ross coached safeties with Oakland (2010-11) helping the Raiders record 30 interceptions in two seasons. His tenure in Oakland followed one season as an assistant for the New York Sentinels of the United Football League (2009).
From 2007-08, Ross assisted coaching defensive backs with the San Diego Chargers. In 2007, the Chargers led the NFL in INTs during both the regular season (30) and postseason (six). The 30 INTs in the regular season were the most by a San Diego defense in 38 years and it marked the first time a Chargers defense ever led the NFL in interceptions.
Ross began his NFL coaching career with the Minnesota Vikings in 2002 at training camp as part of the NFL’s Minority Coaching Program. In 2003, he worked as the Vikings assistant secondary coach where he stayed through the 2005 season. In his first year in Minnesota, the Vikings were second in the NFL with 28 INTs. In his second season, the Vikings advanced to the NFC Divisional Playoffs.
He played defensive back in the NFL for 14 seasons (1984-97) and was a two-time Pro Bowl selection. Ross was selected by Kansas City in the seventh round (173rd overall) of the 1984 NFL Draft and made an immediate impact with the Chiefs as a rookie when he posted a career-high six INTs to earn consensus All-Rookie honors. He played 11 seasons with Kansas City (1984-93; 1997), earning Pro Bowl selections in 1989 and 1990. He also played two seasons in Atlanta (1994-95) and one with San Diego (1996). He retired following the 1997 season with 1,142 tackles, 38 INTs and two touchdowns. Ross was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2011.
Prior to joining the NFL coaching ranks, Ross spent four years coaching high school football at Camden High School (1999-00) and at Woodrow Wilson High (2001-02) in his native Camden, N.J.
Ross was an All-State and all-conference linebacker and running back at Paulsboro (N.J.) High School and a four-year letterman at Temple (1980-83). While at Temple, Ross appeared in 39 games and totaled 249 tackles with 13 INTs. Ross has three daughters, Celia, Cherrelle and Kassidy, and two sons, Jovair and Kevin, Jr.
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