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Tandon Doss Doing All He Can To Earn Starting Job

Posted May 9, 2013

The third-year WR says he can play slot or outside receiver, and he's taking better care of his body.

Tandon Doss knows he has a big opportunity in front of him this offseason.

Veteran receiver Anquan Boldin is now gone, creating a hole in the offense that one of the young receivers on the roster could step up and fill.

Doss will be in competition with players like Jacoby Jones, David Reed, Deonte Thompson, LaQuan Williams and Tommy Streeter to join Torrey Smith in the starting lineup, and Doss has his eyes set on the job.

“You come into this game basically to be a starter,” Doss said. “From Day 1, that’s what I knew I wanted to do. It’s still up for grabs in terms of who gets the position, but I’m doing everything in my will to make sure that I get that position.”

The third-year receiver from Indiana has been a role player during his first two years in the NFL. He’s been stuck behind Boldin and Smith, and last year he alternated series with Jones as the No. 3 receiver. Doss finished last year with seven catches for 123 yards and a touchdown.

Doss, 6-foot-2, 207 pounds, has the size to play both slot receiver and the outside spot. He’s not a burner like Smith and Jones, but he can outrun linebackers or safeties and has good hands to make tough catches in traffic.

“I do not have a preference at all with inside or outside,” Doss said. “Wherever they need to play, I’m willing to do either.”

Head Coach John Harbaugh and General Manager Ozzie Newsome have both said that they could see a receiver-by-committee approach to make up for Boldin’s absence. Doss has a similar expectation, at least during the offseason until someone stands out from the pack.

“We do have a great group of receivers, and I’m sure we’ll get a rotation going with all of us,” he said. “I’m sure all of us will get a good chance of playing time.”

One issue that has hindered Doss in the early part of his professional career has been nagging injuries. He dealt with hamstring issues in the early part of last season, which kept him off the field during training camp and put him behind.

“Being a younger guy, I didn’t take care of my body like I should,” Doss said. “I’m still trying to learn and become a pro at that.

“That’s becoming a pro and that’s what I’m trying to learn. This year I’ve stayed in the training room, I’ve been in the training room multiple times a day. It’s just something you have to learn, but I’m healthy now and hopefully I can keep it up.”

Doss has the most experience of the young receivers vying for Boldin’s reps. The group is largely unproven because they haven’t had an opportunity to get on the field, but Doss doesn’t think that the receiving corps is as big a question mark as some pundits have suggested.

“I don’t really pay attention to all that because I know what I can do,” Doss said. “Our receiving corps knows how good we are as a group. There’s always going to be doubts.”

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