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Morning Roar: Ross returns home

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Jeremy Ross wasn't making a big deal of it, but he did laugh this week when asked about his latest trip back to Northern California.

"Going home, baby," Ross said, returning to the Bay Area to face the Oakland Raiders on Friday night.

Ross has managed three trips back to the Bay Area during his short NFL career -- the first time with the Green Bay Packers during the 2012 playoffs, when he fumbled a punt return against the San Francisco 49ers. The next season, still with the Packers, he played in San Francisco again.

This time, though, he is with the Detroit Lions and heading to Oakland with a bigger role as the team's primary returner. Still, he isn't fazed by the latest homecoming.

"Nothing more, nothing less," Ross said. "It's just another game. It just happens to be at home, you know."

He will have a little bigger audience than a typical road game, though. He said he expects around 12 people to show up at the game, although they all purchased their own tickets. He also figures he'll get to see his fiancee, Tracey Stewart, at some point during the trip. Stewart, a former runner at Cal, lives and works in the area.

Part of why this isn't as big a deal for him is his rooting interests as a child. In the Bay Area -- much like in Los Angeles and New York -- if you're a fan of one team in the metropolitan area, you don't care too much for the other one. And Ross?

"I grew up a Niners fan. I wasn't really a Raiders fan growing up. I didn't like the Raiders," Ross said. "If you're a Raider fan, you don't like the Niners. If you're a Niner fan, you don't like the Raiders. That's just common knowledge."

It is and it helped to turn Friday into just another preseason game to prepare him for the season.

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