ALAMEDA -- The question isn't so much what position Brandian Ross plays as it is what he doesn't play.
Ross will likely end up at cornerback opposite Michael Huff on Sunday when the Raiders visit the San Diego Chargers in their final regular season game, but he can be found just about anywhere in the secondary.
"He doesn't have a position," said Huff. "He does it all."
Ross, at 6-foot-1, 191 pounds, is capable of playing both safety spots, which is where he began his college career at Youngstown State. He moved to cornerback, where he'll start against San Diego, with Phillip Adams likely out with a groin injury.
Slot corner? No problem. He's also adept at the Raiders "joker" position, a hybrid safety-corner utilized in some packages that can have Ross blitzing, playing in the box or falling deep, depending on the call.
"I'm just trying to stack as much good film as I can going into the offseason at different positions and just help this team win and build for next year," Ross said.
Subbing for Adams against Carolina, Ross was not beaten for any gains of significance, had a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit on a blitz.
As an exclusive rights free agent, the Raiders can keep Ross on the roster by making him a qualifying offer next season. Given the preference of coach Dennis Allen for multiple defenses and versatile defenders, Ross could be a factor next season.
"With some of the injury situations we've
Ross arrived Sept. 19, signed off the Green Bay practice squad by general manager Reggie McKenzie. He spent the entire 2011 season in Green Bay on the practice squad, turning down a chance to sign with an NFL team on a 53-man roster at the behest of McKenzie, then working for the Packers.
The selling point was the Packers were 13-1 at the time and Ross would get more practice time staying in Green Bay.
Ross used his time with the Packers to closely study Charles Woodson, who plays multiple secondary positions and was generous with his time as a mentor.
"I watched everything he did, from how he covered bigger guys and tight ends and guys who might have been quicker, and how he played safety," Ross said. "I just watched his every move and tried to learn as much as I can from him because he is a hybrid type guy who can play multiple positions.''
Versatility comes naturally to Ross, who played quarterback, wide receiver, cornerback and safety at Meadowbrook High School in Virginia.
In Oakland, Ross has made it a point to sit next to Huff in meeting rooms for film study because of Huff's has experience at both safety positions and cornerback.
Running back Mike Goodson (illness) returned to practice and strong safety Tyvon Branch (ankle) was on the field and looks ready to give it a shot for the third straight week at less than 100 percent.