When talking about his preseason struggles, Chase said that his concentration on the field needs to be better.
“If you look back at it, I jumped in the air when the ball got to me,” Chase said. “That means my eyes weren’t concentrated on the ball. I didn’t keep still. So that makes my eye adjustment for the ball move around.”
Chase’s lack of concentration wasn’t the only reason why he struggled in the preseason, though. The No. 5 overall pick admit that he’s still adjusting to the footballs that are being used in the NFL. They’re actually different from the ones used in the NCAA.
“The ball is different because it is bigger,” Chase told reporters, via the Bengals’ official site. “It doesn’t have the white stripes on the side so you can’t see the ball coming from the tip point so you actually have to look for the strings on the ball at the top, which is hard to see because whole ball is brown and you have the six strings that are white. But for the most part, just have to get used to it and find out what I am comfortable with catching.”
Ja’Marr Chase attributed his case of the drops to the NFL ball being bigger than than the college ball and not having white stripes. The #Bengals assistant WRs coach cited “rust” after Chase didn’t play football in 2020.https://t.co/MckTWZwcqi
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 9, 2021
Chase missed the 2020 season due to concerns regarding COVID-19, so it’s possible that he’s still knocking off some rust.
Whatever the main reason may be for Chase’s struggles, the reality is Cincinnati needs him to play up to his potential. If not, the offense won’t be nearly as explosive as it can be.
Chase will make his regular season debut on Sunday against the Vikings.