It’s no secret that Cincinnati Bengals rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase has struggled to catch the football in the preseason. His drops have been a huge red flag around the NFL world and has many questioning how he’ll fare in his first year.
Rather than shy away from the controversy, Chase chose to be candid about his struggles to make catches this summer. He also provided a reason as to why that might be the case: a different football.
The standard NFL game ball is slightly larger than the one Chase played with back in college and doesn’t have white stripes. The young Bengals wide receiver thinks that might be having an impact on his ability to pick up the football in the air.
“The ball is different because it is bigger,” Chase said, via Bengals.com. “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.”
Chase’s answer might’ve been honest, but it won’t lessen the concerns of Bengals fans. The size, shape and color of the football won’t change at all during the year, so the rookie wideout will need to adjust quickly.
Uhhhhhh uh oh https://t.co/5peODBxl7o
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) September 9, 2021
This will make Bengals fans feel better https://t.co/kD4XxSTv8D
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) September 9, 2021
— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) September 9, 2021
I'm not entirely sure at the present moment Ja'Marr Chase would consistently catch a neon orange ball that flashes. https://t.co/WnJzLNCDnD
— Brad Evans (@NoisyHuevos) September 9, 2021
/ Why is this
football so big? /
Ja’Marr | |
Chase |_ |_ https://t.co/c9K5OROFvm
— Dave Kluge (@DaveKluge) September 9, 2021
— Joe Ali (@JoeAli) September 9, 2021
Chase admitted that a series of factors might’ve affected his ability to shake off the rust and avoid drops this summer. He shared that sitting out the 2020 season also didn’t do him any favors, but he did take full responsibility for his offseason struggles.
“I don’t want to blame it on me sitting on my butt the whole year, but it probably had something to do with it, of course,” Chase said. “There’s a bigger ball adjustment, so I don’t want to make excuses but I’ve just got to be a pro and make the catch.”
Veteran wide receivers have said that the Bengals rookie should be just fine once the regular season gets underway and that might be the case. Chase just doesn’t have that much time to turn things around as Cincinnati will take the field this weekend against the Minnesota Vikings.
If his drops continue into the regular season, the Bengals rookie may be in some trouble.