“I Am Not Afraid to Get Better” – Ja’Marr Chase Reflects on His Preseason Struggles

Published 09/07/2021, 2:15 PM EDT
May 14, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase (1) catches a pass during NFL minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports


Perhaps the biggest news surrounding the Cincinnati Bengals has been their rookie wide receiver, Ja’Marr Chase, and his preseason struggle. According to ESPN, Chase has dropped 4.8%  of his targets, which is an underperformance from the talented youngster. 

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Ja’Marr Chase was the Biletnikoff Award winner back in his college days

Ja’Marr Chase’ blames lack of focus and concentration for his drops

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For a wide receiver, catching is one of the most fundamental skills to have. Unfortunately, Chase has struggled massively in this aspect. Be it the pre-season or the training camp, he has continuously struggled with dropped catches. Despite his shortcomings, Chase did not make excuses and instead accepted responsibility.

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He accepted his lack of focus and concentration for his drops. Speaking at his first news conference, Chase said, “If you look back at it, I jumped in the air when the ball got to me. That means my eyes weren’t concentrated on the ball. I didn’t keep still. So that makes my eye adjustment for the ball to move around.”

Chase aiming for a big rookie campaign

Despite a not-so-ideal start to the preseason, Chase was full of optimism and self-belief.  The Biletnikoff Award winner was confident in his ability to improve both himself and his team.

Ja’Marr Chase is won of the hottest young prospects in NFL

At the press conference, he said, “I know I left a lot of stuff out there. “But that’s all in time for me to get better, of course. I’m not afraid to get better. That’s what I’m here for — to work, to get better, make the team better, make the organization better.” 

Zac Taylor has faith in Ja’Marr Chase

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While fans and pundits might not be happy with Chase’s preseason performance, Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor wasn’t bothered by Chase’s dismal start in the pre-season.

Zac Taylor has faith in Ja’Marr Chase

Affirming his faith in Chase, Zac said, “I see the way that he prepares in the building, during practice, so I don’t have those concerns. We’ll just move forward and I expect big things from him.”

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Knowing Ja’Marr Chase’s college track record and his potential, it is too soon to write him off. A bad start may not necessarily mean a bad season. It takes character to overturn a bad start and Chase’s self-belief is a step in the right direction.

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Suresh Menon

49 articles

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