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Ja’Marr Chase responds to story claiming he can’t catch an NFL football

Ja'Marr Chase responds to story claiming he can't catch an NFL football

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After an interesting story where he cited a reason for his preseason drops, Bengals rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase has responded.

After he opted out of his final college season at LSU, which didn’t stop the Bengals from drafting him fifth overall, to reunite him with Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase was sure to be rusty. But he had a notable issue with drops this preseason, garnering plenty of attention he didn’t want as a result.

Early this week, Chase cited concentration issues as a reason for his drops. While that’s fairly obvious, with whatever cliche phrases feel appropriate, it’s good to see Chase face it head on and profess to improve (as if he’d say anything else on the latter note).

“I know I left a lot of stuff out there,” Chase said. “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.”

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As cited by ESPN’s Ben Baby, via ESPN Stats and Information, Chase dropped 4.8 percent of his targets during his final season at LSU in 2019. That was just under average for Power 5 wide receivers that year.

Ja’Marr Chase responds to story about his drops

In a story published by the Bengals website, here’s what Chase added to his previous comments about his drops issue.

“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.”

“The ball is different because it is bigger,” Chase said. “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.”

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Those words inspired plenty of reaction, and Chase has responded.

Chase is technically right that he didn’t say in that many words that an NFL football is harder to catch than the ball that’s used in college. But he did say the ball is bigger and suggested it’s also harder to see, which combine for a strong insinuation that it is harder to catch as a receiver makes the adjustment.

Chase thinks some people have tried to change his words. But he made it easy to interpret his words the way many have. As he adjusts to an NFL football and tries to catch it better, this will go down as his first lesson in dealing with the easy reaction to what he says when he goes almost all the way down a certain path.

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