October 18, 2021

Bengals JaMarr Chase opens up about drop issues and how he plans to fix them – The Athletic

https://theathletic.com/2810588/2021/09/06/bengals-jamarr-chase-opens-up-about-drop-issues-and-how-he-plans-to-fix-them/

About an hour after he had what arguably was his worst drop among a growing list of them, Bengals rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase stepped to the podium to try to answer just what in the heck is going on with his hands.

Chase knows as well as anyone that the drops have been the dominant theme in the first chapter of his NFL career, which is why he didn’t bristle at any of the questions or offer surly or defensive answers. He instead showed a level of poise and confidence that is rare for a rookie, and rarer yet for a young guy having a hard time with the most basic element of his job description.

Asked why he thinks he has struggled with drops, an issue that is completely absent from his resume, Chase was quick and direct with his answer:

“Lack of focus,” he said. “I have to look the ball all the way in. Lack of concentration. Just watching the ball into my hands, there was a lack of, and it showed.”

That Chase has pinpointed the cause is encouraging.

That it was on display again during Monday’s first practice of game week for Sunday’s season opener against the Vikings is concerning, given the circumstances surrounding it.

It wasn’t an 11-on-11 drill in which Chase got caught peeking a safety intending to lay wood, as was the case on one of his three drops in the preseason game in Washington. In fact, there wasn’t any coverage at all. It was a simple, half-speed pitch-and-catch drill. Joe Burrow lobbed a soft, high-arching pass about 25 yards that Chase jogged underneath.