(PFT) - “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.”
Of course, every single rookie has to make the exact same adjustment, and we haven’t heard any other rookies blame the footballs for dropped passes. Chase also said sitting out the 2020 season has him rusty, but he acknowledges that it’s on him to make the necessary adjustments.
“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 NFL Draft is something I follow extremely closely, year-in year-out. It's become more than just a cottage industry with year round coverage and constant overanalyzing of prospects until they're rung dry. I say that to say this: there was not much discourse surrounding Ja'Marr Chase. There were only comparisons to Julio Jones and Calvin Johnson. He was, and still is, only projected to be one of the next great wide outs to come into this league. Which, correct me if I'm wrong, I don't recall either of them ever saying the BALL WAS TOO HARD TO CATCH because they couldn't see it.
It's genuinely alarming. I don't care about preseason, I don't know anyone outside of coaching staffs who care. Merely having drops in three preseason games, not that alarming. Saying you can't see the ball at all because the college ball had some white stripes is unbelievably alarming. Even N'Keal Harry didn't think of this excuse and he's run through just about all of them at this point. While there wasn't much debate about Chase's talent leading up to the draft, there was plenty of debate about what the Bengals should do with their pick. Penei Sewell was viewed as a generational left tackle. The proverbial "best player in the draft who wont go first because he's not a quarterback." The Bengals offensive line was trash juice last year, nearly got Joe Burrow killed. They very much could have used a generational left tackle. Pairing the face of your franchise with his best receiver in college is a great way to keep him happy, and you can't really go wrong with a top flight receiver. The only problem would be if that receiver, yanno, can't see the damn ball. Then I could see your decision not looking as great before either played their first NFL game. Maybe some eye surgery can fix this, I don't know. Hard to react to something so absurd, you almost have to respect it.