Cincinnati Bengals rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase had a terrible preseason, with some fans calling the fifth overall pick a failure before even playing a single regular season game.
Despite his struggles, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor and quarterback Joe Burrow are not yet concerned.
In week 2 of the preseason, Chase failed to secure any of the three targets that came his way. Then in week 3 against the Miami Dolphins, he dropped the only look he got for the entire game.
Chase entered the NFL with high hopes for LSU. He was the highest-selected wide receiver in this year’s draft after leading the FBS with 1,780 receiving yards in 2019 and a then-record 20 touchdown receptions.
Last week, Taylor said that despite all the declines, he was still optimistic about Chase’s future in the NFL. The head coach said: “He’s just going through some of the things that rookies go through in training camp and we expect him to improve over the course of this week.”
Taylor added that Chase’s difficulty acclimating to the NFL could be because he hadn’t played since 2019, but wasn’t sure if that was exactly the case.
Careers aren’t made in the preseason, and Chase has the entire 2021 campaign to prove the Bengals weren’t wrong by bringing him, rather than someone to protect Burrow, into the draft.