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How Joe Burrow Has Helped Ja'Marr Chase Adjust to Mental Side of First NFL Offseason

Chase picking up film study, mental side of the NFL quickly as he prepares for highly anticipated rookie season

Ja'Marr Chase always relied on his athleticism and natural skill to allow him to dominate the high school ranks. That's not uncommon for a high school athlete to do but even in his first year of college, when he wasn't getting consistent targets, Chase spent time adjusting to the speed of the game but not really the mental side. 

Then teammate Joe Burrow sat him down and walked him through his first film session and Chase started to reap the rewards of studying opposing defensive backs. Which side was their weakest and how to attack opposing defensive backs were both parts of his study which helped him and Burrow put together one of the most dominant college football seasons in history. 

Now that he's in the NFL, where the athletes are all pretty much on the same level, Chase is rededicating himself to the film room trying to earn that edge over an opposing defense.

"I mean, it just comes from veterans, the older guys like Joe Burrow," Chase told reporters. "I mean, in college, he was one of the first people to sit me down and walk through a film session with me. So that actually helped me a lot. He showed me some of the things that I need to look for and what I should expect in the game. So sitting down with my quarterback and the coaches and just getting extra tips on the plays and what I need to understand is still going to help me when I really get to the game."

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The mental side of the game was one of those areas Chase focused on during his opt out year. Knowing he'll likely be matched up with some of the best corners in the league, he'd study their tendencies before he was even drafted this last April. 

There's plenty to prove and work to be done for Chase to reach his lofty goals of 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns during his rookie season. He'll be featured in an offense that will want to spread the ball around to the likes of Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon. 

For an offense that was dead last in completions of 20 yards or more during the 2020 season, Chase's presence and a revamped offensive line should help Burrow and this offense connect on explosive plays.

“He knows exactly what’s expected of him,” Burrow said. “We got a lot of great guys on offense. We just gotta execute on the field.”