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Bengals Rookie Ja'Marr Chase Adjusts to NFL Footballs Amid Drop Problem

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase

It's been a difficult preseason for Bengals rookie Ja'Marr Chase. 

The No. 5 pick in the 2021 NFL draft tallied four drops in his last two preseason games ahead of Week 1 on Sunday, raising some serious concern in Cincinnati regarding its first-round selection. Chase attributed one drop in the preseason finale to a "lack of concentration," though he cited another interesting issue as he adjusts from the college game. 

"The ball is different because it is bigger," Chase said, per 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 the 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."

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Chase certainly has time to rebound after a shaky preseason, and it makes sense for him to sport some rust after sitting out the 2020 season. But as fellow rookie receivers Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith appear to be making an easy transition to the NFL, the pressure may rise in the coming weeks. A drop-free Week 1 vs. Minnesota could go a long way to rectifying Chase's shaky start with the Bengals. 

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