There was an understandable degree of skepticism recently when a Cincinnati Bengals player suggested Ja’Marr Chase looked even better this year in the early goings of training camp.
After all, Chase had that rookie season where he posted 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns (18.0 average), then another 368 and one (14.7) over four playoff games, making him one of the best debut receivers since Randy Moss. But what the player meant was the little things, like Chase’s technique running routes and his ability to manipulate defenders.
And despite the lack of Joe Burrow under center, Chase has been the star of the show in training camp anyway.
There are moments like this, via Dan Hoard, where he powers through coverage:
2. It’s hard to take your eyes off of Ja’Marr Chase.
In this pic, he’s working on toe tap catches while WR coach Troy Walters adds to the difficulty.
Later, Ja’Marr had the offensive play-of-the-day in 11-on-11, hauling in a long TD bomb down the right sideline from Brandon Allen pic.twitter.com/234OWntNkz
— Dan Hoard (@Dan_Hoard) August 5, 2022
And then there has been the simple fact pretty much nobody can cover him when the ball actually gets to him:
There goes @Real10jayy__ again. @bengals pic.twitter.com/R7Zl9yuEBC
— NFL (@NFL) August 5, 2022
Second-year leaps for players aren’t that shocking for a variety of reasons, but Chase making another wasn’t as easy to predict given how great he was as a rookie. But the early signs of one are there, especially compared to the sluggish start he had to his rookie camp.