Ja’Marr Chase calls out reporters for twisting his words

Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports /

Former LSU football wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase called out reporters this week for twisting his words.

Chase, the No. 5 overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2021 NFL Draft, has had a rough preseason.

The former Tigers standout has struggled with drops — an issue that didn’t afflict him at LSU.

Chase spoke to reporters earlier this week about his sudden issue with drops.

And reporters took some liberties with his responses.

Reporters took Ja’Marr Chase’s comments out of context

Chase gave several explanations for his drops this preseason to reporters this week.

The biggest reason for the drops, according to Chase, was a general lack of concentration.

Chase also mentioned not playing in 2020 (Chase opted out of the 2020 season with LSU) as another reason for the drops.

From Bengals.com:

"“I would just say it’s a lack of concentration. That’s all it was,” Chase said. “If you look back at it, I jumped in the air when the ball got to me. My eyes weren’t concentrating on the ball. I didn’t keep still, so that makes my eye adjustment for the ball move around and now my eyes get lazy where the balls coming in from.”"

According to Bengals.com, Chase has run just 18 plays during preseason action and only three with quarterback Joe Burrow.

It’s certainly hard to find a rhythm with a limited amount of game reps.

Later in the interview, Chase discussed the difference in the balls that are used in college and in the NFL.

From Bengals.com:

"“The ball is different because it is bigger,” Chase said. “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.”"

Chase didn’t blame the drops on the ball, he was simply explaining the difference between the ball used in college and the ball used in the NFL.

Media outlets, however, immediately ran headlines that said Chase was blaming a different ball for his drop issues.

“Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase says preseason drops were due to ‘hard to see’ NFL football,” read a headline from Yahoo Sports.

“Ja’Marr Chase: NFL ball is harder to catch than NCAA ball, harder to see without white stripes,” was the headline from Pro Football Talk.

Chase responded to those headlines in a tweet.

Good for Chase for standing up for himself here. This is one of the main reasons that some athletes aren’t interested in talking to reporters.