It’s not unusual for a rookie to struggle right out of the gate in the NFL. But when you’re drafted as high as Cincinnati Bengals wideout Ja’Marr Chase, there will always be pressure to show immense potential from the get-go. That’s just not being the case for the Chase, who’s been setting bust alarms on with reports of issues with dropped passes in training camp and in the preseason games.

Still, it’s just way too early to tell how good — or bad — Chase is going to be in his first year in the pros. Some rookies just take some time to heat up, and Chase could be that type.

Chase, who was taken fifth overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, offered an explanation for at least one of his dropped passes in the preseason game, implying that it had a lot more to do with his concentration than anything else, per Ben Baby of ESPN.

“If you look back at it, I jumped in the air when the ball got to me,” Chase said. “That means my eyes weren’t concentrated on the ball. I didn’t keep still. So that makes my eye adjustment for the ball move around.”

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The Bengals need Chase to produce right away. Zac Taylor’s seat could start to warm up again if the team’s offense gets into another slump. In 2020, the Bengals ranked just 29th in the NFL with an offense that produced a paltry 19.4 points per game, though Joe Burrow had to miss plenty of games due to a season-ending injury.

This time, Burrow is back and with a rookie wide receiver whom the team spent high draft capital on, the expectation is that there will be a marked improvement for Cincy’s attack.