Chad Ochocinco: Ja’Marr Chase ‘Much Better In Many Different Ways Than I Am’

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase is coming off of one of the all-time great rookie seasons for his position, and looking for a big encore, having already targeted 2,000 yards as one potential goal. And one former great of the organization already believes that he has surpassed him. At least in some respects.

He’s much better in many different ways than I am. Especially with the ball in his hands”, Chad Ochocinco recently told the team’s website. “He’s really, really good with some of the things he’s been able to do. If that was me in that position, I would have made a business decision and went down. Back then, they were looking to knock my head off. Now everyone is a little reluctant to hit based on the rules. But he’s much better in many areas”.

He does have a point about the rules being different and being even more in favor of the offense, but not everybody made those ‘business decisions’. At the same time, he’s also right about having a unique reputation because of his personality, so it’s reasonable to believe that he would be specifically targeted.

The fifth-overall pick last season, Chase caught 81 passes for the Bengals for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns. He added another 25 catches for 368 yards and a touchdown during the team’s four postseason games. He was a Pro Bowler, a second-team All-Pro, and the Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Ochocinco’s best season was arguably in 2005, one of two in which he was a first-team All-Pro. That year, he caught 97 passes for 1,432 yards and nine touchdowns. From 2003 through 2007, he averaged 92 receptions per season for 1,374 yards and 8.6 touchdowns, making the Pro Bowl every year along the way.

Of course, sometimes excellence at wide receivers seems to be a dime a dozen these days, especially if you take a gander at the contracts that have been signed lately. But Chase, last season, certainly looked like a special talent.

And he also has the secret ingredient that almost every great wide receiver needs to become elite, and that’s having a great quarterback. Calvin Johnson may have been on a lot of bad teams, but he still had Matthew Stafford.

Interestingly, the Bengals have been working on moving Chase around more this offseason, giving him time in the slot. He could truly be a matchup nightmare if they can get him comfortable lining up at any position on the field.

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