It is only Ja’Marr Chase’s second training camp with the Cincinnati Bengals, but you can already tell how much of a presence he commands.
We all saw as he broke rookie receiving record after record in just his first NFL season, and that was after he took a full year off of football. Now as we get to see these players in pads for the first time, it is also a good opportunity to get Chase’s perspective on how things are going.
The biggest concern for the defending AFC Champions is the fact that quarterback Joe Burrow is missing the start of camp after getting his appendix removed. His presence was missed so badly that it nearly broke Bengals Twitter when he showed up riding a cart around camp.
“It’s fun having him out there. You can see that the intensity picked up a little bit since he’s been there,” Chase told Bengals Talk. “It’s nice to see him out there again with us... We just go mess with him, tell him ‘what’s up’ and stuff like that.”
Chase isn’t about to start getting reps with his starting quarterback anytime soon, but it is still great to hear the impact Burrow returning to the field to even just watch has.
Even with Burrow’s absence, it hasn’t stopped Chase from making plays during training camp so far. When asked about the competitiveness and trash talking going on between he and Eli Apple, Chase kept things pretty light.
“[Apple] pisses me off, yeah, I ain’t gonna lie,” Chase said. “He pisses me off a little bit, but that’s the fun part of football. Nothing but competitive, just getting each other better as teammates.”
It is pretty clear that Apple and Chidobe Awuzie get some great practice in facing Chase and Tee Higgins most of training camp. That competition obviously goes both ways as Cincinnati’s boundary corners had pretty great seasons of their own last year. It is natural that some trash talking flares up with all the familiarity between both sides. It is also good to see that it isn’t taken all that seriously at the end of the day.
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