Bengals do what they can to help rookie WR Ja’Marr Chase tackle fall issues – The Athletic


CINCINNATI – The email appeared in Bengals head coach Zac Taylor, wide receivers coach Troy Walters and offensive coordinator Brian Callahan inbox and read almost like a spam link.

Not quite “CONFIRM YOUR AMAZON ACCOUNT” level spam, but almost as hard to believe. Only the sender was not unknown. It came from offensive line coach Frank Pollack, and he was able to confirm the premise because he remembers being there.

“Jerry Rice, rookie bust.”

Pollack passed on the Football Outsiders story, written by Mike Tanier in 2006, to recall what happened early in the careers of many receivers entering the league, including the best ever.

Pollack remembers the conversations because he played for the 49ers in 1990 with Rice in his prime, and people were still talking about how, five years earlier, Bill Walsh must have appeared in front of the media in San Francisco and declare his support for the rookie despite intense scrutiny as he struggled mightily with falls and inconsistent play.

“He was just sharing his point,” Callahan said of the email. “This is not the first time that this has happened. “

Rice notably went from not wearing gloves to wearing them, and then switching to no gloves mid-season, having already lost 10 assists. He was getting booed by fans and everyone had a theory as to why Mississippi Valley State’s 16th overall pick – and future 10-time All-Pro – looked like a bust.


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