CINCINNATI – Bengals head coach Zac Taylor has already mentioned Ja’Marr Chase’s work ethic and how it helped him burst onto the NFL scene back in March.

But now, his teammates are seeing an even more focused Chase so far through OTAs.

Which is a terrifying development for NFL secondaries and defenses, as a whole.

“You can tell in these OTA practices how locked in he is,” Bengals receiver Tee Higgins recently said via The Athletic.

If you’ve watched the NFL for an elongated period of time, then you’ve certainly heard of the dreaded “sophomore slump”. If not, you can find out what it is, here.

It’s fair to wonder if Chase will go through a slump, himself. It’s a very common occurrence, even if the phrasing is cliché.

According to Chase’s teammates, including Tyler Boyd in particular, that’s not going to happen.

“Nah, I don’t believe in that,” said Boyd. “Especially for a guy like Ja’Marr. Once you start getting confident in your own craft and you know you’re gonna beat any guy, like he does, it’s going to continue if you keep working. Just stay on top of it. Don’t start getting nonchalant because you’re already killing it. Keep killing them. Keep your foot on the pedal. Don’t get complacent. And I don’t think he will.”

That’s scary enough for the other 31 defenses in the NFL. But what makes everything even more scarier is the Bengals’ former first-round pick knows exactly what he’s capable of in 2022.

“Last year I was just out there running routes, having fun again,” said Chase. “Now I’ve got all the small details down, like learning how to set people up before the next route. And I feel more comfortable with the offense. Maybe I can move around a little more when we see different things on film. I feel like all of that’s going to make me a lot better this year.”

The only thing he hasn’t quite figured out just yet is how big he wants his stat line to be in 2022. And that’s understandable considering he’s one of the few receivers that can make it whatever he wants it to be.

“I’ve got two up there so far,” Chase said when asked about his goals for this year. “I’m not going to say what they are, but I don’t think they’re hard. They’re a little more than last year, like catches and yards. I’ve still got to find my touchdown minimum.

“I’ll give y’all the list maybe before training camp.”

Featured image via Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports