Sometimes when coaches make an assessment about a player, they get it right.
Other times, they get that judgment flat-out wrong.
Such is the case for former LSU head coach Les Miles and now rookie sensation receiver Ja'Marr Chase.
During his Wednesday press conference for the AFC Championship Game, Chase was asked how he developed a mindset to accomplish things that people say he’s unable to do. At first, Chase said he wasn’t sure if he had any stories. Then he recalled one of his “best stories ever.”
“Les Miles told me I couldn’t play receiver when I was coming out of high school, so that was something I had on my shoulders coming up,” Chase said.
“Les Miles told me he thought I could play cornerback, I wasn’t really in full position at receiver yet,” Chase said. “So I just kept working at my craft [in the] offseason — waking up early in the mornings to work out. I just kept focused.”
Chase didn’t end up playing for Miles, who was fired in September 2016. Ed Orgeron came in as head coach for the 2017 season and Chase entered the program as a true freshman in 2018.
After catching 84 passes for 1,780 yards with 20 touchdowns in LSU’s National Championship season of 2019, it sure looked like Chase could play receiver. But with 81 receptions for 1,455 yards with 13 touchdowns as an NFL rookie — plus 14 receptions for 225 yards in two playoff games — there’s absolutely no doubt Miles was wrong.