Ja’Marr Chase: Les Miles told me I couldn’t play receiver

NFL: JAN 15 AFC Wild Card - Raiders at Bengals
Getty Images

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.

23 responses to “Ja’Marr Chase: Les Miles told me I couldn’t play receiver

  1. Les Miles had loaded offensive players in college and the offenses never amounted to squat. The last thing Les Miles knows anything about is offense.

  2. College coaches don’t care about their players. They just want to win. They don’t teach. Did Urban Meyer teach Tim Tebow the basis of playing quarterback?
    Les Miles is no difference.

  3. So it was 2 years after Les Miles was fired that he told Ja’Marr this? No wonder he forgot about it, advice from a coach who was fired 2 years ago.

  4. Alot of receivers start college on the D side of the ball to learn the speed of the college game and as in need of a year or 2 to bulk up to play D1 WR.

  5. Well like 5 months ago, the majority of sports media people said he couldn’t play receiver either so…

  6. Miles problably thought his team would have a greater need at corner so he was pointing an obviously great athlete in that direction. Would he have made a good, maybe great, corner? I would guess that he would have. Was WR the best position for him personally? No doubt about it. Glad he worked hard and got his chance.

  7. The hard truth is Les Miles was probably correct. But you can’t teach hard work and clearly that motivated chase to be the receiver miles thought he’d never be.

  8. Sounds like Les told a junior in HS that he needs to put in the work if he wants to play WR at LSU. It would have been a different story if he said you don’t have the talent to play at LSU.

  9. Context is important here. What if Miles said “unless you improve your ball skills, and strength, then you can’t play receiver in the SEC”. If that’s the case, Chase should thank him for the assessment and motivation.

  10. Don’t make it complicated. Any opportunity to laugh at Les Miles is fine as it is. Context doesn’t really matter.

  11. Or, maybe Les Miles was 100% right and it motivated Chase to get better.

    I, like 99.999999% of us here, did not watch Chase play as a high school junior and have no basis for opinion.

  12. People know squat…all the ‘experts ‘ saying he was a bust after2,count them,2 preseason games. Glad he showed them ALL.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.