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Mike Tomlin: Ja’Marr Chase’s drop in explosive plays a sign he’s earned respect

Mike Tomlin did not mince words when discussing the Pittsburgh defense's shortcomings in the Steelers' Week 11 loss to the Chargers on Sunday Night Football.

Bengals rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase had a rocky preseason, but he proved he was ready for the spotlight once the regular season got underway.

Chase had five catches of 40-plus yards in his first four games and posted 35 catches for 754 yards and six touchdowns through the first seven games of his career. The last few weeks have seen his production slow down a bit.

Chase has 12 catches for 113 yards in the last three games and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about that change in production at a Tuesday press conference. Tomlin said it was a sign that the first-round pick has “earned the respect” of the league and that teams are now “making a concerted effort to minimize” the impact that Chase has on games.

“You get plays on tape, people recognize your talents,” Tomlin said, via “They make necessary adjustments and efforts to minimize your talents. Everyone’s professional. It’s a component of the game.”

Chase has scored two touchdowns on those 12 catches, so he’s found a way to remain impactful without posting gaudy numbers. He also had two touchdowns in a 24-10 win over the Steelers in Week Three, which should make keeping him in check a top priority for Pittsburgh this weekend.