Connect with us

Steelers News

‘It Was Tough’: Chase Claypool Felt Lost in Steelers Offense, Thinks Bears Utilize Him Better



Chase Claypool Steelers
Steelers WR Chase Claypool at training camp, Aug. 8, 2022 - Ed Thompspn / Steelers Now

Chase Claypool never felt at home in the Steelers offense in 2022. With George Pickens coming into the fold, someone had to replace JuJu Smith-Schuster in the slot, and with Diontae Johnson as the only guy who could consistently beat press coverage, the Steelers instantly looked to the size and speed of Claypool.

However, it never worked out how Pittsburgh and Claypool wanted it to. Instead, the Steelers sent Claypool to the Bears for an early second-round pick. Between some injury issues and a new system, Claypool never hit the ground running in Chicago, finishing with career lows. But now, with a full year under his belt in Chicago, Claypool told Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Time that he is ready for a huge year because of that confidence.

“When you’re more confident in the system. you play faster, make plays, feel good about it, have fun with your teammates more,” Claypool said. “Last season had ebbs and flows. I was making the best of any situation I could, trying to make plays no matter where I was on the field, looking at the positive side of things. It’s tough mentally.”

Claypool always felt more comfortable in Pittsburgh when he played on the outside. Precisely, his speed could manipulate coverages in different ways than he could in the slot. So, Claypool, now in a contract year, is looking for a season on par with his rookie season. Claypool could end up being a future star with his measurables at that point, and the production followed with explosive plays throughout the year. Back when he joined the Bears, he noted he felt lost.

“I just think that at some point, the perspective on me, at some point, was like, ‘Oh, he’s not a red-zone threat,’ for some reason. Or, ‘He’s not a deep-ball threat,’ for some reason,” Claypool said. “I’m not sure why that happened. I started getting formationed away from those things.”

It’s time for Claypool to prove that the Steelers were wrong, and he is right in this scenario. Teams, especially the Bears, will watch closely. Claypool has more help around him with D.J. Moore now and another year of Justin Fields developing in the NFL. He should see his production tick up alongside other guys like Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet.

Click to comment
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Subscribe Today!

Subscribe today!

Steelers Now in Your Mailbox!

Enter your email address to get notifications of new posts in your mailbox.