Chase Claypool Felt Lost in Steelers Offense: ‘I’m Not Sure Why’
Chase Claypool didn’t feel appreciated or properly utilized within the Pittsburgh Steelers offense. That much is clear.
Speaking with Chicago Bears insider Josh Schrock via NBC Sports Chicago, Claypool opened up on his time with the Steelers.
Unfortunately for readers, Claypool sounds just as baffled about his lack of production in Years 2 and 3 in the black and gold as everyone else.
“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.”
Whether the Steelers and offensive coordinator Matt Canada thought Claypool would be more useful as a decoy is up in the air. But to hear Claypool tell it, it certainly hampered his ability to impact the game.
“It was hard for me to make big plays because anytime there was a big play drawn up, it was like on the other side,” Claypool said. “I think it was just like the opportunity. Sometimes that’s how it goes, that’s just how the offensive system works at that time.”
Now with the Bears and rising sophomore quarterback Justin Fields, Claypool feels that may change.
“I think they look at me as a valuable player, obviously,” Claypool said. “That’s why they traded for me. I just think they will give me more opportunities to make plays and stuff like that…
“Not even the focal point as if I’m the only one who could do it. But you’ve got like four or five plays where you could get a good chunk of yards rather than, ‘here’s your one play of the week. Make sure you make a play on this no matter what the coverage is.’”
Claypool went on to note he feels “more opportunity” within the Bears offense.
It’s a fair point when reviewing his time with the Steelers, too. After an encouraging rookie season that saw him catch 62 passes for 873 yards and nine touchdowns alongside two rushing touchdowns, Claypool’s production and usage steadily declined.
His sophomore season represented a slump, and the slide continued in Year 3 prior to the trade.
While Claypool’s debut with the Bears certainly didn’t set the world on fire –– two catches for 13 yards –– it sounds like he feels ready to make more of an impact in the Windy City.