Despite the tough ending, there were many positives to take away from the end of the Pittsburgh Steelers season last year. One of the biggest was Chase Claypool’s rookie year performance.
Claypool was a problem for defenses right from the first game when he caught a tightly contested sideline pass from Ben Roethlisberger over two New York Giants defenders. From then on he got better and better until defenses started honing in on him, and the offense as a whole began to sputter out. Claypool had some truly spectacular games, his most memorable being against the Philadelphia Eagles where he recorded 7 catches for 110 yards and 4 total touchdowns (3 receiving and 1 rushing). It was truly electric and flashed what he was capable of. Claypool ended the year with 62 catches for 873 yards and 9 touchdowns, and added 2 touchdowns on the ground.
Now removed from his rookie year and with a full offseason, Claypool seems ready to take a big two year leap, which the Steelers always anticipate from their early round picks.
Year 2 loading…🔋 pic.twitter.com/DOtOQD51fb
— Chase Claypool (@ChaseClaypool) June 2, 2021
He recently spoke at the teams OTA’s, and said he’s been working on strength and conditioning intensely this offseason, specifically to strengthen the right side of his body because he is left side dominant. He also spoke to the mentality of the receiver corps this year, and said they are ready to not only be a force in the pass, but the run game as well. He said the whole room is ready to get down on blocks and get their hands dirty.
Along with all of the above, he spoke on his relationship with Roethlisberger, Matt Canada’s new offense, and his role in it. He had this to say about his relationship with Ben:
“It’s a lot more friendly, less talk about football, more talk about random things, more jokes back and forth. A lot more fun.’”
I’m regards to the new offense he said this:
“It’s pretty easy to transition into it…it’s not too much of a learning curve and I think we’ll be able to stick with it throughout the season.”
He also believes he will be getting extra attention from defenses as he was towards the end of last year, and said as long as other guys are getting opportunities because of it, he is fine with it.
He is certainly saying and doing all the right things to get the team and fans excited. Based off last season, it is hard to believe he isn’t poised to have an explosive sophomore campaign.
What do you think, Steeler Nation? Is Claypool ready to break out? Will he take a step back? Let us know in the comment section below and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!