Coach Fichtner Explains Chase Claypool

By: G.Stryker, Twitter @SNStryker and Instagram @SNStryker


Offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner held a Zoom interview at the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ practice facility and everyone wanted to ask about Chase Claypool‘s breakout performance in only his 4th career game. When asked about what Claypool has done to become game ready as a rookie who missed out on mini-camp and rookie camp, Fichtner elaborated:

“He’s done a fabulous job of keeping his body right. He’s in great condition so it allows his mind not to wander and he’s been executing. Young guys that practice and put the time in, generally good things happen, and you’re seeing the result of that.”

When asked about what makes Claypool so special, as to why he’s getting so many snaps as a rookie, Coach Fichtner compared him to another young wide receiver:

“Looks more like JuJu (Smith-Schuster), who is physical. Chase is physical as well. Weekly shots (opportunities) of blocking and playing on special teams. JuJu and Chase (also) had football intelligence and were able to put it together (early) in their careers.”

When asked if Claypool was utilized as a runner on jet sweeps as a college player from Notre Dame, Fichtner replied:

“I don’t remember him being that involved (in running).  I see the run after the catch on slants and big boy plays like contested plays.  In an attempt to spread the field out and do something different than the defense might want you to do; You might want to run up the middle and that’s all great, but there are too many bodies up there.  It’s not worth fighting City Hall for that.  He did an excellent job when touching the ball as a runner.”

Reviewing Claypool’s rushing stats from college, I was surprised to see he only ran the ball three times his entire college career, and not once as a junior or senior. Claypool already has more rushes in the NFL, including his game clinching run in his first game to run out the clock on the last possession. This past game, he ran the ball three times, earning first downs and a touchdown. Excellent job of the Steelers offensive coaches for utilizing Claypool’s experience as a high school running back to gain early results in his budding NFL career.


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