Chase Claypool ready to be impact player for Bears
|Thursday, November 3, 2022, 5:43 PM- -|
Third-year wide receiver Chase Claypool is officially a Chicago Bear after the Bears traded their 2nd round pick to the Steelers for the receiver. He spoke to the media for the first time as a member of the Bears earlier in the week.
“I’m a playmaker, and I’m excited to make plays,” he said. “I didn’t have the full opportunity to show what I can do this year, but I think I’ve been able to show that in the past, and I’m excited to be able to gain that trust with Justin (Fields) where if he needs a play, he knows he can come to me.”
Claypool first broke out in his rookie season with the Steelers against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4 of the 2020 season. In that game, he had seven receptions for 110 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for another touchdown. Claypool has had three 100-yard-plus games in his career so far.
He will now be getting passes from second-year quarterback Justin Fields, who is a dual threat with the ability to run the ball and throw accurate passes. Fields has been throwing the ball more as of late, as he now has 1,199 passing yards on the season. With the Bears still last in passing yards per game this season, the addition of a new wide receiver was something they really needed. Claypool expressed that he is excited to be working with Fields.
“I know a lot of people are excited about how (Justin Fields) has been playing, and honestly, I’m one of those people. So, I’m excited to work with him.”
Another factor that should help the transition to Chicago for Claypool is that there are three of his former Notre Dame teammates on the Bears, those players being third-year tight end Cole Kmet, third-year center Sam Mustipher, and the Bears’ wide receiver acquired in free agency this offseason Equanimeous St. Brown.
These four Bears players actually all played together at Notre Dame in 2017. St. Brown was also in his senior year at Notre Dame when Claypool started as a freshman. Mustipher was a starting offensive lineman for the Irish with Claypool in 2017 and 2018, while Kmet played from 2017 to 2019 with Claypool. Overall, the Bears’ new receiver definitely has some familiarity with the offensive players in Chicago.
The Bears do already have a good wide receiver in third-year wide receiver Darnell Mooney, who had 1,055 receiving yards last year. However, with another receiver to take some of the coverage, Claypool and Mooney have the potential to become a strong duo.
“I think it could be super dynamic because I think we are different receivers in a good way, and I think we do different things well,” he said. “It’s going to open the offense up even more.”
Claypool will play his first game for the Chicago Bears against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday (12 p.m./CBS). Claypool has already played the Dolphins this season, back in Week 7 when the Steelers took them on. He totaled five receptions for 41 yards in that game.