Fresh off of a breakout rookie season that him put up 62 receptions, 873 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, second-year Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Chase Claypool says he’s more comfortable and confident in the NFL heading into the 2021 season, which should worry defensive backs and defensive coordinators he’ll face this fall.
Claypool, speaking to reporters Saturday, stated that he understands what’s expected of himself in 2021 and says he knows how to prepare himself each week, which should allow him to put up even better numbers in his sophomore season with the Steelers.
“Yeah, yeah. You just know, I just know what to expect,” Claypool said. “You know, I know how to prepare now and…recognizing coverages, knowing your plays, knowing how to run routes and releases, you know, the game slows down.
“…Just a confidence, you know, you know, don’t let get to my head, you know, and always have the same routine preparing for each game,” Claypool said. “Yeah, again, the game has slowed down, I understand the playbook and recognize coverage this year.”
The game typically slows down after a player’s rookie season due to the experience gained on the field, along with being able to go through a typical offseason that doesn’t include the draft process and all that entails. Hearing that the game is slowing down for Claypool is great news, considering he went through a stretch of the season in 2020 in which he struggled and appeared to be running out of gas before finishing strong in back-to-back games against the Browns.
Though the former Notre Dame star does have to learn some new terminology in offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s system, he’s more comfortable in Pittsburgh and confident in his abilities, which could lead to a big year from the second-year wide out, who could become the go-to receiver for veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.