Hours after Minkah Fitzpatrick suggested the Pittsburgh Steelers change their practice habits, Chase Claypool echoed a similar sentiment. But offered a different solution. Speaking with reporters Monday, Claypool offered his thoughts on how the team should change its approach to right the ship off a two-game losing streak. His answer, though, probably isn’t one that’ll sit well with Steelers’ fans.
From ESPN’s Brooke Pryor.
Asked what could be done to help improve Steelers’ practice, Chase Claypool suggested playing music.
Claypool: “We have music in the warm ups and that, so it's fun. People are dancing, having fun. So I think maybe music would make practice more more fun and little more uptempo.”
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) November 29, 2021
Pryor’s follow-up tweet noted that Claypool has been asking Tomlin to play music at practice since last year but conceded that Tomlin “has been doing it a lot longer than him.”
Maybe there is some merit to Claypool’s suggestion. Some players are motivated by music, and at this point, the team should be willing to do anything and everything that might have a positive impact. But coming off a 41-10 loss, Claypool’s idea of “having fun” is a woeful failure to read the room. Imagine Jack Lambert or Rocky Bleier suggesting the Steelers need to have “more fun” at practice off a losing streak.
Though the Steelers’ issues run far deeper than Claypool, he hasn’t taken the second-year jump expected of him. Claypool has been extremely inconsistent. That can be summed up by his performance Sunday, making a pair of contested catches downfield but dropping an easy pass and showing his frustrations, and immaturity, with a facemask penalty towards the end of the game. Claypool doesn’t seem like a bad guy, but he sure has a lot of growing up to do. The idea of playing music at practice only plays into that idea.
Pittsburgh’s offense needs a big-play threat, and Claypool was drafted to be that guy. But he’s struggled in that role, not the vertical, put-fear-in-defenses receiver that Mike Wallace or Martavis Bryant were. Compared to his rookie season, Claypool has seen his catch percentage fall from 56% to 53% while he has found the end zone just once this season, an impressive TD against Denver, but paling in comparison to the 11 total touchdowns he recorded a year ago.
With the Steelers’ season in doubt, the only music anyone’s hearing is whatever they played when the Titanic was sinking.