Steelers should like Chase Claypool’s reaction to playoff loss

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool (11) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool (11) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Chase Claypool made headlines following the Steelers’ playoff loss to the Browns.

I understand the worries around Chase Claypool or JuJu Smith-Schuster coming from Steeler nation right now. It wasn’t too long ago that Antonio Brown made a mess of the wide receiver room. Yet, and you can call me crazy if you want, if I am Mike Tomlin a part of me is excited about Claypool’s future. We saw every kind of human emotion after the early playoff loss. We saw some Steelers in tears, we saw Browns that were laughing, yelling, screaming with joy. Yet, after the loss, one word can describe Claypool and a few others after the loss, “mad”.

Claypool plays with physicality and swagger. Yes, he and JuJu are brand-building after games. When those two are on the field they are there to bully defensive backs. I remember Claypool almost got into a fight in the Tennesse game after the Steelers got a key first down. He pointed downfield and one of the Titans swatted at his arm and went to get in his face. The next thing Claypool did made me laugh.

He pointed downfield again, over the shoulder of the Titan and nothing else happened. Except for Claypool continuously man handling defensive backs while blocking during one of the better rushing performance the Steelers had in 2020. Remember in this game he only had one catch. He didn’t need to be targeted 10 times a game to make his presence known. That is the big difference between JuJu and Claypool vs. Antonio Brown. They can and will make an impact in some fashion when they are on the field no matter whether the ball is thrown to them or not.

What I am trying to get at is, if the Steelers really want things to change they need an attitude on offense. When that team is confident and playing with swagger no one in the league can stop them from scoring. The same kind of intensity that JuJu and Claypool play with is the kind of intensity that the offensive line refused to show all season. They combined for 18 catches, 216 yards, and 3 touchdowns in the playoff loss. Those two wide receivers combined for all but one of the Steelers touchdowns and nearly half of the Steelers total yards on offense.

Individual stats do not matter if the team loses. Yet, these two have been talked about all season. Since the loss, they are talked about even more. At one point or another, we should realize that the attitude they bring is to perform at all costs. I’m glad Claypool is making comments about the Browns. I’m glad that he is showing he is frustrated. He is going to take that on the field. Physicality is the name of the game for these two players. The Browns will come into 2021 wanting to take his head off, he is going to come into 2021 to embarrass them and any other player in the league who also wants to comment on Claypool’s statement about the Browns “getting clapped next week”.

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I would take a player being “salty” and saying something “petty” about the other team, over a player who is still crying and unable to process the loss currently. That comment came after he was breaking down the film. That incident happened after he was working. So yeah, Claypool go have an attitude, let it stew. Remember this every time a workout seems rough in the offseason. Come back with a vengeance and show everyone why you can say these things. Maybe the rest of the team can follow suit. Believe me, if the rest of the offense can get the swagger and attitude that Claypool and JuJu had this season, regardless of statistical performance they are going to be a major threat in 2021.