Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool recently suggested playing music in practice to ‘make practice more fun. Cameron Heyward does not agree.
The Pittsburgh Steelers put up their second straight abysmal performance of the 2021 season — this time on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals. Mike Tomlin has now been swept by the Bengals for the first time since 2009, and his most recent defeat was a 41-10 thrashing where neither the offense nor defense showed up to play.
Following the embarrassing Week 12 loss, Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool addressed the media. When ESPN’s Brooke Pryor asked what could be done to help improve Steelers practice, Claypool’s response was… interesting. Here’s what he had to say:
"“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 fun and little more uptempo.”"
I have a hard time wrapping my head around this. The disconnect he has with this franchise is unreal. As if blasting music during practices is going to help this team perform better on Sundays.
Cameron Heyward would agree. When the Steelers All-Pro defensive lineman heard about the comments Claypool made… let’s just say he’s not on board with trying to make practice more “fun.” Here’s what he had to say, via NFL on CBS:
"“I hope he was kidding. Because as soon as he said it, I was about to rip the speaker out.”"
With an old-school, work-hard mentally, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t agree with Heyward here. While I don’t take an issue with listening to hype music during warm-ups, blaring it during practices when the team should be focused on preparing for a game is an entirely different matter.
Steelers Claypool out of touch with the organization
If the Pittsburgh Steelers are to make changes at practice, perhaps one of their top priorities should be brushing up on the history of the team and understanding your responsibilities when you put on the black and gold.
Former Steelers Super Bowl-winning safety Ryan Clark was livid when he heard Claypool’s absurd comments to the media. I think most players in Pittsburgh’s storied history would agree with him. As a member of one of the most prestigious teams in all sports, Claypool needs to understand that this isn’t all fun and games and that winning comes above all else.
Players like Cameron Heyward, T.J. Watt, and Ben Roethlisberger understand this. You can see the disappointment in their eyes and hear the frustration in their voices as they are clearly not okay with losing at all — let alone the manner they just did.
Though he did a good job containing his emotions, Watt was beyond frustrated in his most recent presser, saying, “We can’t keep playing like this. It’s absolutely embarrassing.”
Chase Claypool is a young football player, but he has to understand why his ‘make practice more fun’ comment wasn’t going to resonate well with the veteran leaders on the team or the fanbase that cares about winning. The Steelers probably do need to make changes in practice, but blasting music over the loudspeakers certainly isn’t one of them.