Hines Ward is completely right in recent comments on Chase Claypool

Steelers, Hines Ward
Steelers, Hines Ward / Cindy Ord/GettyImages

Whenever legendary Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward speaks, it's always worth listening to. Recently on YouTube, Steelers Talk by Chat Sports featured Ward as he went through various topics involving head coach Mike Tomlin, quarterback Kenny Picket, offensive coordinator Matt Canada, and, of course, wide receiver Chase Claypool.

It's no secret that when the Steelers ended up trading Claypool to the Chicago Bears in November of last year, many fans in Steelers Nation felt a certain way. Some felt it was too soon to get rid of a second-round pick of the 2020 NFL Draft while others knew it was best to part ways and move on in a better direction at wide receiver.

Whichever you agree with, it's looking like the Steelers ended up being winners of this trade. They were able to acquire a second-round pick in this year's draft and Claypool did pretty much nothing in his first few months with the Bears. Draft capital is huge and for a team that is trying to rebuild for a brighter future, the more draft picks the Steelers can have, the better.

Hines Ward says Chase Claypool needs to grow up a little bit

Ward clearly was in the camp of trading Claypool as he chimed his thoughts on this topic in that Steelers Talk by Chat Sports episode. Here's what he had to say about it:

""He's very talented. Everything you want in a wide receiver," Ward said. "With Chase, it became more about Chase and less about the team. He needs to grow up a little bit.""

Hines Ward on Chase Claypool

In the grand scheme of things, Ward hit the nail right on the head. For a franchise as historic as the Steelers, if you're not willing to put the team before you, chances are you won't be in the black and yellow for long. Claypool has all the talent in the world but if he doesn't understand how to do his part on a team and not complain that he wants the football more, he's going to end up being a journeyman before he even hits five years in the NFL.

In 2022 with the Bears, Claypool didn't do much of anything when the opportunities came his way. He only totaled 14 receptions on 29 targets, 140 receiving yards, and failed to score a single touchdown. Perhaps that experience will humble him because time is short in the NFL.

Claypool got a lot of flack before the start of last season as he claimed he was "easily a top three wide receiver in the NFL" and that was definitely a poor choice of words. There is nothing wrong with having confidence and making sure you do your best to achieve such a lofty goal. Then there is trying to talk nonsense before you actually get on the gridiron to let your actions speak for your words.

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Hopefully, Claypool learned a good lesson in not trying to be defined as a social media football player. There's a big reason why a lot of football players choose to stay completely off social media right before and throughout the entire season. It's fewer distractions and you don't let a tweet go viral for all the wrong reasons.