Make no mistake. The Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t a team to throw stones from their glass house. They’re coming off a miserable season opener, walloped by the San Francisco 49ers 30-7.
But we’ve been checking in on Chase Claypool’s Chicago Bears career ever since he was traded over by the Steelers last season. And it’s not going any better there than it is in Pittsburgh.
Claypool is still searching for his first win in a Bears’ uniform. Chicago lost to Green Bay 38-17 Sunday afternoon and he did little to help the cause. Targeted just twice, Claypool failed to catch a pass as QB Justin Fields struggled to move the ball through the air.
Worse, Claypool was criticized for poor blocking and a perceived lack of effort overall. NFL Network analyst Kyle Brandt sent out this tweet taking a not-so veiled shot at Claypool’s effort. The replies all indicate it was directed at one man – Claypool.
His only notable moment from this game was this flop at the end of a play. Stiff as a board, he fell to the ground after being nudged by a Packers’ defender. He did not draw a penalty.
As another example, Claypool offered a poor block on this receiver screen, resulting in a loss.
In eight games as a Bear, Claypool has just 14 receptions for 140 yards and zero touchdowns. He seems to being removed from the offense as Chicago dials up its ground game and throws to other targets like TE Cole Kmet and WRs Darnell Mooney and D.J. Moore.
His offseason has been full of turmoil. He struggled to stay healthy and was dinged throughout the offseason and camp, leading to reported frustration from the team. Aside from a fight, his training camp was quiet.
A free agent after this year, Claypool recently called 2023 the “biggest year of his life.” It’s off to a whimper. And if there’s any solace to be taken in the Steelers’ bitter defeat, it’s the trade GM Omar Khan seemed to have won in impressive fashion. In fairness, CB Joey Porter Jr.’s yet to make an impact for the Steelers, making his debut with a handful of snaps against the 49ers, and his career arc remains to be seen.
But certainly, the Bears did not get what they were hoping to acquire in dealing for Claypool. He and the Steelers will look to bounce back in Week Two in the hopes that Sunday isn’t the start of a very long season.