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WR Claypool frustrated by usage, Bears’ losses

WR Claypool frustrated by usage, Bears’ losses
  • PublishedSeptember 30, 2023

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Wide receiver Chase Claypool expressed frustration over the Chicago Bears‘ 0-3 start and said he is focused on the areas of his game he can control.

“I think rehoning what I want to do really well in, and that’s just the things that I can control, like the effort on plays and finishing blocks,” Claypool said Friday. “Those are things I can control and things I’ve been making sure to just master these few weeks. Those are things I can control. The other stuff I can’t worry about. Just got to be at the right place at the right time, and hopefully that falls into place.”

Asked whether he feels he has been put in the best position to showcase his skill set, Claypool paused for seven seconds before uttering, “No.”

“Sometimes the things around you either elevate you or you have to adapt to allow you to elevate with them,” Claypool said. “So I’ve just been adapting to the new system and my new role in the system and trying to make the most out of it.”

Claypool’s comments came weeks after he drew criticism — and subsequently apologized to the coaching staff and teammates — for a lack of effort in the opener against the Green Bay Packers. His lack of execution and effort with run blocking and the screen game had been addressed by Bears coaches and players throughout the week following that loss.

The Bears are averaging 15.7 points per game in losses to Green Bay, Tampa Bay and Kansas City. Claypool has been targeted 14 times and has come away with four catches for 51 yards and a touchdown.

The 25-year-old wide receiver is in the final season of his rookie contract. In 10 games with Chicago after being traded from Pittsburgh in November 2022, Claypool has struggled to establish a high-volume role, having caught 18 passes for 191 yards and one touchdown.

Claypool rejected the idea that the Bears are not an ideal fit despite his sentiment of not being used properly.

“I think every situation has the ability to be ideal, and I think we’re just working towards that,” Claypool said. “I’m not going to say that. I wouldn’t say it’s not an ideal place for me. Obviously, there’s other places — you can say, ‘Oh, I want to be on the best offense with the highest passing yards,’ but that doesn’t happen in football. You just have to make do with what you got.”

The wide receiver deferred to the coaching staff when asked how the Bears might put him in a better position.

“I’ll let them decide that,” Claypool said. “I’m not going to give any pointers. That’s their job to decide, and I’ll just do what they tell me to do.”

Chicago hosts Denver (0-3) at Soldier Field in Week 4. The Bears and Broncos are among the NFL’s four remaining winless teams.

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