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Steelers Rookie WR Drawing Raves

PITTSBURGH: Ben Roethlisberger predicted Chase Claypool’s breakout.

Now the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback is gearing the rookie huge receiver for what comes subsequent.

Score 4 touchdowns in a sport, as Claypool did in a 38-29 win over Philadelphia final Sunday, and also you’re not a secret. Do it from 4 completely different positions in 4 completely different formations and also you forfeit any notion of being ignored by opponents.

So whereas Roethlisberger inspired Claypool to drink within the second after turning into simply the third rookie in NFL historical past to attain three touchdowns receiving and one speeding in the identical sport, Roethlisberger additionally made positive to remind Claypool the trail to the tip zone will get a lot more durable from right here.

The factor I instructed him after the sport is he isnt going to have the ability to sneak up on anyone,” Roethlisberger mentioned Wednesday. “So how is he going to rise to the event now that persons are going to be watching him?

Claypool’s reply is a testomony to his western Canadian upbringing and the blue-collar work ethic he’s dropped at the Steelers since being chosen within the second spherical of the draft.

Confidence positively builds with video games like that, Claypool mentioned. (But) Im not attempting to behave any completely different due to a efficiency.

So whereas his telephone blew up with messages within the rapid aftermath, the 22-year-old’s routine has not. He spent a number of the transient downtime the grind of the common season gives taking part in video video games along with his buddies.

We dont speak soccer which is sweet, Claypool mentioned. Keeps me grounded.

Good factor, as a result of if the 6-foot-4, 238-pounder from Abbotsford, British Columbia, retains making it look really easy to attain, stardom is coming.

The participant his teammates have dubbed Mapletron an ode to equally constructed former Detroit Lions standout Calvin Megatron Johnson and Claypool’s Canadian roots gained the Steelers over within the run-up to the draft along with his bodily presents. Still, it could be his psychological acuity that’s helped him carve out a task so shortly.

In a manner, the shortage of a traditional preseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic may need sped up Claypool’s schooling. No must waste time attempting to know the fundamentals of the playbook for meaningless preseason video games. Instead, Claypool and the opposite rookies have been in a position to dive proper into the main points.

The urgency will increase when youre preparing for a regular-season sport, Claypool mentioned. I knew I needed to have the playbook down earlier than the primary sport, in order that pressured me to review extra.

Typically the Steelers like to interrupt of their rookie huge receivers comparatively slowly. Former All-Pro Antonio Brown was buried on the depth chart early in his profession. Martavis Bryant sat on the bench throughout his first six video games in 2014. James Washington continues to be looking for constant taking part in time a month into his third season. For as precocious as JuJu Smith-Schuster was in 2017 when he entered the league because the NFL’s youngest participant, he wasn’t focused 11 instances in a sport as Claypool was towards the Eagles till early on in 2018.

Sometimes, reps get sparse, and also you cant at all times get a number of the younger guys as many reps as you wish to get, particularly with out the offseason, offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner mentioned. (Claypool) has achieved a superb job of maintaining his physique proper. Hes in nice situation so it permits his thoughts to not wander. Hes been executing. Guys at apply, younger guys at apply put the time in, typically good issues occur, and youre seeing the results of that.

Consider the variability by which Claypool reached the tip zone towards Philadelphia. He raced in on an finish round from 2 yards within the first quarter. In the second quarter, he lined up cut up out huge to the left and ran away from everybody for a 32-yard rating.

In the third, he stood behind three teammates on the 5-yard line, caught a flip from Roethlisberger and picked his manner by way of site visitors. In the fourth, he was within the slot and didn’t miss a beat when Roethlisberger audibled to a route Claypool hadn’t run out of that formation. He sprinted previous an overmatched linebacker and into the open to provide the Steelers the cushion they’d want to enhance to 4-Zero for the primary time in 41 years.

Coach Mike Tomlin downplayed Claypool’s affect, attributing his success as a lot to a matchup the workforce favored as the rest. It’s not an uncommon tact for Tomlin, who hardly ever singles out particular person performances irrespective of how eye-popping. That’s nice by Claypool, who plans to stay a keen participant on particular groups or in another space that retains the Steelers in what figures to be a aggressive AFC North race.

He expects the surging Browns (4-1) to maintain tabs on him when Cleveland visits Heinz Field on Sunday. That’s nice by Claypool, who figures the extra consideration the Browns pay to him, the higher it’s for the opposite playmakers at Roethlisberger’s disposal.

There could be a security creeping over my facet and nook would possibly observe, Claypool mentioned. “That opens issues up for different folks as nicely. Im not too anxious about it.

NOTES: G David DeCastro (stomach), C Maurkice Pouncey (foot), TE Eric Ebron (hand), WR Dionate Johnson (hand) and Smith-Schuster (knee) didn’t apply on Wednesday. … LB T.J. Watt (shoulder) was restricted. … FB Derek Watt (hamstring) and LB Marcus Allen (foot), who each sat out final week, have been full members.


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