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Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool shot back at the criticism of his work ethic and assumptions about Diontae Johnson, who is not on OTAs.
The 2021 season ended in a sour tone for Chase Claypool, who was blown away by the NFL world to celebrate a catch as the seconds faded into a critical game. Maybe no one was as tough as former Steelers safety Ryan Clark, who called Claypool “mentally and emotionally underdeveloped. “
Claypool is back on track at OTAs and is ready to prove doubters wrong. For the first time, according to Claypool, younger players are looking up to him as the leader of the team.
“I feel like this is the first time at the Steelers that my voice is being actively heard and I take it seriously,” Claypool told 97.3 The Fan. “I’m trying to help the young guys because I was there last year and two years ago.”
Claypool also offered insight into Diontae Johnson’s contract negotiation situation. Johnson has not appeared for OTAs, but Claypool insisted this was not a cause for concern.
“I know Diontae is grinding wherever he is,” Claypool said. “I know a lot of people look at it, but I do not look at it too much because he’s perfecting his craft and he’s going to frolic.”
“I do not think it’s a big deal [that he’s not here]said Claypool. “I know people want to make it a big deal because they need clicks and stuff like that, but it’s not a big deal. We get work in the low season. “
Chase Claypool opens up about leadership, doubt and Diontae Johnson
Claypool commented on what it was like to build chemistry with Mitch Trubisky and the quarterback group, especially with veterans like Ben Roethlisberger and Juju Smith-Schuster now gone.
But of course, the biggest talking point was how Claypool is doing with its 2021 season. The videoout was heavily criticized for his work ethic last year, though as one reporter pointed out, his numbers in his second season were almost the same as the first, except for scoring fewer touchdowns.
“Ups and downs,” Claypool said of his 2021 season. “I know a lot of people will say I was awful, but there were some good things, some bad things, and we learned from the bad things to make the good things better.
“I always try to be the best receiver in the league,” Claypool continued. “People turn it around as if I do not care, but I do not care and I work out every day and I will continue to do so until I am the best receiver in the league.”
As for working on the bad, the 23-year-old winger already has some goals in mind. Claypool said in 2022 he wants to work on staying on his feet on 50/50 balls, getting more PAC and eliminating lost passes.