Former NFL wide receiver shows unwavering belief in Chase Claypool

Ex-NFL wide receiver has strong faith in Chase Claypool originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Chase Claypool, like a lot of the Bears players, hasn’t come out of the gates strong.

Specifically, in Week 1, Claypool didn’t come to play. He left a lot of what Bears players and coaches call “loafs” on the field. That means he played lazily and failed to live up to the team’s coveted H.I.T.S principle.

But one ex-NFL wide receiver believes the Bears need to actively get Claypool going in a game to bring the best version out of him.

“All Chase needs is a little confidence. Get him the ball, get him going. That’s it,” Chad Ochocinco said to Shannon Sharpe on Club Shay Shay. “That boy Chase can play, man. I’m telling you!”

Against the Packers, it was clear Claypool’s drive wasn’t there.

He dropped passes, failed to create space and missed several crucial blocks that seemed to miss on purpose. The film from Week 1 exposed him. The hard-working, gritty Bears fans instantly lost faith in him. It didn’t help he caught 10 passes for 140 yards over 10 games last season, either.

But Claypool owned up to his mistakes. He apologized to his team and the front office. The team met with him about his struggles and, in their opinion, brought him back on the right track.

Sometimes, that’s all a player needs, according to Ochocino.

“Sometimes that’s all you need,” Ochocinco said. “Sometimes all you need is a little push, a little pick me up, and it’s gotta come from people close to you. “

Ochocinco argued it’s vital for Claypool’s teammates to get on his case. The last thing you want is an entourage of “yes men” who would let Claypool continue on with that same undesirable behavior.

Some, including Sharpe, are skeptical about Claypool’s need for motivation, considering the hefty paycheck he receives at the end of the week. But he showed change in Week 2, catching three passes for 36 yards and one touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The effort was there, too.

But his improved performance begs a new question — can he, and will he, keep it up?

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