Canadians may be known for their polite demeanour, but Abbotsford’s Chase Claypool is proving that there is some salt mixed in with the sweet maple syrup.
The Pittsburgh Steelers outstanding rookie receiver was on TikTok live for a Q&A Monday after his team’s 48-37 loss in the AFC Wild Card game against the Cleveland Browns. When asked about the game, Claypool didn’t hold back.
“Bad loss, but the Browns are going to get clapped next week so it’s all good,” Claypool responded to fans while seated in a swivel desk chair.
— Brad Stainbrook (BrownsWave) (@BrownsByBrad) January 11, 2021
Claypool caught five passes for 59 yards and two touchdowns for the Steelers in his playoff debut, but it wasn’t enough for his team to come out on top. The Black and Gold used his six-foot-four, 238-pound frame in the red zone. It was a productive and encouraging outing despite a bittersweet end to the 22-year-old’s first season in the NFL.
Pittsburgh started the season 11-0, but ultimately lost five of their last six games, including the knockout by the Browns. Head coach Mike Tomlin watched as his group went down 28-0 in the first quarter and his side couldn’t comeback from the poor start.
The victory by the Browns was their first playoff win since 1994, silencing the division-winning Steelers despite missing their head coach Kevin Stefanski and several other members of his staff due to COVID-19.
They now advance to face the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead next week, but Claypool feels that the matchup tilts heavily in favour of the top seed and quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Claypool played a key role in Pittsburgh producing a 12-4 record to earn the AFC North Division title. He finished his first regular season in the NFL with 62 receptions for 873 yards and nine touchdowns, plus 10 rushes for 16 yards and two scores — 11 total touchdowns.
Claypool has become a household name across Canada by tying the single-season record for touchdowns by a Canadian in the NFL and scoring the longest NFL touchdown ever by a Canadian-born player at 84 yards. His rookie campaign ranks among the best all-time seasons by a Canadian receiver — ever.
Mapletron was named the Steelers’ Rookie of the Year and his 62 receptions tied the team’s all-time rookie record. He became the first receiver in the Super Bowl era to score 10 touchdowns in his first 10 games. Being compared to Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnson entering the NFL Draft and putting himself in the company of Randy Moss has helped Claypool’s name spread throughout the Steel City and the rest of the United States.
While Claypool’s future is bright, none of it will matter this year as he finds himself watching the rest of the NFL playoffs from his couch, while the Browns’ season marches on.