The last time Canadian Chase Claypool saw the Browns he was calling them ‘classless’ following an AFC Wild Card loss.
Claypool and his Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Cleveland for the first time since that season-ending defeat last January. It was the final game of his standout rookie season, he recorded five receptions for 59 yards and two touchdowns in his post-season debut.
“We’ll be excited to play them because it’s a rivalry and they’re the team that knocked us out of the playoffs. They’re a Super Bowl contending team and we know that. It’s always fun playing them and maybe a little more so this week,” Claypool said.
“I hear it from every fan base — any rivalry, Ravens, Browns, Bengals. They’re super loud and passionate, it’ll be a fun environment. It might be because of the bye week that we have more energy and more fun or it’s because we’re playing the Browns. Either way we’re having more fun out there.”
It hasn’t been an enjoyable sophomore season so far for Claypool. He’s scored one touchdown compared to 11 in his first year as defences focus more on Mapletron while game-planning for him week-to-week.
“I don’t mind how many touchdowns, I just want to get the most for that guy who bet on me. Other than that, as long as we get dubs, I’m good,” Claypool said.
The Steelers will need to start stacking wins to move up in the competitive AFC North Division. Pittsburgh is last at 3-3 through six games behind Cleveland 4-3, Baltimore 5-2 and Cincinnati 5-2. The key on offence for the black and gold could be finding a way for Claypool to be unleashed for explosive plays.
“In the scheme, in our offensive play calls, in my play-making, the combination of those three and how the defence is playing, sometimes the defence doesn’t let us do the splash plays. As long as we get the right look, we’ll go make plays,” Claypool said.
“I think we can get a lot of mismatches if we move me around and I think they’ve been doing that. It makes the defence work harder and doesn’t make it easy for them to know where I’m going to be every play.”
The six-foot-four, 238-pound weapon has 22 catches for 358 yards and one touchdown in five games during the current 2021 NFL season. He has two receptions that have gone for over 50 yards and the 23-year-old believes his versatility can create increased opportunities for game-changing plays.
“I like playing all positions, but especially being able to play multiple positions in the same game,” Claypool said. “I don’t like being in the same position all game. You can manipulate the defence, either way it’s some type of mismatch.”