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Claypool excited to continue building on Bears debut

Bears receiver Chase Claypool
Bears receiver Chase Claypool

In each of the five days between leaving Pittsburgh and stepping onto Soldier Field Sunday, receiver Chase Claypool spent six to seven hours studying the Bears' playbook.

Claypool, who played 26 snaps against the Dolphins, said the playing time "might have been a little more than I was expecting." However, the extra moments spent with coaches and teammates like quarterback Justin Fields or receivers Darnell Mooney and Equanimeous St. Brown leading up to his debut paid dividends.

"Yeah, that was the thing," Claypool said. "I had to study extra because there's different little things that are – it's the same but it's different. It's hard to explain but you have to be ready for every little niche situation that could happen. It's been fun because I've been learning not just the offense, but football."

Even offensive coordinator Luke Getsy left the game surprised by how often he was able to utilize Claypool.

Fields targeted the third-year receiver eight times, resulting in two catches for 13 yards. Claypool also rushed for four yards on a jet sweep and drew a 28-yard pass interference flag on the Bears' opening drive.

"What's pretty cool about him is he loves ball, and so him coming in and learning all the stuff that he did, he probably played more than I thought he was gonna be capable of playing," Getsy said. "So that part of it just kind of speaks to the kind of guy he is."

Claypool's immediate production added to a growing excitement around Getsy's offense. But the coordinator is still feeling out what kind of player the receiver will be for the unit.

One thing Getsy feels sure about is Claypool's cultural fit with the Bears.

"I love the type of guy he is and teammate he is and how he is," Getsy said. "One of my favorite clips from the whole game was Cole's (Kmet) touchdown in the corner. Four receivers ran off the bench and went to celebrate with him and I just thought that — he was one of those four — and I thought that just really showed the kind of team we're trying to build."

While Claypool learned enough in his first few days with the team to compete against Miami, he's picking up new information each practice, meeting and film session.

"Of course he's a great player, great receiver," Fields said. "He's big, athletic, fast, so just the more he's with our offense, the more he practices, I think the more he'll be able to focus on the details of each and every route. Last week he was kinda thrown in there, so the more time he has with usー like we just found out at walkthrough that he just found out about one of our second cadences."

Kmet, Claypool's former college teammate at Notre Dame, understands getting the receiver fully up to speed with Getsy's scheme takes time. But, he expects Claypool to "play faster and faster each week" while gaining familiarity with the offense.

With one game as a Bear under his belt, Claypool already feels a more comfortable heading into Sunday's game against the Lions. After recording over 800 receiving yards in each of his first two seasons with the Steelers, he's eager to keep proving his playmaking ability in Chicago.

"Now I'm even more excited to show what I can do just because I'm more comfortable and stuff like that," Claypool said. "So we're figuring out what routes are good, what concepts are good, what run plays are good, stuff like that, in terms of the blocking scheme to get more and more comfortable and see what's good."