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Photo by Karl Roser | Pittsburgh Steelers
Notre Dame Football

Chase Claypool Ready for First NFL Camp

July 31, 2020

The rookie life is tough for any player as they enter their first NFL training camp, but for the 2020 rookies, it might be even tougher. 

There wasn't a rookie minicamp in the spring and there weren't a ton of workouts during the summer to help get chemistry with new teammates. 

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie receiver Chase Claypool isn't focused on the lack of work, but rather his attention is on doing more whether it's on or off the field. 

"I think you can make an impression more than just the practices alone," Claypool said over Zoom this week. "It's how you carry yourself. I think, especially with the limited practices, you kind of have to find ways to maximize the way you make an impression, whether it's in the weight room or with what's new. Maybe you spend extra time with Ben (Roethlisberger). That's kind of my mindset right now." 

The 6-foot-4, 238-pounder is blessed with unique athletic traits, but Claypool knows his game starts with physicality. 

"I think I can do that within my route running," Claypool stated. "Releasing downfield, I can release impressively and attack the ball. Of course, I can on run plays. You don't want to be too aggressive because it's your teammates and you want to keep everyone safe, but you can have a play or two where I can come downhill and show my physicality." 

The former Notre Dame star has worked with former Cincinnati Bengals receiver TJ Houshmandzadeh over the last few months and is pleased with his progress. 

"I worked with him during the pre-draft process all the way up until now," explained Claypool. "I got a lot of work in with him. He was really excited for me because he thought it was a great fit for me. He thought I would do really well in the system.

"We worked on a lot of things, but the two main things were the top of the route and releases. We did a lot of technique stuff. The work with him definitely paid off." 

Along with adjusting to a new team, a new city and the NFL as a whole, the rookies also have to deal with strict guidelines concerning the Covid-19 pandemic. 

"It's not tough at all," said Claypool. "I think it's pretty straightforward. They laid out the guidelines pretty clearly and all you have to do is follow them. It's tough not to follow them.

"It's been a smooth transition. There's a lot on the line and as long as you understand that, then it's pretty easy to adhere to them."

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has also made it clear to the team what his expectations are this season and it starts with following the Covid-19 guidelines to stay on the field. 

"Coach Tomlin's main coaching point for me and the team is don't be the guy," said Claypool. "Don't be that guy who messes up in a simple situation where it's easy not to mess up. 

"If you just follow the steps and the things they've laid out for you, you'll be just fine." 

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