How Bears evaluated Chase Claypool's debut in loss vs. Dolphins

How Bears evaluated Claypool's debut after wild week originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Bears weren't planning to ask much of Chase Claypool in his debut Sunday vs. the Miami Dolphins, but the 24-year-old receiver saw more of the field than most expected.

Claypool played 26 of 74 offensive snaps in the Bears' 35-32 loss to the Dolphins at Soldier Field. He caught two passes on five targets for 13 yards. He also drew a 28-yard pass interference penalty and should have drawn another had the ref not pocketed his flag at the end of the game.

"I thought it was good," head coach Matt Eberflus said of Claypool's debut Monday. "For him to be able to operate in that short amount of time to get those plays down. We had a lot of plays in there for him. I’m not sure how many plays we ran with him in there, but he was good. Had a couple of receptions. Had a nice, forced a missed tackle, did a nice job."

Claypool arrived in Chicago on Wednesday after being acquired via trade with the Steelers on Tuesday. Claypool immediately went to work learning the Bears' complex offense with the help of quarterback Justin Fields, wide receiver Darnell Mooney, tight end Cole Kmet, and the Bears' staff.

What Claypool was able to digest in five days was an impressive feat to those who have spent months learning offensive coordinator Luke Getsy's scheme.

"Yeah, I can’t imagine," Kmet said Monday of Claypool's tough task last week. "We’ve been learning this offense since back in April, and you come in on five days, whatever, six days and try and really get a whole game planー we were helping him out there, for sure, but you’re going to see him play faster and faster each week as he gets comfortable with the offense.

"So that takes time and that’s a hard thing to do to step in. He played a lot of plays, given he’s just been here for a little bit. I’m sure he’s still got a lot going on between moving stuff from Pittsburgh to here, but he’s a professional and I’m sure he’ll figure it out for sure."

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Claypool believes the playbook will continue to get easier as the weeks progress. He is excited about his fresh start in Chicago and the prospect of playing and growing alongside Fields.

“It’s awesome,” Claypool told NBC Sports Chicago of playing with Fields. “He’s a quarterback who continues to trend upward. It’s exciting. He’s special and I think he is showing that every play that he is out there.”

The trade for Claypool was the first step in Phase 2 of general manager Ryan Poles' rebuild. Everyone from Fields to Mooney and Kmet is excited about what the Bears' offense can become with the big-body receiver in the fold.

Sunday was just a taste of what the Bears can expect from Claypool. But they liked what they saw.

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