Bill Belichick compares Steelers WR Chase Claypool to a Patriots legend

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Belichick compares Steelers WR Chase Claypool to a Patriots legend originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Pittsburgh Steelers don't have a superstar wide receiver, but their talent and depth at the position is still quite impressive and should pose plenty of challenges for the New England Patriots defense in Sunday's Week 2 game.

Chase Claypool will be one of the most difficult matchups for the Patriots secondary. At 6-foot-4 and 238 pounds, the 24-year-old wide receiver has a unique blend of size, speed and pass-catching ability.

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Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has a lot of respect for Claypool's abilities, so much so that he compared the Steelers wideout to Patriots legend Rob Gronkowski.

"Big, fast, really good hands, big catch radius. He's kind of always open, reminds me of a guy like [Rob] Gronkowski," Belichick told reporters at a press conference Friday. "No matter where you are on him, there's a place where he can reach and get the ball that you can't reach and get the ball. I know they use him in a variety of ways, down the field, catch-and-run plays, hand him the ball, plays and things like that.

"So he's a big physical player. He can block, block the point of attack, run hard at a tackle, down field receiver as well as a short and intermediate receiver. So he can get you in a lot of different ways. Tough matchup."

Claypool appreciated the praise from Belichick, but he's been in the league long enough to know not to get too excited over it.

“It’s definitely cool, but you need to have your hazards on when coaches are talking about you like that,” Claypool said, per SteelersNow. “He is probably spending some extra time on you in practice. It’ll be a good challenge this week because I know if he’s saying that to the media, he’s probably game planning for it.”

Claypool burst onto the scene as a rookie with 62 receptions for 873 yards and nine touchdowns over 16 games as a rookie in 2020. He took a little bit of a step back last year, tallying 59 receptions for 860 yards and two touchdowns over 15 games. Claypool caught four passes for 18 yards in Pittsburgh's Week 1 road win against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Steelers wideout is a very good player, but comparing him to Gronkowski -- arguably the greatest tight end in league history -- is a little much. Of course, Belichick rarely passes up an opportunity to praise an opposing player in the days leading up to a game. He's never going to give the opposition any extra motivation.