Chase Claypool knows that Bears fans are frustrated with how his Chicago career has gone so far. To a degree he understands. He never got going in the offense after GM Ryan Poles shipped a second-round pick to the Steelers to bring him in midseason. With an opportunity to start fresh in the early portion of this year’s summer program, Claypool barely saw the field since he was sidelined with soft tissue injuries. But Claypool has a message for folks who believe he isn’t taking his opportunity with the Bears seriously enough.
"It’s the biggest year of my life, and I understand that. If anybody thinks my work ethic isn’t matching that, they’re deeply mistaken.”
Claypool addressed several concerns Bears fans have expressed on social media on topics ranging from his preparation to his health, sharing his side of the story along the way.
“Maybe people weren’t happy with how I dealt with the offseason, but that’s only the perception that was given to them and not the reality that’s true,” Claypool said. “I remember almost blowing my knee out against the Packers and being done for the game and kind of pleading to be put back in, putting the knee brace back on, went back in and tried to help my team win.
“So if there’s any questions on how much I’m willing to do to help this team win, there shouldn't be. You know? I think that I’m doing everything I can to be as healthy as possible and knowing in the game everyone gets injured.”
Rumors swirled earlier this year that the Bears weren’t happy with Claypool’s work ethic, but Claypool’s teammates have been publicly vocal about the work Claypool has put in to catch up with the rest of the group.
On Wednesday, Claypool detailed how he made cue cards to learn plays and will drill himself until he gets it right. He does that despite some teasing from teammates.
“I think DJ giggled at me when he came in and saw all my cue cards that I had.”
Claypool also records himself reading plays, listens to the audio through his airpods, runs the route he hears, then double checks his work afterwards.
“Pretty intuitive stuff right there.”
Claypool is well aware that he’s in a contract year, and knows his play this season will directly affect his future fortunes. He’s motivated by that, but no more motivated than he would be any other season.
“Every year, you’re technically playing for your own future. Past years matter. Current years matter. I feel like I’m always deeply motivated.
“The goal is the same. At the end of the day, it’s to win football games. My contract year aside, I want to win football games.”