Ryan Poles expresses continued faith in Chase Claypool originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
One Bears player outsiders can easily argue having the most pressure on them this season is Chase Claypool.
He has a lot to prove after an abysmal half-season with the Bears in 2022, when he caught 140 yards throughout 10 games. And this offseason, it's been a slight roller coaster ride for the fourth-year wide receiver.
From injuries to a training camp fight with Tyrique Stevenson, he's hit some bumps along the road. But the Bears' confidence isn't wavered in their trade deadline investment from last season.
"At that point, I felt really good," Ryan Poles said of Claypool on Wednesday. "Got a little chipped up there and now he’s working back into it. I liked where he left off where he was at his pinnacle of camp, I felt really good about it."
Has Claypool made concrete improvements?
"Yeah, concrete is hard to say because we haven’t played a game, but up until the point where he was out of practice, I thought he was showing that was his best version of himself," Poles said. "Making a lot of plays, bringing energy, physicality to the run game and the passing game."
Training camp hiccups aside, having a full offseason in the Bears' system is a luxury Claypool wasn't gifted last season. Part of his struggles came from his elementary knowledge of the Bears' playbook.
Now, he's had a full offseason to study and perform with it.
But the Bears won't be convinced until he gets on the field. And his future is riding heavy on this season. He will play in the final year of his rookie contract this season.
Perform well? Get signed back. S--- the bed? Probably won't return.
We'll see if Claypool can prove himself this season. For now, Poles and the Bears have his back.