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Steelers second-year receiver Chase Claypool is as talented as they come, but still has room to mature, according to head coach Mike Tomlin.
“Obviously, he had a misstep in that area. He had missteps in other areas,” Tomlin said Tuesday, via ESPN’s Brooke Pryor. “He’s a young guy that’s growing and developing. [In] a lot of ways that can’t happen fast enough for him, and it can’t happen fast enough for us.
“We’re going to continue to push that growth and development as long as he’s a willing participant. He has been. And so we’re just going to keep moving forward.”
Claypool made some incredible plays in his eight-catch, 93-yard performance in the Steelers’ 36-28 loss to the Vikings on Thursday. He even had four catches for 69 yards on Pittsburgh’s final drive. It wasn’t what people were talking about after the game, however.
On a 4th and 1 with less than 40 seconds remaining in the game, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hit Claypool for a first down to extend the game. Claypool proceeded to strike a first-down pose, showing a lack of urgency for a team with zero timeouts. Valuable seconds were wasted off the clock and Pittsburgh got only one shot at the end zone as a result.
That mistake only followed the others committed by Claypool during the game. After committing a 15-yard penalty early in the game, Claypool put the ball on the ground, although it was overturned after video review. Tomlin benched Claypool for a portion of the game.
“These guys don’t come to you as finished products,” Tomlin said. “There’s a growth and development that has to take place.”
After finishing his rookie campaign with 62 receptions for 873 yards and nine touchdowns, Claypool has 47 receptions for 753 yards and one touchdown in 11 games in 2021.