Bears’ Chase Claypool Heaps Praise on Justin Fields

Bears Justin Fields

If the Chicago Bears are going to make a significant jump in the standings this season, it’s going to largely be because quarterback Justin Fields has as well.

His teammates certainly believe that he is capable of great things.

Bears Chase Claypool: Justin Fields a ‘Superstar’

“There’s a lot of optimism surrounding us – and for good reason,” wide receiver Chase Claypool said, per Ben Collins of BBC Sport on August 19. “We have a superstar quarterback and we’ve had a great off-season for training and picking up the right players.”

Those “right players” included DJ Moore, whom the team acquired as part of the trade package from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for the No. 1 overall pick.

Claypool said Moore was going to be a “huge asset” whole “open things up” for everyone.

Of course, even the best wide receivers need someone to deliver them the football, and Fields has already declared this will be the season the Bears finally have a 4,000-yard passer. His teammates likely care about his ability to make plays.

“He can make some amazing plays to bring you right back into it,” Claypool said, per Collins. “There’s never a situation where you’re down and out.”

Claypool also noted that getting a full offseason to work with Fields will “pay dividends” and believes they setting themselves up for a “really exciting” season. The big-bodied pass catcher has been a noticeable presence when on the practice field this summer. But injuries slowed him down in the spring and again during training camp.

That doesn’t take away from the work Claypool has put in which drew Fields’ praise.

Justin Fields Praised Chase Claypool’s Progress

“Chase is improved tremendously just from the end of last year to now,” Fields said via the team’s Twitter feed on May 23. “That’s one thing I’m truly proud to say. Just seeing his work ethic, his attitude changed. You can just see he’s taken another step. So definitely excited for that.”

“I really did appreciate him saying that,” said Claypool. “I’m glad he noticed it.

Claypool, 25, caught 14 of his 29 targets for 140 yards in 10 appearances with the Bears who acquired him from the Pittsburgh Steelers at the trade deadline last season.

A former second-round pick, he burst onto the scene, recording 121 grabs and over 1700 receiving yards with 11 scores over his first two seasons. He also rushed 24 times for 112 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

He was phased out of Pittsburgh’s offense, however, amid questions about his maturity which followed him to his new team. His struggles were blamed largely on his perceived lack of professionalism, though he was brought in because the receivers the Bears had were struggling well into the season.

If there is more to Claypool than he showed last season, it should be apparent this year.

A Pivotal Season for Chase Claypool

This is the final year of Clayool’s rookie contract, a fact that is not lost on him, as he said during the latest installment of “1920 Football Drive” from August 17.

He’s got “big goals” for this season.

“This year is a big year for me,” Claypool said. “Obviously, it’s my contract year. But it’s a year where I have to prove all my supporters right and all my doubters wrong. But more important than that, we need to make the playoffs, and we need to win the division.”

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The Bears did a lot to put the proper supporting cast around Fields. If he is successful, they are successful, and Claypool figures to factor heavily into that happening.