(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
After having an impressive rookie season, Chase Claypool took a step back in 2021, as he had just two touchdowns compared to his 11 total in 2020. He also had plenty of mental lapses and displays of immaturity.
Another area that he noticeably struggled with was his inability to stay on his feet on deep balls. For some reason, Claypool repeatedly would just fall down when trying to make a contested catch.
“A lot of the 50-50 balls, I wouldn’t stay on my feet,” Claypool told reporters on Thursday. "I have to stay on my feet. I’ve got to get a little more (yards after catches). And I can’t be dropping no passes.
“I hope to be more versatile in terms of what position I play, inside or outside. I’m trying to work on all of the positions.”
While most people think Claypool had a sophomore slump in 2021, the Notre Dame product doesn't see it that way.
“I wasn’t happy with last year, but I didn’t take a big step back at all,” Claypool said. "People are going to freak out and say I did. But I didn’t."
In the meantime, Claypool is working hard at OTAs and hoping to silence his critics.
“People spin it like I don’t care,” Claypool said. “But I do care. I do work my ass off. Every day. And I’ll keep doing that until I’m the best receiver in the league.”