Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool has had a hard time replicating his early-season production in the back half of the 2020 campaign.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin recently said he intentionally staggered Claypool’s snap counts in order to keep the former Notre Dame star from hitting the proverbial “rookie wall.”
Claypool is not complaining with the strategy, though he added he feels strong heading towards the playoffs:
“Coach T has been in this game for a lot longer time than I have,” Claypool said, via Will Graves of The Associated Press. “Whether I believe (in the rookie wall) or not, I think he knows what he’s doing. I’m feeling good now. What he did, whether it was necessary or not, I feel good heading into the playoffs.”
Claypool had topped out at an 81 percent snap count in a Week 9 win over the Dallas Cowboys. That mark has hovered mostly in the 60th percentile range ever since, with Tomlin attempting to keep the young Steelers star fresh.
However, Claypool saw increased time during last weekend’s win over the Indianapolis Colts. He was on the field for 79 percent of the offensive snaps, reeling in four catches for 54 yards.
The Steelers have yet to determine their official seeding. A win over the Cleveland Browns and a Buffalo Bills loss would make Pittsburgh the No. 2 overall seed in the AFC, while a Bills win would keep the Steelers in the No. 3 spot.
In any case, it sounds like Claypool is raring to go with the playoffs just over a week away.