Bill Belichick: Chase Claypool is kind of always open, like covering Rob Gronkowski
With the Patriots facing the Steelers on Sunday, New England head coach Bill Belichick was asked about defending Chase Claypool.
Belichick had some fairly lofty praise for the young receiver.
“Big, fast, really good hands, big catch radius,” Belichick said in his press conference, via NBCSportsBoston.com. “He’s kind of always open — like covering a guy like [Rob] Gronkowski no matter where you are on him, there’s a place where he can reach and get the ball that you can’t reach and get the ball. So I know they use him in a variety of ways — down the field, catch-and-run plays, hand-him-the-ball plays and things like that.”
The Steelers list Claypool at 6-foot-4 and 238 pounds.
“He’s a big, physical player,” Belichick continued. “Can block, block at the point of attack. Runs hard, you’ve got to tackle. Downfield receiver as well as a short and intermediate receiver. So, he can get you in a lot of different ways.”
Claypool had 54 yards from scrimmage last week, but 36 of them came on run plays. He caught four passes on six targets for 18 yards. Only one of his receptions resulted in a first down.
But as Belichick mentioned, Claypool can still wreck a team’s day. Last season, he caught 59 passes for 860 yards with two touchdowns. As a rookie, he had 62 receptions for 873 yards with nine TDs.