When Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about the breakout performance of wide receiver Chase Claypool. The former Notre Dame star had 11 touches he turned into 116 total yards and four touchdowns.
But this wasn’t going to dissuade Tomlin from taking his typical approach of giving out praise to young players. And by approach, I mean refusing to do it.
“Let’s be honest, a lot of it might not even have to do with him and his skillset,” Tomlin said. “We’ve got guys that people have to account for, guys like JuJu, guys like Diontae and Ebron. I just think that he’s probably a good matchup for whoever people have assigned to him from a man-to-man standpoint.”
In one sense, Tomlin is absolutely right. When you have multiple players you can put out in the route to draw attention, someone is going to get a matchup they can win. A perfect example of this was on Claypool’s last touchdown when the Eagles let a linebacker try to cover the rookie and he easily beat him downfield for a score.
But you cannot discount the football acumen of Claypool and how quickly he has found a spot on this offense. Through four games, Claypool has 13 receptions for 261 receiving yards and five total touchdowns.