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Steelers News: The difference in Chase Claypool is his above the neck ability

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

It has been a one-of-a-kind offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020. With the scheduled start of training camp now behind us, it looks like we’ll have to wait until opening weekend to see the Steelers take the field. Just because the NFL has cancelled the preseason doesn’t mean we stop providing you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over throughout the offseason!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at how what separates Chase Claypool from other rookie receivers is his ability to understand the game above the neck.

Let’s get to the news:

  • Chase Claypool is one smart cookie, and this could give him an advantage over other rookie receivers in 2020.

Chase Claypool ready to transfer smarts into spot among Steelers WR rotation

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

In Chase Claypool, the Pittsburgh Steelers got a 6-foot-4 wide receiver from Notre Dame who excelled in the classroom as well as the football field.

After polishing off a 66-catch, 1,037-yard senior season for the Fighting Irish in the fall, Claypool earned his business degree in the spring, completing his studies in the allotted four years.

It’s not the book smarts Claypool possesses that is a concern to the Steelers and third-year offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner. It’s the ability to quickly process what he sees in that thick playbook and transfer the knowledge into results each Sunday during the NFL season.

That remains the unknown with Claypool as he prepares for an abbreviated version of his first training camp in which opportunities to impress the coaching staff will be few.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)


  • Ben Roethlisberger’s return does more than stabilize the offense, it creates normalcy within the organization.

Having Ben back brings normalcy

By: Bob Labriola, Steelers.com

Training camp may have opened on July 28, but that’s really in name only because there isn’t going to be anything resembling typical training camp as far as on-field work for close to three weeks. This comes on the heels of no offseason program and no minicamps, and with no preseason games on the horizon. For his part, Randy Fichtner hasn’t had a chance yet to lay eyes on the pass-catching tight end who was the crown jewel of the free agency period, at least not face-to-face, and the next time he’s in the same room with the offensive rookies will be the first time.

During a Zoom call today, the Steelers offensive coordinator was asked if there is anything about this run-up to the 2020 regular season that would qualify as normal, and somewhat shockingly Fichtner didn’t need much time to think of something.

“That might be the easiest question to answer,” said Fichtner. “Normal now becomes Ben Roethlisberger back in the huddle. He’s paired up with Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro and some of those guys up front. That just gives you the normalcy. That will be normal. That’s what we’re used to. Just getting back to normal will be looking at a group of mostly experienced players and being excited about what this journey, this season, is going to bring.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)


  • Vince Williams brings a voice to the Steelers defense

Communication reason Steelers are turning back to Vince Williams at inside linebacker

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

What’s old is new again – or is it vice versa? — for the Pittsburgh Steelers at one of their inside linebacker positions.

After a year in which he played his fewest snaps in the past three seasons, Vince Williams will return to regular playing time in the middle of the Steelers’ defensive scheme.

Williams is targeted to replace Mark Barron, who was released in March after getting most of the snaps at inside linebacker last season next to rookie first-rounder Devin Bush.

A starter for the Steelers in 2017-18, Williams carries a reputation as a reliable pass rusher and run stopper who struggles in coverage. But his return raises the question: If the Steelers didn’t deem Williams worthy of extended playing time in 2019, why the change of heart as he prepares for his eighth NFL season at age 30?

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)


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