Bears eager to expand Chase Claypool's role in offense: 'An exciting guy for our future here'


LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- After joining the Bears in a trade last Tuesday, receiver Chase Claypool immediately began preparing for his opportunity.

The 24-year-old Claypool worked overtime away from the facility with the goal of getting himself up to speed with the team’s playbook. Claypool spent what he estimated to be six or seven hours each day studying the playbook.

“It was a whirlwind, for sure,” Claypool said after the Bears’ 35-32 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday.

The Bears traded a second-round pick to the Steelers for Claypool, who they hope becomes an impact player for them.

The Bears turned to Claypool early Sunday. On their third offensive play, he caught the first of his two receptions on six targets. Claypool played 26 of a possible 74 snaps on offense in his Chicago debut.

“I just think we’re going to build,” Bears coach Matt Eberflus said. “Just keep building more and more and more and what he can handle in the game plan we’re going to give it to him. So, he’s obviously an exciting guy for our future here, and we’re exciting for where he is.”

Bears tight end Cole Kmet, who played at Notre Dame with Claypool, was part of a support system that helped Claypool understand the offense in his first week in Chicago.

“I can’t imagine,” Kmet said. “We’ve been learning this offense since back in April, and you come in on six days and try and really get a whole game plan. We were helping him out there, for sure, but you’re going to see him play faster and faster each week as he gets comfortable with the offense.”

The Bears’ trade for Claypool was made in part because of the confidence the team has in second-year quarterback Justin Fields, who threw for three touchdown passes Sunday and set an NFL record for quarterbacks with 178 rushing yards in a regular-season game. Fields' growth inspired first-year general manager Ryan Poles to add a dynamic target in Claypool, who had 12 touchdowns for the Steelers over parts of three seasons.

Claypool recognizes that the Bears made an investment in him, and he wants to reward that faith.

“It’s a cool experience to have a team want you like that and be excited for you to get involved,” Claypool said.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.

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