Dilfer: Bears need to throw the ball to Claypool more, for their own good and for the sake of attracting good receivers in free agency


(670 The Score) The Bears’ failure to get new receiver Chase Claypool consistently involved in the game plan falls on the shoulders of the coaching staff, and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s recent justification that it takes time to get accustomed to Chicago’s scheme is an empty claim, NFL analyst Trent Dilfer said.

“I could learn this offense in 24 hours, the passing game,” Dilfer said Monday on the Parkins & Spiegel Show.

The Bears acquired Claypool from the Steelers in exchange for a second-round pick in early November. In three games with Chicago, Claypool has just five catches. He played 29 snaps in the Bears’ loss to the Falcons on Sunday after playing 19 snaps the prior week. Claypool was targeted six times in his Bears debut but just a combined five times in the past two games.

Dilfer believes Claypool already has a full understanding of the scheme and simply isn’t being prioritized, which he called a mistake because the Bears need to find out what they have him in and showcase to free agents they’re willing to throw the ball more.

“You’re not going to be able to attract anybody,” Dilfer said. “You’re going to have to draft them, because you’re not going to get a free agent when you’re tilted this much one direction in run-pass. Because they all want to go where they’ll get fed the rock and make Pro Bowls and get their incentives, as they should.

“You won’t be able to sell the quarterback is going to be a great player because any agent and free agent is going to be like, ‘No, the proof is in the pudding. You ran it 66% of the time. I ain’t going there. I didn’t sign up to be a tight end.’ So you’re going to have that issue.

“And I don’t know what you have in Claypool, because you don’t throw it enough.”

Dilfer praised Bears top receiver Darnell Mooney, saying he understood why the team would target him before Claypool in its limited passing endeavors. But he also placed the burden on head coach Matt Eberflus to get Claypool more opportunities.

“At some point, the head coach has to say, ‘Bro, quit worrying about all these designed runs,’” Dilfer said. “Go up there on a Monday and be like, ‘I want to see triple the catalog in passing, I want to see it thrown twice as much in practice and I want more than 30 throws in a game and we’ll deal with the rest.’”

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