Former Steelers' Starter 'Focused' and 'Vibing' at Bills' mandatory minicamp

Buffalo Bills' head coach Sean McDermott and quarterback Josh Allen were highly complimentary when asked about new addition Chase Claypool.
Oct 9, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool (11) runs with the ball against Buffalo Bills linebacker Baylon Spector (54) after a catch in the fourth quarter at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 9, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool (11) runs with the ball against Buffalo Bills linebacker Baylon Spector (54) after a catch in the fourth quarter at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

It may be time to stop viewing Buffalo Bills' wide receiver Chase Claypool as merely a training camp body.

Although his Bills' tenure is not yet six weeks old, the former Top 50 draft pick has seemingly made himself a serious candidate to claim a roster spot. Claypool, who spent time with the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins last season, has earned the attention of Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott since arriving in Orchard Park.

"Good addition," said McDermott as mandatory minicamp kicked off Tuesday at the team facility. "He's a veteran player that's started before and has experience in games and also on special teams. I think he's come in and done all that we could've asked at this point. He's been a good teammate, worked hard, been focused, made plays out there. I think that'll continue as we move forward. The evaluation, overall, will continue, but we're happy to have him."

It wasn't the first time McDermott responded positively when asked about Claypool. The former Notre Dame standout, who famously fell out of favor with the Pittsburgh Steelers two years ago, quickly made an impression on the Bills' eighth-year head coach.

"Very impressed with Chase, really just starting with his approach," said McDermott at the start of OTAs Phase 3 last month. "Here's a veteran receiver, former high pick that has been on a journey, right, through the course of his, recently, his career. I applaud Chase for coming here to see where things go. He's very focused."

After Tuesday's minicamp practice, Bills' quarterback Josh Allen shared his thoughts on Claypool during a media availability.

"He seems like he's very bought into the system right now and vibing with the guys. Being in his position, and what he's done throughout his career —some pretty high highs and some pretty low lows— I think that he's got the right mindset right now," said Allen. "He's been very easy to throw to."

Claypool surpassed the 800-yard receiving mark in each of his first two pro seasons. As a rookie in 2020, he scored 11 touchdowns.

It's early in the process, but Claypool couldn't have had a better start to his Bills' career.


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Ralph Ventre

RALPH VENTRE