In an interview with DAZN, Pittsburgh Steelers Chase Claypool stood by comments he made afteir loss to the Cleveland Browns, saying that the Kansas City Chiefs would beat them,, which made everything okay. He further doubled down, saying it was because the Browns were classless for what they said to teammate Juju Smith-Schuster during and after the game.
What Claypool seems to leave out is the fact that all of this started when Smith dismissed the Browns as an opponent and he was glad to be playing them.
"Nah, I think they're still the same Browns that I've played every year. I think they're nameless gray faces. They have a couple of good players on their team. But at the end of the day … the Browns are the Browns. It's AFC North football. They're a good team. I'm just happy we're playing them again."
The Browns didn't need added motivation to win the game. It was the playoffs after all, but they certainly didn't hesitate to grab onto the "Browns is the Browns" tagline, even mentioning it on the sideline during the game.
Is it possible that Browns players took it too far? Sure, but this comes off more as whining than anything else. Smith has been a provocateur of sorts this season and his own team asked him to stop engaging in some of the shenanigans that fired up opposing teams such as dancing on their logos for TikTok videos.
The Browns would certainly contest, rightly, that Smith did not respect the Browns and they were standing up for themselves as they won the game.
Claypool will be back with the Steelers next year but Smith is unlikely to be as the team faces the reality of a significant rebuild.
Sure, Clayool can say he was standing up for a teammate, as one does, by going on a livestream and picking the team's next opponent, then calling them classless days later. Really, it just seems like someone whining because they lost a playoff game and when that happens, it's easy to point to something like this and point to it rather than accept it and move on to the offseason.