3 ways Chase Claypool must improve after Chicago Bears bye week

Parker Hurley
Chicago Bears - Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /
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2. Chicago Bears need to use Claypool more creatively

The Chicago Bears have tried to get Chase Claypool involved with two simple plays, the deep ball, and the screen. Claypool has 22 targets for the Chicago Bears, and 10 of them are screen passes or go routes.

The issue is that he has not had much success here. Quarterbacks are 1-4 targeting Claypool on deep balls. To be fair, he caused multiple pass interference penalties. However, overall, the play has not been efficient. Even in plays like the one below, they look to run a deep ball to Claypool, but he is unable to get any sort of separation.

Could Justin Fields force this pass into Claypool and give him a jump ball? Perhaps, and Claypool has gotten those chances. Still, he moves to his next read and sees Darnell Mooney coming open over the middle and made that pass instead. The play has either been a chance to throw it up and pray for pass interference or hope Claypool comes down with something contested. He cannot get downfield separation.

Another area that has led to struggles would be screens. The Chicago Bears are 4-6 for five yards when throwing screen passes, per PFF. These plays have been relatively useless.

On the flip side, Claypool is starting to work over the middle of the field. During the first four games, the Chicago Bears are 4-7 for 42 yards when throwing to Claypool over the middle of the field.

On Sunday. Claypool was 3-4 for 33 yards over the middle of the field. Post routes, slant routes, and even a comeback route have been the intermediate success plays.

It makes sense that the team would run more screens and go routes as Claypool does not know the plays. However, now that he is embedded into the playbook, you saw his route tree expand. The Chicago Bears started to use him over the middle of the field, and it started to show signs of success.

The team needs to keep expanding on its route tree, and it needs to ditch the screens, at least until teams stop sitting on it.