Chase Claypool after outburst: Bears need to become ‘uncomfortable with losing’
“I was all fired up because we can’t lose that bad — ever,” he said about the 41-10 loss to the Lions. “We have to have a little bit more pride, a little bit more heart, so it don’t happen again.”
Bears receiver Chase Claypool said he was tired of losing.
His sideline outburst Sunday prompted exchanges with receivers coach Tyke Tolbert and quarterback Justin Fields, who tried to calm him down in the third quarter of the Bears’ 41-10 loss to the Lions.
Claypool left the locker room after the game as the media were entering. Speaking for the first time about the incident Thursday, he said he had grown tired of the Bears’ offensive struggles.
‘‘I was all fired up because we can’t lose that bad — ever,’’ he said. ‘‘We have to have a little bit more pride, a little bit more heart, so it don’t happen again.’’
The Bears went three-and-out on six of seven possessions during a span that started in the first quarter and stretched into the fourth. The outlier was a one-play drive that ended in an interception.
‘‘We have to realize when it’s not OK to go three-and-out,’’ Claypool said. ‘‘We’ve gotta act that way. If we go three-and-out, it can’t just be OK. And it isn’t. But we’ve gotta really have that fire and energy and realize that, ‘Yo, it’s time to go.’ ’’
He claimed it had nothing to do with his own lack of production. He had no catches on one target Sunday.
‘‘I’ll never get frustrated and say, ‘Throw me the ball more, throw me the ball,’ ’’ Claypool said.
Fields defused the situation on the sideline, saying he told Claypool that his outburst was ‘‘not helping the team.’’ Claypool said their discussion ended with ‘‘mutual respect.’’
Tolbert told him after the game that the outburst, in which Claypool tossed his helmet down, was inappropriate.
‘‘I said: ‘Look, you’re a passionate guy. I love your passion. Passion is what makes you who you are. You just have to channel it the right way,’ ’’ Tolbert said. ‘‘Everybody wants to be doing better on offense. Everybody wants to score more points and do a lot of things. But we’re all professionals. And we all have to approach things in a professional way.’’
Claypool has struggled to contribute since the Bears traded a second-round pick to the Steelers for him Nov. 1. Hampered by a knee injury suffered last month, Claypool played 126 snaps with Fields at quarterback, an incredibly small number. By contrast, he played 125 snaps in his last two games with the Steelers.
With Fields at quarterback — he sat out the game against the Jets with a separated left shoulder in Week 11 — Claypool was targeted only 18 times. He caught 10 of those passes for 60 yards.
Claypool, who is eligible for a contract extension this offseason, said he plans to work with Fields during the offseason, either in California, Florida or Georgia.
‘‘He’s one of those guys that hates losing just as much as I do,’’ Claypool said. ‘‘We see common ground on that. It’s good to know there’s a guy throwing you the ball who wants to win.’’
They just express it differently.
‘‘Even if it was 31-10 or whatever in the third quarter, we can still win that game,’’ Claypool said. ‘‘You see what the Vikings did down 33-0 at halftime [in a 39-36 victory against the Colts]. We’re always in every game — no matter what the score is, for the most part — until that final whistle blows.
‘‘So it’s like, I just want to feel that belief. I want to feel it. We’re a good team. We’re going to be a good team next year. But we have to be real uncomfortable with losing.’’