Hines Ward: Bears WR Chase Claypool ‘needs to grow up a little bit’

“Sometimes I think with Chase, it became more about Chase and less about the team,” Ward said.

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Miami Dolphins v Chicago Bears

The Bears traded for Chase Claypool in November.

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Bears receiver Chase Claypool “needs to grow up a little bit,” Steelers legend Hines Ward said.

In an interview with Chat Sports during Super Bowl week, the former four-time Pro Bowl receiver spoke at length about Claypool, whom the Steelers drafted in Round 2 in 2020 and eventually traded to the Bears in November.

“From the outside looking in, [he’s] very talented,” Ward told Chat Sports. “The size alone, the speed, the catch radius, the athleticism . . . this kid has everything you want in a wide receiver.

“Sometimes I think with Chase, it became more about Chase and less about the team. I’ve always believed that the team comes first before any individual accolades. A little more maturity level on his part.”

A little ego is a good thing, Ward said.

“I love receivers that want the ball, but you have to do it in the confinements of the aspect of the team,” Ward said. “It’s about the team first.”

In a Steelers career that spanned from 1998 to 2011, Ward finished with exactly 1,000 catches for 12,083 yards. Only 26 receivers in NFL history have more receiving yards. Ward won two Super Bowls and was named Super Bowl MVP 17 years ago.

Ward hasn’t written off Claypool, though. He said he wants to see how he helps quarterback Justin Fields.

“I’m looking for big things out of Chase to be able to help him in his development,” he said. “And give him the playmaker [Fields] needs on the outside for the Bears.”

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