Bears’ Cole Kmet sings high praises of former Notre Dame teammate Chase Claypool
After the NFL trade deadline, the Chicago Bears said goodbye to Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn and hello to wide receiver Chase Claypool.
For Bears tight end Cole Kmet, Claypool is a familiar face from their shared days on the Notre Dame gridiron in college.
“I was out with him in California before the Combine, preparing for the draft,” Kmet said on Wednesday’s episode of Bear Essentials. “He’s a great dude, great teammate and ultra competitive. You’re getting a guy who’s big, fast, strong, a willing blocker as well, which is an underrated thing about him. He’s going to be a great addition for us on the offensive side.”
Claypool came over from the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for a second-round pick. The 6-foot-4, 238-pound wide receiver is the largest in the NFL and adds yet another towering target for quarterback Justin Fields.
“He’s a guy that’s able to block for the run game as well. It’s going to open up some things not only for the other receivers but for the tight ends, full backs and running backs as well. Between me, Chase, N’Keal [Harry] and Equanimeous [St. Brown], you got some tall, big-bodied pass-catchers there that will be a friendly target for Justin,” Kmet said.
While the Bears offense works out the pass game with some new hands, the rushing game again becomes center stage for the Bears’ offensive production.
The Bears lead the league in rushing yards with 1,507 through 8 games, leading to an average of over 180 yards per game and 5.3 yards a carry.
“I think that became a necessity for us. I think we struggled a bit in the pass game early on. We needed to really rely on this run game, and this run game has allowed us to spark some explosives in the pass game,” Kmet said. “We’ve really leaned on it, whether it be Khalil [Herbert], David [Montgomery] or Justin running the football. We’ve been really creative in the run game, and it’s been something we’ve leaned into and something we’ve gotten really good at over the past couple weeks.”
Watch the full interview with Cole Kmet above. Bear Essentials runs Wednesdays at 7 p.m. on Marquee Sports Network.