Bills' Sean McDermott: Chase Claypool 'on a mission right now'

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills receiver Chase Claypool is "on a mission right now to reclaim what he once was" at a certain level as an NFL player, coach Sean McDermott said Tuesday. McDermott said that you don't find that a lot around the NFL, and added that "those are my words, maybe not fair to Chase, respectfully."

After Claypool's second OTA practice Tuesday, he fully agreed with his new coach's sentiment.

"I think it is tough believing the player that you are or can be, and falling short of those expectations, especially over the last two years, for sure," Claypool said. "It is a tough position because I know there's times where it can be frustrating if I'm not living up to my potential.

"But if it's frustrating to the outside world, it's even more frustrating for me. I understand where I should be. And I understand that I haven't met those expectations. And that's why I work harder and harder and harder and harder every year so I can meet and exceed those expectations."

Claypool, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Bills earlier this month, a decision he described as "tough" due to the Bills expressing interest in signing him but wanting to wait until after the draft to make final decisions. The opportunity extends to not only the receiver room, but also a willingness and desire from Claypool to contribute on special teams.

"[Claypool's] very focused, he's working extremely hard day in and day out," McDermott said. "... Very impressed with his day-to-day approach, true pro, high character, smart player, and he's been a good addition to our team."

He joined a wide receiver room that experienced an extreme overhaul this offseason. Joining the Bills marked Claypool's fourth team since the start of the 2022 season.

After two seasons of 800-plus receiving yards to start his career in Pittsburgh, Claypool had only 43 targets in 10 games with the Bears and seven in nine games with the Dolphins.

"I went from being a starter, playing every play, to going to Miami and really not playing at all," Claypool said. "So, it ... Made me realize my love for the game. Because even though I was doing nothing that I wanted to do or expect to do, special teams and stuff like that at the time. I realize how much I love football. If I didn't love the game, that'd be easy to just fold."

Claypool said that he is aware of what he needs to work on and felt he was able to get a head start on his work this offseason due to not playing much last year. He emphasized that he has learned from his mistakes.

On the field Tuesday, Claypool had a leaping catch on a pass from former Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky.

The remixed wide receiver room presents opportunities to compete for a roster spot, while Claypool is embracing a fresh start "with a new perspective on who I am."

"It's frustrating [to be characterized a certain way online], especially when it's so far from the truth," Claypool said. "... But I'm not here to prove that I'm not what they say I am, I'm just here to be who I am and be a part of the team. I'm not trying to prove anyone wrong or right, I'm just being who I am. It doesn't matter what the outside world says, as long as my teammates know the kind of guy I am, and coaches do, too."