AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Steelers, Chase Claypool


Bengals QB Joe Burrow said all of their remaining games are considered “must-win” in order to reach the playoffs. 

“Going forward every game is a must-win if we want to get to the playoffs,” Burrow said, via Geoff Hobson of the team’s official site. “You know, we got to control what we can control and if we go out and win all the games that we’re capable of winning, we control our destiny.”

As for their Week 15 game against the Broncos, Burrow thinks Denver has the deepest defense they have faced this season. 

“I think top to bottom,” Burrow said. “You look at the film and a lot of weeks you can point to this guy like ‘Hey we can attack this guy.’ They don’t have any of those guys on this defense. Top to bottom, they are probably the deepest we’ve played.”



Steelers HC Mike Tomlin voiced support of second-year WR Chase Claypool and thinks he is still maturing as a receiver. 

“These guys don’t come to you as finished products,” Tomlin said, via Mark Kaboly of The Athletic. “That’s another part of coaching that I embrace, we collectively embrace. It is the reason why we make what we make and there are so many of us because these guys are less than finished products when we get them. There is a growth and development that has to take place.”

Tomlin compared Claypool to third-year WR Diontae Johnson, describing that Johnson is also experiencing “growth and development” with his maturity. 

You guys are witnessing growth and development with (wideout) Diontae Johnson, not only with the quality of play in skills relative to his position, but in maturity,” Tomlin said.  “He is a year older than Chase. That’s going on all around us — the pain and growth in development sometimes when you people have to participate. We see inconsistencies in (punter) Pressley Harvin’s performance. You have less than ideal from (tight end) Pat (Freiermuth).”

Tomlin reiterated that they plan on continuing to focus on Claypool’s growth as a player.  

He’s a young guy who is growing and is developing in a lot of ways,” Tomlin said. “It can’t happen fast enough for him, it can’t happen fast enough for us. We are going to continue to push that growth and development as long as he is a willing participant. He has been. We are just going to keep moving forward.”

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