Things have been interesting in the Steelers’ locker room this season.
As the team deals with a quarterback carousel — juggling between veteran Mitch Trubisky and rookie starter Kenny Pickett — an apparent blowup between Trubisky and wideout Diontae Johnson made headlines this week.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Monday that Trubisky and Johnson got into a heated locker room confrontation at halftime in Week 4, which came as the quarterback was being benched for Pickett.
“I wish I could say something about it, but I was in the bathroom with a little tummy ache so I didn’t hear it,” Claypool told The Post this week.
On top of that, the third-year receiver was also the subject of trade rumors this week with the former Notre Dame star being linked to the receiver-needy Packers.
“I don’t think that just the energy, you know, is not well spent,” Claypool said in the interview, which was on behalf of Tide. “If I were to pay attention to this, one of my former coaches texted me, he said, ‘Go Bears.’… That was the only thing that I kind of looked up.
“But, you know, if the team who wants me or a team who feels like I’m most valuable, that which I believe is the Steelers, then I’ll be more than happy to be playing for them. So no, I haven’t done any looking into.”
After 18 years of stability with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, the team is dealing with the realities of a quarterback dilemma. Trubisky was signed in the offseason to fill the role, but Pickett is viewed as the future. Following a dismal 1-4 start, the Steelers upset the Buccaneers 20-18 on Sunday
Claypool said he hopes their Week 6 win is a turning point for the team as they continue block out external noise.
“I think this year, you know, there’s a lot of people trying to figure out a reason on why —why we’re losing or why we’ve lost games, why this happened differently and this and that,” Claypool said. “With all that outside noise, I feel like it can easily get fractured within the inside.
“So I think the biggest thing is just trying to enjoy the company around the locker room and practice in the game, try to develop those relationships with your teammates because at the end of the day, those are the only guys that truly have your back, especially in the industry. So I’ve been just trying to find that level of brotherhood with those guys.”
It was a breakout game for Claypool after a slow start to the season. The wideout made highlight-reel plays Sunday on his way to tallying seven catches for 96 yards and a touchdown.
“It just felt good,” Claypool said. “And, you know, I hate for it to have come at this point, but I hope now that this could be something that can turn the tide on the season, and not just for myself, but the team’s performance.”
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