It’s safe to say that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is a fan of his quarterback.
Smith-Schuster, the newly-anointed No. 1 wide receiver for the Steelers, made perfectly clear his support of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with a Twitter post on Saturday afternoon that seemed timed to send a message.
Every comment Smith-Schuster makes out of the blue about Roethlisberger is going to look like shade at this point. It’s in stark contrast to Antonio Brown, who seems to comment on every public comment anyone from Pittsburgh makes about him after his acrimonious departure to Oakland.
The relationship between Brown and Smith-Schuster also turned toxic after the trade. It may be that the Steelers wide receiver is just pumping up his quarterback, but given the circumstances of the offseason, it’s always going to look like more than that.
Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster have been trading shots on social media over the past several weeks, and Brown feels he has done enough to win the war once and for all.
Brown took to Twitter on Sunday to criticize Smith-Schuster for fumbling the Pittsburgh Steelers’ season away last year, which was a reference to Smith-Schuster’s crucial turnover late in a Week 16 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Smith-Schuster, who has tried to take the high road with questions about Brown forcing his way out of Pittsburgh, could no longer remain silent.
In response to Brown, Smith-Schuster sent a series of tweets about how he never showed Brown anything but respect and was happy for him when he was traded to the Oakland Raiders and secured a new contract. Brown clearly feels those comments were disingenuous, because he put JuJu on blast Monday with an Instagram post that included a screenshot of a direct message he received from Smith-Schuster back in 2015.
A lot can obviously change in four years, so it seems a little cheap for Brown to expose something Smith-Schuster said when he was still in college at USC. Plus, the old message makes Smith-Schuster look polite if anything. In any event, you can tell by the microphone emoji that Brown feels sharing the screenshot was his “mic drop” moment.
While he hasn’t been quite as forward about it, Smith-Schuster has definitely tried to rip Brown on social media in a subtle manner. Neither receiver has been innocent in the immature war of words.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster tried to maintain a good relationship with former teammate Antonio Brown, but the new Oakland Raider’s latest public quote is apparently a bridge too far.
On Sunday, Brown took a shot at Smith-Schuster on Twitter, saying his former teammate fumbled the postseason away.
Brown is referring to Smith-Schuster’s crushing fumble late in a 31-28 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 16. The fumble cost the Steelers a shot at a potential game-tying field goal, and the loss ultimately eliminated them from playoff contention.
Smith-Schuster, who had largely avoided being critical of Brown amid his trade saga, had had enough after the latest barb.
In other words, the friendship is over. And while some would certainly argue that Smith-Schuster hasn’t been quite as innocent as he claims to be in terms of talking about Brown publicly, he’s been pretty quiet about it overall, and it’s clear that he previously had a lot of respect for Brown as a teammate. Brown’s decision to blast him publicly without any provocation seems like a completely unnecessary and petty move.
At the end of the day, even on a different team, Brown can’t stop causing Steelers-related drama. It’s why they got rid of him, and despite his unquestioned talent, they might end up being better off for it in the long term.
JuJu Smith-Schuster posted a somewhat subtle reaction to the Antonio Brown trade on Twitter Sunday, but the context of the photo he shared makes it obvious he was taking a shot at his former teammate.
On the surface, it appeared Smith-Schuster was simply indicating he is ready to take on a bigger role now that Brown is no longer with the Steelers. Of course, the photo he used was from a game against the Raiders, and Brown was one of the players standing in the background.
Apparently there is a lot more to it than that. Steelers reporter Mark Kaboly remembers the exact play, and it was initially ruled incomplete. Thinking the throw should have gone to him, Brown then proceeded to throw a temper tantrum on the sideline. The call was overturned, with Smith-Schuster and the Steelers being awarded the touchdown.
Coincidence? Of course not.
Smith-Schuster may have said all the right things about Brown demanding a trade, but it seems like he is happy with the result.
JuJu Smith-Schuster enjoyed a breakout season with the Pittsburgh Steelers last season, and he may be leaned on even more heavily in 2019 now that Antonio Brown has been traded. The younger wide receiver hinted on Sunday that he is ready to fulfill that role.
In the hours after Brown was sent to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for two draft picks, Smith-Schuster shared a photo of himself on Twitter catching a touchdown pass. The caption simply read “I’m ready…”
You may have noticed that the photo is from a game in which the Steelers were playing the Raiders, which is likely not a coincidence.
Smith-Schuster caught 111 passes for 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns last season, but it will be interesting to see if he can duplicate that success without Brown commanding attention on the other side of the field. Despite what he previously said about Brown leaving Pittsburgh, Smith-Schuster has to be excited about the opportunity in front of him.
UPDATE: With more context, it has become obvious that Smith-Schuster was taking a shot at Brown.
The Pittsburgh Steelers may be in the process of fielding trade offers for Antonio Brown, but more than one of the star receiver’s veteran teammates have now publicly stated that they want him to return to the team in 2019.
One of the most noteworthy Steelers players to express that sentiment is JuJu Smith-Schuster. Some of Brown’s frustrations likely stem from the fact that Smith-Schuster became more of “the guy” in Pittsburgh this past season, but the 22-year-old is still hoping the situation can be resolved.
While Smith-Schuster led the Steeler with 111 receptions for 1,426 yards, him and Brown were essentially both No. 1 receivers. Brown hauled in 104 passes for 1,297 yards and a whopping 15 scores, so there was plenty of love to go around for both of Ben Roethlisberger’s top receivers.
It would not be a surprise if some of Brown’s teammates were upset with him over the way he went AWOL during the final week of the season, but one team captain also recently said he wants the All-Pro back next season. At this point, either outcome for Brown and the Steelers would not be particularly surprising.
We have made it to the end of the 2018 NFL regular season, meaning all our questions about playoff positioning — and draft order — have been answered. There will be a lot of movement on the coaching market with vacancies coming up. For now, we have to sift through who came up big when it counted and who ended up having their heart broken.
Here are the 15 biggest disappointments of NFL Week 17.
The Vikings had a very simple task — win at home against the Chicago Bears and they were in the playoffs. Not only did they fail to do so, but they didn’t even come particularly close. The Bears won 24-10, with the Minnesota offense a constant disaster area and players not on the same page. The defense was unable to get off the field, particularly on third down. This was a mess and will require a lot of soul-searching after a team expected to contend for a Super Bowl didn’t even make it to the postseason.
JuJu Smith-Schuster was on the receiving end of some complimentary remarks from Bill Belichick following Sunday’s game.
The Pittsburgh Steelers improved to 8-5-1 thanks to a 17-10 victory over the New England Patriots. During the game, Smith-Schuster hauled in four passes for 40 yards. Afterward, Belichick had pretty high praise for the Steelers wide receiver.
The remarks by Belichick are certainly great. So is the use of emojis by Smith-Schuster to emphasize his emotions in the moment.
In his second season in the NFL, Smith-Schuster has blossomed into a dangerous threat opposite Antonio Brown. Smith-Schuster entered Sunday’s game with 91 catches for 1,234 yards and six touchdowns. Belichick likely isn’t the only head coach in the league to take note of what the 22-year old Pittsburgh player has been doing this season.
The coolest trick-or-treating effort from the sports world came from Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster.
Some people in Pittsburgh saw a man dressed in a full Steelers uniform, wearing a jersey that had Smith-Schuster’s name and number on it. The man was actually Smith-Schuster, who went trick-or-treating as himself … in pads and everything.
Take a look at these photos shared by CBS Sports radio host Andrew Fillipponi:
Smith-Schuster even gave out candy to some drivers in the street. Imagine realizing you were getting candy from a real Steelers star.
Smith-Schuster is earning his fans one Halloween home at a time. Between this and his recent lottery effort, it’s no wonder why he’s so well-liked.
Week 8 marks the halfway point of the season for many NFL teams, and we’re very close to moving into the second half and the subsequent playoff run. That means that things are starting to get real in many of the divisional races, and teams are going to have to start considering the implications of each win and loss even more than they were before.
Several other teams find themselves at a crossroads. There are quarterback decisions to be made and maybe even some coaches whose seats are getting progressively hotter. The scrutiny is getting more intense every week, and Week 8 was no exception.
Here are 15 of the biggest disappointments from the week’s NFL action.
Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers
It’s looking like the Buccaneers are clearly nearing the end of the line with Winston, who may have finally exhausted their patience on Sunday. He threw four interceptions, including a pick-six, none of which were the result of bad luck. He was careless and reckless with the ball and was rightly benched in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick, who nearly led them to a comeback. It remains to be seen whether he sticks as the starter, but the odds seem to be long.