By: Jared Villani @JVillain10
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, JuJu Smith-Schuster has had the spotlight on him a lot in recent weeks, and while it may not be for the best reasons, it’s a big reason why we fell in love with him in the first place. Smith-Schuster has always been a pleasure to watch on the field, and this season was no different with nine touchdowns and 97 receptions, but he’s best known for his celebrations.
This season was fantastic in many ways, but it is being greatly overlooked after a tough second half most notably Sunday night’s playoff loss. There is also the sad reality that Smith-Schuster just played the last season on his rookie contract. Obviously this is something he is aware of and despite the uncertainty hanging over his head, he had this to say about his recent comments prior to this week’s playoff game.
“I don’t regret saying what I said. I said the Browns is the Browns. They came out and played a hell of a game. There’s been games where you lose some, you win some, and today wasn’t our night. Hopefully, the same Browns show up against the next opponent, and they go out there and do the same thing they did tonight and have a hell of a game.”
Onlookers may question Smith-Schuster’s maturity at times, but he’s remained a serious competitor despite all of the dancing that he has been known for as of late. It’s important to have a long memory with players like Smith-Schuster and remember everything he has gone through in his short NFL career to this point, and the shoes he was expected to fill after his rookie campaign.
While the Steelers have arguably the deepest receiving corps in the league, No.19 has been their most reliable set of hands and the obvious leader to younger players including Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson. Even though Smith-Schuster is young as well (24), he acted as the team’s number one receiver on and off the field for the last three seasons of his career and has done nothing but support his teammates at all times.
Smith-Schuster’s future with the Steelers is up in the air as of right now and it’s clear that Smith-Schuster has his heart set on staying in Pittsburgh. It would be foolish to not want to see him return simply for his infectious personality and competitive drive.
“I’d love to stay in Pittsburgh. I’ve built a strong foundation with the fanbase. I love Coach Tomlin, I love my coaching staff, coach Ike. Everybody. They made me who I am today. I don’t want to have to go to a different organization and change the ways and how I am. I love the game of football. And I would love to be a Steeler again.”
What do you think will happen to Smith-Schuster in the off-season? Sound off in the comment section below!