JuJu Smith-Schuster On Playing In Pittsburgh: ‘I Love This City’

JuJu Smith-Schuster has been the talk of the Pittsburgh sports world for the last seven days. On his first chance in the national stage, he had the best game of his young career, catching seven passes for 193 yards and a touchdown. His stardom has seemingly grown overnight for a city that’s embraced him. And he’s embraced it right back.

“I love it here man,” the rookie told reporters following the game. “This is my second home. I think the fans are amazing. With the bike being stolen, the people in Pittsburgh helping to get it back. It shows a lot. I love this city. I love the fans. I love the people. I love my teammates.”

The coaches have loved him too. Despite being snake-bitten with injuries during training camp, stunting his growth, he’s picked things up quickly as the season’s gone by. First by eating into Eli Rogers’ snaps in the slot and then Martavis Bryant’s on the outside. With Bryant inactive last night, Smith-Schuster was the unquestioned starter. He played 51 snaps, 80%, in the victory while Eli Rogers and Justin Hunter hovered around the 20 snap mark.

As players have mentioned and we’ve written about, Smith-Schuster’s fun-loving personality has been a breath of fresh air in the sometimes stuffy world of the NFL. Combine that with the league relaxing on some of their celebration penalties, and you get fun moments like Le’Veon Bell’s bench press after his touchdown. Smith-Schuster said each player has their own celebration.

“We all came up with celebrations for everybody. So when AB scored, we were like, let’s do the AB celebration. when Le’Veon scored, Le’Veon’s doing the bench, he’s lifting. Me, I’ll be anything. I’ll be the prop.”

JuJu served as the platform for Bell’s bench press celebration, which blew up on Twitter.

The Steelers had to table Brown’s celebration after offensive pass interference waved the score off. But Smith-Schuster says there’s about 15-20 celebrations he’s come up with, all jotted down on his iPhone, and “the more people we can get in, the better.”

As you can see in Bell’s touchdown, nearly all of the offensive linemen got involved. If only they can convince Ben Roethlisberger to join in.

Roethlisberger was asked about Smith-Schuster’s personality.

“It’s energizing. It’s fun. My locker was next to his in [the Lions’ locker room]. He had a great game.”

Fun indeed. Especially when you win. Which Smith-Schuster has continued to help the Steelers accomplish.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Be careful JuJu! Everyone loves you right now. But most second guessed your draft selection. And when it comes time for you to negotiate a second contract and you want a fair contract to secure you and your family’s future and don’t resign with Pit, they will stab you in the back…

    Just ask Mike Wallace, Bell, or Bryant.

  • SwagDaddy330

    Don’t smoke dope & get suspended – don’t hold out for no reason – and produce and he’ll be just fine.

    Steeler fans are NO different than any other fan base in the NBA, NFL, MLB or NHL.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Breath of fresh air! Enjoy it!

  • Hmmmmm, I wonder how fans would have reacted to Hines Ward’s holdout if that happen in the social media age?

  • Steelman72

    What are you talking about? Mike Wallace wasn’t worth the money he wanted and it went to AB, who was starting to blossom. Bell was offered the richest contract in RB history and he chose not to sign it, after his agent wanted him to. Bryant, really, not even worth getting into that. You sir, are an uneducated troll, please crawl back into your Patriot or Raven hole!

  • I’m the troll? Are you new here? I remember many complaining that AB wasn’t worth that first contract extension, and when he wanted more money because he out played that deal many accused him of being selfish.

  • Steelman72

    Yes, he did outplay his contract, but he signed it. AB went about things the right way to get his new contract and the Steelers worked with him as well. He deserved the contract he has and the Steelers gave it to him. Mike Wallace, not so much, see Miami Dolphins, lol! Bell, well, we will wait to see what he gets, and Matavis, please, get real!

  • francesco

    So you’re the troll?!!

  • francesco

    Hines Ward is my favorite Steeler.

  • Remember reading a discussion you had about Bryant where just about everyone was against you…

  • Stevie D

    Would you have pay Wallace 36 million guarantee for one trick pony. Is Bell really worth 14milliion dollars year not game changer his longest run probably 20 yards. Please don’t let mention Bryant right now.

    Steelers are doing the right thing and take care of the their players

  • And don’t act like the reported numbers on the Bell offer are true. Nothing was ever confirmed and definitely no guaranteed numbers were ever leaked. We don’t even know how true the report was that Bell’s agent told him to take the deal.

    Listen you want to see who the trolls are go read any Winner/Loser article or game live chat. It should take you long…

  • The Tony

    Funny how people can turn what should be a positive article about a young man acclimating to the city and becoming a future star on and off the field and turn it into a negative thread.

  • No I wouldn’t have paid Wallace, but that didn’t stop the majority of the community from turning on him. Just like they turned on Bell during this offseason. There were some that started to turn on AB when he was asking for more money with three years left.

    And for the record, these guys play a kids game for a fortune, I don’t think anyone of them are worth their associated price tags but the current CBA says you have to spend a certain amount of the total salary cap in any four year span so…

    And yes I think you have to do whatever is necessary to keep the league’s most dynamic RB. He shows no signs of slowing down, and the team needs him, especially if Ben misses time with injury or retires. He is simply that important.

  • Matt

    I won’t have that. Eagles fans from Philly are F*%&in crazy. For real crazy (and not funny or cute crazy). You can’t compare anyone to those psychos. Even the craziest Stiller fan is not in the same zipcode of crazy as an average Eagles fan from Philly.

  • AndyR34

    Not funny…merely sad.

  • Yea, my bad. That wasn’t my intention. Fed up with the the whiners ans complainers and that post was a knee jerk reaction.

    I wanted to delete it but it already was getting responses, I though that would have been cowardly.

    So now, I have to own it…

  • NinjaMountie

    JuJu reminds me of Anquan Boldin.

  • Orlysteel

    Only 20, scary!

  • Jones

    Normally agree with you, & you’re definitely no troll, but IMO, you’re way off base here. Steelers didn’t stiff any of these guys. They offered big money to 2 of them, and the third has screwed himself at every opportunity.

  • NinjaMountie

    I agree with you to some extent. I believe an athlete has a right to want to make as much money as he can. I respect them more when they just admit to it. They can leave and I’ll still respect them. However, Bell’s situation is a bit different. Rapping about it. Saying he wants to be paid as a RB and WR. Wanting unrealistic money. He seemed to be asking for ire from the fans.

  • John Smith

    dude, no one cares. lol

    stop worshipping players

  • NinjaMountie

    No worries, we’ve all done it, lol.

  • Jaybird

    Anyone who has read your past posts knows that the Ben bashing and Tomlin hating is one of your big peeves and it is out of control right now. I got the gist of your original post.

  • Mrs Bighead

    Definitely becoming a top 5 favorite player on this team for me

  • francesco

    Yes that was a very exhausting day…never again!

  • Marcel Chris Chauvet

    We love you too man!

  • pittfan

    HPK a troll? Who knew?

  • francesco

    He reminds me of PK Subban.

  • Ichabod

    I wasn’t diggin’ a WR (didn’t matter who), in the second, but I am now! Go Juju

  • Thanks man!

  • I bet for you, every day is exhausting…

  • francesco

    Lately yes… for sure.
    Well actually a couple of years going… now that i think about it. It all began when Tomlin and Haley decided that Hines was done as a player.

  • Lil Smitty

    I Think JuJu would have to become rather arrogant and abrasive over the next several years for the fans to turn on him. If he starts badmouthing the organization and its fan base while negotiating his second (or third) contract, then the fan base will turn on him.
    Or if he fumbles or drops the winning score in the super bowl. Steeler nation will have pitchforks at the ready to escort him out of town.

  • Is that what your crusade it about? Your lust for vengeance over the this team because Ward lost his battle with father time?

    It’s time to let that go…

  • Yea I suppose I could add Mendenhall to hat list too.

  • NinjaMountie

    He does a little. Of course I was referring to the way he and Boldin play and their physical attributes. JuJu is just a faster version.
    Maybe he plays Hockey like Subban, though.

  • NinjaMountie

    I’m with you on the Ben thing. I can’t stand how biased they are. Worse is a lot of them are MB apologists as well.

  • Steelman72

    Sorry Punk, I didn’t mean to jump on your post either. I didn’t even look st the name, just the content. I’m steady on the site for many years, just don’t post too much.

  • No worries man. Its funny, I’m currently listening to the Podcast, and Dave Bryan postulates the same exact thing as I said at the top of the comment section, but he puts it in a much nicer way, lol.

  • francesco

    Now that you put it that way…yes I lost respect for the FO, the coaches, and Ben especially (supposed friend of Hines) when they conspired togethet to declare Hines as washed up when he really wasn’t. Hines had at least another year or two left in him.

  • francesco

    Has same charisma that can become at times quite annoying….but i will not get ahead of myself.

  • NCSteel

    Wrong !
    People were behind Hines and they will be behind Ju Ju.

    Mike Wallace was a run fast, catch ball guy who wanted to be paid like Jerry Rice. He took Miami’s money and did nothing, they were praising the Lord to get out from under it in two short years.

    Bell turned down an offer that was MORE than fair.
    My guess is he realizes that now.

    Bryant hasn’t even been offered a contract yet (and will not be based off of his own actions… repeat his OWN.
    Not even sure what your talkin’ about.

  • NCSteel

    Wrong again !
    It was not the social media age and Hines did his negotiations privately. Never bad mouthed the Steeler organization, not even once. Never demanded a trade nor spoke about Antonio or Randel El as if they were beneath him.
    You speak as if the man had no sounding board. Reporters followed him everywhere.
    Never said an ill word about it and it ended soon enough.

  • NCSteel

    Amen

  • If you turn on today’s podcast and turn tune in to 25:55 you’ll hear Dave Bryan agree with me. In case you have yet to listen to it, I’ll quote him here.

    “Its going to be fun to watch this guy go from rookie year to contract year. And we’ve seen this year in, year out with fans. Ohhh, they love the guy when he’s a rookie, oh but come time that he asks for top dollar, he’s the devil then. So it will be interesting. Even Hines Ward had his detractors, right? And how could you hate that smile?”

    There you have it, the same thought process as mine, albeit in a much less vicious way.

  • It was a hypothetical, dude, chill out…

  • NCSteel

    Listen, this is how special Ju Ju is becoming.
    My wife could care less about the Steelers or anyone other NFL player but over the years, a few players do stand out for her.

    The Bus, Hines, her all time favorite Polamalu and she is jumping on the Ju Ju bandwagon enthusiastically.

    Ju Ju, if you find yourself in N.C.
    Find me here, you’ve got a place to stay and some
    great homecooking from a great woman !!!

    You can even play hide and seek with the kids.
    We live us some Ju Ju down here.

    All the best to you in your career !

  • Well, it’s not for fans to decide what a player is worth. It’s up to the player, his agent and the teams FO. The player has every right to try to get every possible dollar he can for the short amount of time they play in this league.

    When that amount exceeds what the fan base deems worthy, they can and will turn on the player. It’s happened before and will happen again.

  • Alex Kozora

    Is there homecooking for Steelers’ bloggers, too?

  • Steeler Nation!

    If there was no such thing as a salary cap, you’d be right. But there is, and we all know there is a finite amount of $ to be invested. So teams, and fans, will make business decisions. It’s not even that personal, until a player starts demanding more than their value.

  • thomas hmmmm

    Man stop already hardcore and come over to the darkside so we can get Tomlin fired, Ben released or traded, Bell gone in FA and Brown, well Brown we can jump in the parking lot and ugly him up.. Also fire Colbert because in 10+ years in Pitt and he still cant draft a decent punter who can boot it 70 yards against the wind.

  • Any player is well within there right to seek every dollar possible.

  • thomas hmmmm

    AB just has a better smile than Hines, thats all… Stop trolling damn it

  • thomas hmmmm

    Try edit next time and just leave an “oh sh**”

  • I usually only edit fix grammar and spelling.

  • Bill Jerkin

    Get a life you losers. You are exactly the reason the players are making these obscene amounts of green.

  • Bill Jerkin

    Lap balls

  • Bill Jerkin

    Sabbath day goo kou

  • rystorm06

    I don’t know about that! Brown has that pretty boy smile, but Hines smiled in a way that made his opponents and opposing fans HATE him. That is gold in its own haha.

  • Jaybird

    Eagle fans aren’t crazy. They aren’t tough either. They just have a lot of scummy white trash fans. I’ve gotten in fights in the Vet, taken down below to their little Kangaroo court under the stadium and had my name put on the “banned” list.
    I live in the area but I’ll never go to another Philly venue because I know one day I’ll wind up getting in some real legal trouble fighting with those idiots.
    When I take my daughter to Steeler games , she says how cool a Pittsburgh is and great the people are. There is no comparison to the two cities and their fans. The Steelers and their fans are a class act. I take pride in being a Steeler fan. Philly and their fans- repulsive .

  • And they threw snow balls at Santa!!!

  • Jaybird

    WTF are you talking about

  • Jay, Jay, Jay… The guy has 8 comments… he’s trolling all the way.

  • Jaybird

    Eagles fan? Lol

  • Ravens fan? lol

  • Steeler Nation!

    And any team and their fan base are well within their right to say “Get the f@$@ outta here!”

  • Bill Jerkin

    Sabbath day goo Lou mfer

  • James Rogers

    And yet here you are. Methinks that coming here to post “get a life” says more about YOUR life than the people here to discuss the Steelers.

  • Why pay this obvious troll any mind? The profile has 9 comments.

  • Brian Miller

    He seems to think only the players have rights and opinions…

  • Brian Miller

    So what if Dave Bryan agrees? We all have opinions, right or wrong. Remember when DB would day there is no way a rookie will play meaningful snaps their first year, or the FO will never try and sign a big FA? We can all be wrong. Just because fans don’t want a player to be paid their demands doesn’t mean they hate the player.

  • Ryan Alderman

    Lord mercy!!

  • Steelman72

    Yes, I agree and apologized to Hardcore. I’ve been here many years, always multiple times a day, normally don’t post much. I didnt agree with context of the post but truly didn’t realize it was Hardcore. My bad, we are good now, thanks for setting me straight. Go Stillers!

  • Steelman72

    Lol, sorry again buddy! Go Stillers!

  • Intense Camel

    He’s an obvious steelers hater with an agenda.

  • thomas hmmmm

    Yea Hines has that “What mother ffer?” smile. I love Hines and so glad to see that JuJu has many of those same playing traits as Hines.. I am just waiting for JuJu to break up a couple of Bengals and Ravens like Hines use to. I think that will be in a few years after he gets use to the intensity of those games.

  • MC

    Geez a lot of bickering going on in this thread. It’s just good to see the FO go after character in the last draft and that intent is paying off so we can move on from players like Holmes/Blount/Mike Adams/Bryant

  • walter

    surely you jest

  • walter

    He is not a troll but he had to have been joking.

  • walter

    Myself, I was never a greedy person. But apparently its now acceptable.

  • John Phillips

    /s

  • 2winz

    I would not compare him to Those other players. He may be a kid inside but he seems more of a team-first kind of guy and definitely more mature. Steelers better keep him for a long long time if he continues to play this well and he can only get better! We will see what the future holds, but i know if we lose this guy come his second contract, it would be a mistake (assuming of course he doesnt suffer with nagging injuries and suspensions and so on. he is a keeper

  • It’s not about contracts, it’s about the fan turning on players for whatever reason, contracts, off the field issues, etc.

  • FATCAT716

    You are the real MVP

  • Josh

    The majority of this community… So you personally know most/all of the folks here, including the many who don’t even comment?! Ridiculous.

  • I would like to visit a Steelers Depot where there is positivity and optimism for a team that is 6-2 and in the driver’s seat in the AFC.

    Some of us who are tired of the constant negativity, detractions, knee jerk reactions, fire everyone, especially after dominant performances.

    The whining and complaining and “Brady would have torched us” is getting really old.

    The is noting wrong with criticisms, but most people take the bashing to insane levels not warranted or justified.

    I you want to know what I’m talking about, go read the comment section of any Winners/Losers article or Live Game Update/Chat article.

    And it’s not like any of this stuff is new. It’s been going on for years…

  • StrengthOfVictory

    The more I hear about JuJu’s backstory (or perhaps more accurately, his origin story), the more I think he’s shaping up to be a fan favorite for many, MANY years to come. So much to love about this kid.

    I expect there will be SEVERAL #19 jerseys popping up at games before long.

  • GFYAC

    Brown did fine during his renegotiation. everyone, as I recall, said to pay the man…I am sure we will be saying the same thing for Smith-Schuster as time goes on as long as he continues as he is. Wallace was never regarded by the fanbase as a great WR but a one trick pony…a great trick but only 1 trick and did not think he deserved that kind of $$. Bell was asking for something that was way out of place in today’s market. Turns out he may be right about his worth but it stings a fan when what appears to be a great offer is rejected by the player. Bryant has been gone for a year and suspended the year before that. He has tremendous talent but also not a complete WR and asking for something he has not earned yet. Juju will likely have some tarnish on his glow as it is so bright now that it is hard to not be damped down. But I am hopeful it will not end like Wallace or Bryant

  • Josh

    Agree about the negativity – it’s certainly here. But you – and sure let’s add David B into the mix – you both make the mistake of painting with this broad brush (he in making it a recurring feature of the podcast) that assumes that some comments = most people. Some loud, disgruntled opinions doesn’t = most people on the blog. It doesn’t.

  • Robert Tamburo

    Yup–most Steelerš fans rollercoastering! They dis Bell, but after a few great games they will do an about-face 180 degree turn on him. Bryant has developed into a rounded WR this year, yet play-callers have forgotten to use him in hiš best role=deep threat. Once that gets corrected and Martavis starts lighting it up again, then all will be for giving him an extension after this year, plus suddenly realize what a great blocker and in-lockerroom good teammate he is. It is like most fans have zero memory past the last game.