There seemed to be many who didn’t believe that the selection of a wide receiver in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft was the ideal expenditure of resources for the Pittsburgh Steelers, seemingly holding that there were positions of greater value that ought to have been addressed instead.
Whether or not the wide receiver position was suited to be addressed in that slot, the player that they added there believes that he landed in the right destination, and like we have already heard from several draft picks, is already feeling comfortable and at home in Pittsburgh.
“I came to the place that’s a perfect fit for me”, JuJu Smith-Schuster said recently, the wide receiver in question. “To have Antonio Brown as a mentor and all the other receivers”, he said, is what makes it so. While many of them are fairly young themselves, there is no denying that this is a talented group with diverse skill sets. And he is already familiar with what they are capable of.
“It’s crazy I will be playing with guys I watched on television”, he added. “I used to watch Antonio Brown highlights, I used to play them a lot on Madden, and I’m about to be playing on the same team as them—that’s the crazy part. It’s really cool”.
It’s always interesting to hear from players who are added to teams that they sort of grew up following, or at least specific players that they grew up trying to emulate. The Steelers are fortunate to have a few of those sorts of players that younger players might want to model themselves after, one of them being Brown.
And, of course, it doesn’t hurt a wide receiver when he has the opportunity to join a team with an established franchise quarterback—even if he may not finish his career there with that quarterback still throwing him passes, as will not be the case with the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger.
Smith-Schuster was so excited about the opportunity to work with this wide receiver group that he nearly lost sight of who would be throwing them the ball when he was asked to talk about it. After rattling of the names of receivers, he added, “and then, I have Ben Roethlisberger as a quarterback. It couldn’t have been a better fit anywhere else”.
That is good for the on-field product, but he is also taking to what he has seen all around the team so far. “The organization here is like family”, he said. “I heard it’s not the same everywhere else, but we all came here to do one thing and that’s to win. They win Super Bowls here, have the most Super Bowls”.
But it’s been a while now since they’ve last won one, and they are hoping that Smith-Schuster will help add to the firepower of a championship-level receiving corps to get them back to the big game that they have been inching closer toward for the past three years.