Currently unemployed wide receiver Antonio Brown tried to downplay any perceived ongoing beef between himself and his former Pittsburgh Steelers teammate, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, during a Thursday morning interview on 93.7 The Fan. Brown, however, didn’t do a very good job of that just the same. In fact, at the end of the interview it was clear that Brown still harbors some sort of resentment toward Smith-Schuster.
“So, there’s no beef,” Brown said Thursday morning. “I don’t have nothing against JuJu Smith-Schuster. Why would I? I’m the one who he wants to be. I’m in the position that he’s striving to be in.”
Brown didn’t stop there with his criticism of Smith-Schuster and long after first pointing out that he took issue with the picture that his former teammate posted on Instagram right after the trade that sent him to the Oakland Raiders in March.
“You want to call A.B. out, you better set your standards high like A.B. because if they’re not, someone needs to tell him,” Brown said of Smith-Schuster. “And I think that’s the problem with the culture these days. These young kids have no one to tell them the truth. JuJu Smith-Schuster running around here with 500 yards and everyone’s thinking like he’s the world. The Steelers didn’t make the playoffs. That is a problem. But here we go back to Instagram and everyone want to be cool.”
What’s perhaps even more interesting about Brown’s Thursday comments about his former teammate is that they come one week after Smith-Schuster made sure to take the high road when asked about Brown during a few interviews he conducted in Miami ahead of Super Bowl LIV. In one of those interviews on the ‘Golic and Wingo’ show, Smith-Schuster was very respectful when asked about his thoughts on Brown and all that has transpired over the course of the last 14 months.
“I mean, it was tough, man,” Smith-Schuster said. “You know, when I first got there and I was in college, he [Brown] was a role model to me. I DM’ed him, I always hit him up, like watched his videos. And then when I got to the NFL, I was like, wow, I’m playing with the best duo in football, like possibly history. But, you know, obviously that turned out to go the opposite way. Til this day, I have no hard feelings towards him for myself. I just wish him the best luck and for myself, I’m just trying to make sure I get to his level and try to get there on the football aspect.”
I’m going to guess that Brown never heard that interview or several others that Smith-Schuster game last week in which he was asked about his former teammate.
Personally, I think a lot of the issues Brown has with Smith-Schuster date back to him losing out for the 2018 team MVP award to close out that season. Did Smith-Schuster mean to post the picture on social media that he did after Brown was traded as a jab? It’s hard to say for sure, but it obviously wasn’t a great photo choice just the same. Him posting the picture that he did, obviously triggered even more resentment from Brown.
At some point in the coming weeks and months Smith-Schuster’s sure to be asked about the comments made about him by Brown on Thursday. Hopefully Smith-Schuster doesn’t take the bait whenever such questions ultimately occur. At this point, Smith-Schuster’s best course of action is to have no comment on anything that Brown says. Any comment that Smith-Schuster does offer up on Brown moving forward runs the risk of being misconstrued not only by Brown, but possibly some of the media as well.