Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was a guest on Wednesday’s edition of Barstool podcast Pardon My Take and discussed a wide variety of topics, including the relationship between his on-field and off field career.
Smith-Schuster has enjoyed a productive career thus far but concerns about his off-field hobbies have been magnified by some after a disappointing 2019 campaign. The Steelers’ receiver enjoys time creating Youtube videos as well as streaming on Twitch and Smith-Schuster explained candidly his reasoning for his off-field activities.
“That’s just my personality, my life. I feel like we have a lot of NFL guys who are pro-athletes who legit just focus on their own sport, which is totally fine. I don’t have nothing against that. I think that if you love football, if you love golf, hockey, basketball, whatever it may be like, that’s all you but like you said, like Lebron, he’s more than an athlete. Those are a few guys who are just out there, who just show more of their personality and with football players, it’s so hard to do that when you have a helmet on,” Smith-Schuster said to the Pardon My Take crew.
While Smith-Schuster has enjoyed showcasing his personality, which he feels is a challenge for NFL players, that territory has undoubtedly come with increased scrutiny from some. The 23-year old receiver acknowledged the questions that come with his commitment for the game due to these activities but he professed adamantly his love for football and his teammates.
“Outside of football, I live my life to the fullest. I make Youtube videos, I do things that I can’t be doing. I do collabs with other Youtubers, I do stuff with other Instagram people but at the end of the day, I do love football and that’s one thing that I always get shit for. They’re like does he really love football, does he really care about football but at the end of the day I’m just a human being too and I love what I do,” Smith-Schuster continued. “I love football, I love my teammates, I love to play football but at the end of the day, I want to be JuJu, myself, because when football’s done what more am I going to have?”
Though the NFL and many other industries are starting to see more athletes promote their personalities, Smith-Schuster believes that there are difficulties in doing so, especially when on field production starts to decline.
“That’s one of the hardest things to do, to dominate on the field and also to be active off the field because once you start doing bad on the field, then people are looking at other things. He’s doing Youtube videos, he’s playing too much video games, stuff like that.”
Smith-Schuster had an incredibly candid interview with the Pardon My Take hosts, in which he briefly discussed Ben Roethlisberger’s comeback and Mike Tomlin as well. He also noted a 13-3 prediction for the Steelers’ record in 2020.