Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster created quite a stir during the 2020 postseason and specifically in the week leading up to the Super wild Card game against the Cleveland Browns when he said “Browns is the Browns” during one of his media sessions. The Browns, however, wound up getting the last laugh as they easily beat the Steelers 48-37 at Heinz Field after initially taking an early 28-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The Browns seemingly used Smith-Schuster’s pregame comments as motivation. After beating the Steelers, a few Cleveland players even went as far as to mock the wide receiver. If that wasn’t enough, there were also several billboards spotted in the state of Ohio that read, “The Browns is the Browns!” after Cleveland beat Pittsburgh to advance in the playoffs.
Smith-Schuster recently talked about what he learned from how last season ended in another interview as part of his promotional media tour.
“Going into the Browns game, I don’t think we came out hungry in the first five minutes. They were just more hungry. There were more dogs than us,” Smith-Schuster told Evan Bleier of Inside Hook. “We fought back, but it wasn’t enough to win the game and we fell short. I think a lot of the time, we saw the minor mistakes we had were just adding up to these bigger pictures. What I can take from last year into this year is that you’ve got to keep playing. You got to keep fighting until the whistle blows and attention to detail is where it’s at.”
Just a few weeks ago, Smith-Schuster also spoke with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk about his “Browns is the Browns” comment and during a response to a question he indicated that he had no regrets for what he said in that pregame media session.
“At the end of the day, I said what I said. I don’t take anything back,” Smith-Schuster told Florio. “They did come out there, they did whoop our ass. It is what it is. We lost that game. We lost early in that game in the first five, 10 minutes. We still fought. I’ll tell you one thing about our team, we still fought to the end. It wasn’t good enough. I just know the AFC North [is] just probably the hardest … division right now to win in. Guys like Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, and Ben. I think every team is getting to the point where it’s like, ‘Man, they’re really good.’ It is what it is.”
Here’s to hoping that Smith-Schuster is close to being done with talking about what transpired last season. Especially when it comes to his TikTok dances and the comments he made prior to the Steelers’ playoff game against the Browns. He’s talked about those two topics enough at this point, and it is time to turn the page.
Smith-Schuster and the Steelers will get two chances against the Browns in 2021. The first of two meetings doesn’t place until Week 8 in Cleveland. The second won’t be until Week 17 of the season, when the two teams face off at Heinz Field.