Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster recently joined Ryan Khalil on his podcast Block Forever and discussed a multitude of topics. One of them was comparing two quarterbacks he has played with in his career: Ben Roethlisberger and Patrick Mahomes.
Smith-Schuster is in his first year with Kansas City and is starting to get adjusted to a new offense and a new quarterback. Since taking over the starting job from Alex Smith in 2018, Mahomes has been arguably the best quarterback in the NFL, winning the M.V.P. award in 2018 and the Super Bowl in 2019. Smith-Schuster spoke on what makes Mahomes a special quarterback.
“Mahomes, he had a crazy pass this past game where he can be on the opposite side of the field and throw a sidearm to get past the defense and for us to get the ball” said Smith-Schuster.
One of Mahomes’ trademarks is his ability to throw the ball from crazy angles as he used to be a star baseball player. It doesn’t hurt him that he also has one of the strongest arms the NFL has ever seen.
Smith-Schuster also praised his former quarterback in Pittsburgh and raved about his ability to place the ball in the perfect spot.
“I would say Big Ben, like his touch passes, it’s pretty damn good. He’s played so long that he knows how to like, put that touch on it. Like if he was shooting like a three pointer. For example, like someone running like an over or a cross and you have a safety over top, a corner outside, a linebacker underneath, and you’re throwing it, he’s putting that little touch and dropping in the pocket.”
A great example of Roethlisberger’s touch pass ability is on display in Smith-Schuster’s rookie season when he caught a 97-yard touchdown pass against the Detroit Lions. On the play, Roethlisberger places the ball right over the trailing cornerback and into Smith-Schuster’s hands.
The two were very close over Smith-Schuster’s time in Pittsburgh, and their relationship was a big reason why he returned to play in the Steel City last year instead of signing in free agency with the Chiefs in the spring of 2021. Unfortunately for Roethlisberger and Smith-Schuster, in week five of the 2021 season Smith-Schuster injured his shoulder and was out until the playoff game against the Chiefs, limiting the amount of time the duo played together in Roethlisberger’s last season.
Smith-Schuster is off to a nice start in Kansas City showing the talent he has and displayed in his first few years in Pittsburgh before injuries got the best of him. Despite some negative press he received towards the end of his time as a Steeler, he has still consistently shown love to his former quarterback, the city, and the Steelers organization.