Steelers vast receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster might not have danced on the Browns’ brand previous to final week’s loss in Cleveland, however he nonetheless managed to give them bulletin-board materials forward of Sunday evening’s wild-card recreation.
The 24-year-old, who led Pittsburgh with 97 catches this season, was requested Thursday whether or not this Browns staff had a special vibe than in earlier years. Contemplating that Smith-Schuster entered the NFL in 2017 when Cleveland completed 0-16, the reply gave the impression to be apparent. The 2020 group truly, you already know, received a number of instances.
However in true AFC North style, Smith-Schuster refused to say something complimentary a couple of division rival.
“I believe they’re nonetheless the identical Browns staff I play yearly,” Smith-Schuster mentioned. “I believe they’re anonymous, grey faces. Sure, they’ve a pair good gamers on their staff, however on the finish of the day, like, I do not know. The Browns is the Browns. … They are a good staff, however I am simply completely happy we’re taking part in them once more this Sunday.”
This is the required context on the “anonymous, grey faces” half: That’s one in all Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s widespread expressions. Former Pittsburgh security Ryan Clark informed ESPN.com’s Brooke Pryor that the “Tomlinism” primarily means the Steelers do not care about anybody exterior of their locker room as a result of “if we exit and if the Pittsburgh Steelers do what the Pittsburgh Steelers are imagined to do, we beat anyone.”
Nonetheless, Smith-Schuster’s common message — “the Browns is the Browns” is about as dismissive as you may get — might have ruffled some feathers. Cleveland linebacker Mack Wilson appeared to answer Smith-Schuster’s feedback on Twitter.
An NFL playoff recreation between the Browns and Steelers was at all times going to be heated. Smith-Schuster simply threw in a bit further spice.