JuJu Smith-Schuster’s time in Pittsburgh didn’t end that well, and there doesn’t appear to be any love lost after the 25-year-old’s Steelers exit.
Prior to the Chiefs’ Week 4 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Pro Bowl wide receiver spoke to NBC and shared his praise for Kansas City head coach Andy Reid. But his comments also took shots at the Steelers, whether he meant it that way or not.
“JuJu Smith-Schuster told me this week, ‘It is awesome to have an offensive minded coach in Andy Reid.’ He has learned more in these last few months in Kansas City than he did in all five years in Pittsburgh,” NBC’s Melissa Stark reported, per the network’s broadcast. “He said, ‘Reid makes you see the whole field. He answers the why. He gets you to understand how to read defenses.’ And he said, ‘One of the coolest things that Reid does before the game, he says, just let your personality out.’ He said, ‘There’s nothing better that a coach could say.’ “
A big criticism people continue to have on Smith-Schuster is his alleged lack of commitment to football. In 2021, he caught flak for going on Instagram Live after a game, and his continued use of TikTok is a sticking point for pundits.
And it’s likely analysts will go after Smith-Schuster again for an indirect shot at Mike Tomlin and his coaching staff. The last three offensive coordinators in Smith-Schuster’s Steelers tenure were Todd Haley, Randy Fichtner and Matt Canada.
It’s not hard to see the upgrade the wide receiver got with Reid and Eric Bieniemy, but it’s also obvious that it’s more fun to play with Patrick Mahomes as your quarterback instead of Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett.
Smith-Schuster signed a one-year, $3.76 million contract in the 2022 offseason, and from the sounds of it, he’ll hope to come back to Kansas City next season.