JuJu Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown showed flashes of excellence on the field during their two seasons together as Pittsburgh Steelers’ teammates.
Despite missing the NFL playoffs in 2018, the perennial AFC North title contender had one of the most prolific offenses in all of football, and the two wideouts were big reasons why. Smith-Schuster hauled in a team-high 111 receptions for 1,426 yards with seven scores, and Brown had 104 catches for 1,297 yards with 15 touchdowns.
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Smith-Schuster believes to this day that Brown is “one of the greatest to ever do it as far as his work ethic” and if the two co-existed as teammates, they could have accomplished something special in Pittsburgh with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback.
However, ego may have simply got in the way.
“I think for the most part just being able to share the spotlight was probably the biggest thing,” Smith-Schuster told Fox News on Monday. “If we could have done that, I think we would have been a very dominant duo. But it was something that he couldn’t do, and it is what it is. At the end of the day, life goes on and we move on from that, but I wish him the best. He won a Super Bowl, and that’s crazy.”
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The Steelers missed the postseason in 2018 after they suffered a heartbreaking Week 16 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Chaos ensued with Brown getting into a dust-up with Roethlisberger and then deciding to skip some team practices, Brown was traded to the then-Oakland Raiders pushing Smith-Schuster into the number one receiver slot.
Smith-Schuster tweeted out a photo of himself catching a touchdown against the Raiders with a caption that said, “I’m ready.”
In the photo, Brown was watching in the background.
About one month after Brown was traded to the Raiders, a die-hard Steelers fan tweeted out that Smith-Schuster was the Steelers’ 2018 MVP, after his incredible statistical year. Brown fired back his thoughts on Twitter blaming Smith-Schuster for the team missing the postseason after fumbling the ball away on the Steelers’ last offensive drive in the game against the Saints.
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“Emotion: boy fumbled the whole post season in the biggest game of year ! Everyone went blind to busy making guys famous not enough reality these days ! 🤙🏾 by the way check the list,” Brown wrote at the time.
Smith-Schuster answered with a two-tweet response.
“All I ever did was show that man love and respect from the moment I got to the league. I was genuinely happy for him too when he got traded to Oakland w/ a big contract, and now he takes shots at me on social media?” he wrote.
“Crazy how big that ego got to be to take shots at people who show you love! Smh,” Smith-Schuster added.
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Smith-Schuster said that he hasn’t spoken to his ex-teammate since their Twitter beef.
“There’s nothing there that I can do,” Smith-Schuster said. “I know I’m blocked on all social media accounts and my phone number is blocked. But I’m not fiending for anything. I’m not fiending for closure. At the end of the day, we are grown men, we go our separate ways, and we live our lives.”