JuJu Smith-Schuster Will Be a Dual Threat Next Season
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster has said that he needs to become more of an outside threat next season.
JuJu Smith-Schuster enters year 3 of his NFL career. During the first two, he set various Steelers league records and made a Pro Bowl.
While the Pittsburgh Steelers made the right decision in moving on Antonio Brown, they left a gap in the team.
That responsibility to go deep and play on the perimeter now falls to JuJu Smith-Schuster. He made 111 receptions and 1,426 receiving yards last season, which were both Steelers team highs. However, most of this work was done on the inside. Smith-Schuster says that he’s been working on varying his game this offseason.
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“Being able to catch the deep balls down the field, those go balls, those free balls that they send down the field where I’ve got to go make those plays,” Smith-Schuster said.
“That’s what I’ve focused on a lot, catching the ball over the shoulder and being able to be a threat on the outside.”
His versatility has been a question mark ever since he was drafted out of USC in 2017. His quarterback, however, says that he has never doubted Smith-Schuster.
“I’ve never not targeted him or looked at him or thrown him a long ball because it was him,” Ben Roethlisberger said.
“He never had to prove anything to me. I think he can do anything we ask him to do. We ask him to do more than anybody else. We ask him to play slot, back-side single, front-side to the trips. He’s a very well-rounded receiver.”
“I think a lot of No. 1s are one-spot guys,” Roethlisberger said.
“You can move guys around by formations but to literally play a different position — he plays X, F, Z — JuJu can do it all and he’s uniquely different in that sense because he can do kind of everything.
“That’s different than a lot of No. 1s, truthfully.”