There was one issue above all that, given the circumstances, decided for JuJu Smith-Schuster the place he could be enjoying this 12 months, and that was the chance to play at the least yet another season along with his quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. Regardless of their 15-year age distinction, the 2 have had fairly a connection over the previous 4 years, and he is aware of what which means, not simply in a contract 12 months, however in any 12 months of a enjoying profession to have that rapport.
And, showing on the NFL Community yesterday throughout follow, Smith-Schuster mentioned that Roethlisberger very a lot nonetheless has it. “He’s looking good. He’s looking great”, he mentioned on this system. “What he’s completed in his previous, so a few years add up”.
“I’ve obtained it good, as a result of I’ve one other 12 months with him, and I’m on a one-year deal too, and to have the ability to come again right here was most likely one of many largest choices that I’ve made”, he added, “primarily due to Ben, realizing that he can provide me the ball and realizing that we will make performs collectively and realizing that we’ve got that chemistry already”.
Final season was not probably the most dynamic of his profession, however he did catch 97 passes on simply 128 makes an attempt, with a catch proportion north of 75. Whereas these 97 receptions solely went for 837 yards, he additionally scored a career-high 9 touchdowns, and he added a 13-catch, 157-yard, one-touchdown sport within the postseason as a topper.
Smith-Schuster entered the NFL as a 20-year-old child out of USC. He carried out a Kamehameha, a Dragonball Z reference, in celebration after scoring a landing early that season. He was the youth motion, and helped to revitalize Roethlisberger.
Together with Antonio Brown, the trio would put up distinctive numbers in his second season in 2018, throughout which Smith-Schuster would go on to the Professional Bowl, catching 111 passes for 1,426 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Nothing has gone fairly proper since then, although. Roethlisberger missed the overwhelming majority of the 2019 season, which actually didn’t assist, however Smith-Schuster additionally handled well being problems with his personal, together with a nagging knee harm that he suffered in mid-2019 and evidently handled final 12 months as nicely.
This 12 months, additionally underneath new offensive coordinator Matt Canada, the duo is hopeful that they will have an even bigger affect, the best way that they did a number of years in the past. Smith-Schuster has much more causes to hope for that, as he prepares, for a second time, to hit unrestricted free company subsequent 12 months after a so-so season and a down market conspired to maintain his worth down far beneath the place he felt it must be.
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