Antonio Brown wasted no time throwing JuJu Smith-Schuster under the bus after being dealt to Oakland in March, but the third-year wide receiver has since moved on.
While speaking Wednesday at the Steelers’ mandatory minicamp, Smith-Schuster admitted he has no beef with Brown but wishes things wouldn’t have ended so abruptly between them.
“The man’s a role model. In that situation, I didn’t want it to end like that,” Smith-Schuster told reporters. “I have no hard feelings against him. Obviously if we’re ever in the same room, I’m going to say what’s up to him. I think hatred is a huge word to use against somebody. At the end of the day he’s a great player, he comes out every day with work ethic. He worked hard. Other than that, I don’t have anything toward him like that.”
Things first got heated in April when Brown took a jab at Smith-Schuster on Twitter after a fan reminded the veteran that he wasn’t voted the team’s MVP. But Smith-Schuster, confused by the “shots” Brown took at him, opted to take the high road.
It’s a long way removed from the pass-catching duo that dominated together on the field and supported each other off it.
When asked what the experience taught him, Smith-Schuster said he will continue to keep to himself and be an accessible leader.
“I never want to be the center of attention for causing problems,” Smith-Schuster said. “I just try to stay positive as much as possible. When stuff like that goes sideways, I say what I say and then I back out and leave it at that.”
As for Brown, it was announced Tuesday that the Raiders will be featured on this season of HBO’s football documentary series “Hard Knocks,” something Smith-Schuster is looking forward to watching as he follows his former teammate from afar.
“I’ll be super excited to see what he does and what the team does,” Smith-Schuster said. “Hard Knocks will be interesting to watch.”‘
Smith-Schuster led the Steelers with 111 catches for 1,426 yards en route to his first Pro Bowl selection in 2018.