JuJu Smith-Schuster once again had to get the taste of cleat out of his mouth. The Steelers wide receiver tried to recontextualize his infamous “the Browns is the Browns” comment from earlier in the week after Cleveland dismantled Pittsburgh in the first round of the playoffs Sunday.
Smith-Schuster told reporters he stood by his comment after his team’s 48-37 home loss, even after learning that Browns players were using his remarks as motivation.
“You know, I don’t regret what I said,” he said after the game. “The Browns is the Browns. They came out and played a hell of a game.”
To be clear, that’s not exactly what he originally said.
“I think they’re nameless gray faces,” he said of the Browns before the game. “They have a couple good players on their team, but at the end of the day, I don’t know. The Browns is the Browns.”
With the upset, the Browns snap a 17-game losing streak against the Steelers and won their first playoff game since 1994.
Smith-Schuster had a monster game, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the hate and passion he instilled with his comments. He finished Sunday’s loss with 13 catches for 157 yards and a touchdown, CBS reported.
JuJu Smith-Schuster King of Bulletin Board Material
The Browns turned JuJu Smith-Schuster’s comments into a mantra. “The Browns is the Browns” went from insult to battle cry. Quarterback Baker Mayfield was heard repeating the remark on the way to the locker room after the win.
It’s not the first time he’s inspired the opposing team. Earlier in the year, he caught flack for dancing on the opposing team’s logo before games. He’d posted the videos to TikTok which would inevitably cause a distraction for the Steelers heading into the game. The Bill’s Josh Allen seemingly commented on the dance video in his pre-game tunnel speech to the offense. He wanted his team to know they were there to win not dance. And they did. Smith-Schuster eventually promised to stop posting the videos.
Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry mocked Smith-Schuster by recreating his “Corvette Corvette” dance in the locker room after Sunday’s upset.
Whether or not this “bulletin board material” inspires other teams to perform better or not, who’s to say. Players say it does, but Steelers coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t think it matters. But it clearly creates questions that his teammates are forced to answer, and makes for a lot of good trash talk later.
Smith-Schuster becomes a free agent this off season.
The Browns will play the Chiefs in Kansas City on Sunday.