JuJu Smith-Schuster has traded in his green velvet suit for a hard hat.
The Steelers wide receiver was back to work this week after his viral prom weekend, but showing up to work is nothing new for him. In fact, he’s been at every day of voluntary work this offseason in an effort to become a bit of a role model for the young receivers surrounding him.
“It’s very important,” Smith-Schuster said, via Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “There are some new guys on the team, and building that chemistry and that connection means a lot. Me just being here, being around other guys, shows I’m ready to play, I’m all about the team, I’m all about us. We’re here for one reason.”
The Steelers signed veteran Donte Moncrief and drafted Diontae Johnson to help fill the void of some guy named Antonio Brown. While Smith-Schuster has shown he can put up numbers, he’s also taking obvious and deliberate steps to try to push the Steelers past some of the Brown-related storylines.
“Everyone is there for each other,” Smith-Schuster said. “There’s no individual. Everyone’s into playing, winning games, the Super Bowl. Everybody’s on the same page. Yesterday we dominated, today we dominated. You can see that connection with Ben [Roethlisberger], with [Josh] Dobbs, with Mason [Rudolph].”
This isn’t the first time this kind of talk has come up this offseason, as if the Steelers are trying to speak a drama-free future into existence.