JuJu Smith-Schuster won the Steelers’ team MVP award last season over Antonio Brown. It did not sit well with Brown.
Smith-Schuster had 111 receptions for 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns last season, while Brown caught 104 passes for 1,297 yards and a league-leading 15 touchdowns. Teammates voted for Smith-Schuster over Brown and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
It was the beginning of the end (or the end of the end) for Brown in Pittsburgh.
So, without Roethlisberger and Brown in their lineup, the Steelers will look different to Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
Ramsey and Brown have traded body blows three times in their careers. Ramsey made three interceptions and seven pass breakups as his Jaguars went 2-1 against the Steelers, while Brown had 22 receptions for 406 yards and three touchdowns.
Now, Ramsey is in Los Angeles; Brown is out of the league, at least for the moment, and Smith-Schuster is the Steelers’ No. 1 receiver.
“No disrespect to him, he’s not Antonio Brown,” Ramsey said Friday, via Lindsey Thiry of ESPN. “I matched up with Antonio for two years there, and that was a good battle. I held my own in those battles. Now, I’m going against a different person, a different body type, a different receiver a little bit. He can make plays. But I’m playing my game. I’m not really worried about it.”
The Steelers added Smith-Schuster to their injury report Friday, listing him as questionable with a toe injury. He has 33 catches for 459 yards and three touchdowns this season.
Ramsey did pay a compliment to Smith-Schuster.
“He plays very physical,” Ramsey said. “He plays strong, aggressive through the catch.”