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JuJu: 'I am going to play the way I play'

Posted Dec 13, 2017

JuJu Smith-Schuster said he will still play physical, but be smart as well.

JuJu Smith-Schuster is back with his teammates after serving his one-game suspension for a block on Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, which he followed up by standing over the injured linebacker as he laid on the ground.

And there were two things he made clear when he first talked about the suspension and his return.

He is going to still play physical, and he isn’t going to make the same mistake twice.

“I am still playing physical,” said Smith-Schuster. “That is not going to stop my game. That is how I have always been, since I was a kid. Moving forward I am still going to make those blocks. Yes, I am going to be more careful. I am going to aim for the shoulder and lower and be more protective of the game.

“For me, I am going to still play the same game I am playing. After the suspension, that is not me. I have learned that. The taunting, that is not me. I apologize for that. I know I have to be more careful blocking. It’s not going to change the way I play.

“I don’t want to be conservative. I am going to play the way I play. I am pretty sure they want me to be physical and keep playing the game I play.”

Smith-Schuster, who appealed the suspension thinking he had a shot to have it overturned, missed Sunday night’s game against the Ravens, a game when Ben Roethlisberger threw 66 passes for 506 yards and spread the ball around. He said it wasn’t easy to watch, especially with the way the offense exploded.

“It was tough,” said Smith-Schuster. “Being home, not being out there with my guys, my teammates.

“Everyone was eating. I was like where is my plate at? At home. Ben is on fire right now. He is hot. For him to throw 66 balls in a single game and go over 500 yards and everyone gets their touches, it makes it even harder to watch the game. I want 100 yards, 50 yards. I’ll take that. It’s amazing. Everyone eats.”

AB for MVP: Smith-Schuster is one of the Antonio Brown’s biggest fans, and is 100 percent in his corner for Brown winning the NFL MVP, an award that has never gone to a receiver.

“He is the best receiver ever to play the game,” said Smith-Schuster. “I have seen it with my own eyes. I am not saying that because he does it on game day. He does that every day in practice. If everyone can see what he does every day in practice that is what he does in the game. I watch him 24/7.

“No matter what is going on in the world with him, when he is on the field everything just clears out and it’s just ball. It’s him and the other guy in front of him and he is going to dominate the day in everything he does. He competes against us every day.”