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JuJu is happy to have AB back

Posted Jan 9, 2018

JuJu Smith-Schuster wasn't surprised that Antonio Brown was back at practice on Monday.

AB is back: There was a lot of excitement on the field on Monday with the return of Antonio Brown to practice, but it didn’t come as a surprise to many as they are accustomed to Brown always working hard.

“Just looking at his work ethic and the time he puts in off the field, and the treatment that he does,” said JuJu Smith-Schuster. “He is flying to all sorts of foreign countries that I don’t even know, plus with the machines he uses, I already knew he was coming back as soon as possible.”

Keep him contained: The defense will have their eyes on Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, especially after he had 10 carries for 88 yards against the Bills in their Wild Card win on Sunday.

“He’s 6’5, 240 lbs. It’s not like he’s not an athletic guy,” said Joe Haden. “He can move around anytime you are covering downfield with defensive backs turned and safeties trying to stay deep. When he’s in that pocket, you need to make sure you contain him because if he gets through there, even though he might not be the fastest guy, he might be able to get those first downs on third-and-eight, third-and-nine. They kill a defense.”

Bortles had one carry for nine yards against the Steelers earlier this season in a 30-9 Jaguars win, and they want to make sure they don’t let him do any more harm in Sunday’s Divisional Round Game.

“When you have rush lanes, when they do have those drop back passing opportunities, you have to be disciplined with where you are on the field,” said T.J. Watt. “He will get out and run. He is quick and very mobile.”

There is one simple way to make sure he doesn’t hurt the defense, though.

“Have good discipline in our rush lanes,” said Mike Mitchell.

Learning their lesson: While most of the Steelers are looking at Sunday’s game against the Jaguars as a rematch, for Marcus Gilbert this will be the first time this season he has gone against them.

Gilbert missed the meeting earlier in the year, sidelined with a hamstring injury, and said it was difficult being a spectator that day.

“It was tough just to watch because we knew we had the game in control,” said Gilbert. “We were winning at halftime and then for us to drop an egg, that was heartbreaking. That’s why you go through these games, especially at the beginning of the year, to really figure out your opponent. We did enough study on the film to see what we have this go around.”

The Steelers ran the ball only 20 times in the loss to the Jaguars earlier in the season, with Le’Veon Bell carrying the ball 15 times for just 47 yards. With cold weather, and the potential of precipitation, in the forecast, Gilbert said that won’t make them change their game plan.

“I think we will just play our game,” said Gilbert. “If we play too passive and worry about the conditions, then we won’t win the game. We will sit back there and turn the ball over. We don’t want any of that negative stuff to happen. We need to stay on schedule, control the line of scrimmage whether it’s passing or running the ball. Everything else will sort out itself.”

Social Spotlight: Nice job by Ben Roethlisberger giving props to those in law enforcement who protect and serve on Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Stay safe and thank you.