JuJu Smith-Schuster has made it clear he would like to play outside more during the 2021 season. It seems JuJu would like to show he can be a number one wide receiver by playing outside of the slot position. It is a fair question to ask him if he genuinely would like to play outside wide receiver more or he is looking to show he is a talented wide receiver outside of the slot for a bigger contract in 2022... JuJu Smith-Schuster is taking a big gamble in 2021 as he decided to stay loyal to the City of Pittsburgh.
That one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021 will give him the opportunity to show he is a better wide receiver than he has shown on the football field. That is one of the reasons why JuJu is so adamant about playing more outside this season rather than playing the slot position. Smith-Schuster played 80 percent of the time in the slot position in the 2020 season and would it benefit the Steelers to move him outside going forward or should they keep him in the slot position?
JuJu Smith-Schuster is one of the most productive slot receivers in the NFL. Although he has not put up number one wide receiver numbers since Antonio Brown has left town he has been the most consistent slot receiver in the game of football. Moving forward the Steelers are looking to change their offense in a big way. One of those ways is to ask the wide receivers in Pittsburgh to do more especially in regards to blocking for Najee Harris. I'm not sure if it would be wise to move JuJu from the slot position just yet, but I have not seen what Matt Canada plans on doing on the football field just yet.
If Matt Canada would like to use Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and JuJu Smith-Schuster as their top wide receivers going forward who will take over the slot position? It seems Ray-Ray McCloud could get his opportunity to shine in Pittsburgh instead of just taking punt returns. Canada is expected to use many different looks on the offensive side of the ball and he does love to use reverses so that would be perfect for Ray-Ray especially with how fast he is.
Mark Madden is not a fan of JuJu Smith-Schuster, but he feels JuJu plays better as a slot receiver. I tend to agree with him especially in regards to him looking for bigger money during the 2022 offseason. That may be a shot from Madden at JuJu, but I believe the NFL is a business and each player must set themselves up for success in their own way.
If JuJu feels he will be more successful playing outside more then what is the issue? If it doesn't work out I would move him to the slot position even if he doesn't want to play there. It is all about what will be best for the Pittsburgh Steelers going forward and JuJu Smith-Schuster must show flexibility especially if he wants to be considered a 'team player.'
It will be fun to see how Matt Canada's offense is going to operate in Pittsburgh and I hope it will be a much better-oiled machine than we saw with Randy Fichtner. If JuJu wants to contribute in a bigger role with the Pittsburgh Steelers while trying to get a bigger contract why not let him? It will bring more production on the football field and benefit the Pittsburgh Steelers in a big way going forward.