Updated: May 20, 2021
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
JuJu Smith-Schuster had a productive season in 2020, but it was also controversial with his pre-game TikTok dances on the opposing teams' logo and his infamous "Browns is the Browns" comments in the week leading up to losing to the Browns in the wild-card game at Heinz Field in an embarrassing fashion.
Smith-Schuster has talked about the two issues throughout the offseason, saying that the TikTok dances were him just being himself and that he stopped doing it once it became a distraction to the team. And for the "Browns is the Browns" comment, Smith-Schuster said he had no regrets, as he was alluding to the Browns as just being nameless gray faces, which is a popular Tomlininism.
“It’s part of their job,” Smith-Schuster told the New York Post. “People are going to criticize, it’s how the world is.”
Earlier this month, Alejandro Villanueva appeared to take a shot at Smith-Schuster regarding his TikTok dances, when he had his first media session after signing with the Ravens.
“When you have a balanced offense, or when you run the ball, it’s obviously better for the offensive line," Villanueva said. "I’m assuming it’s not as fun for the wide receivers, because they’re not getting all the catches. They’re making the TikToks, and they’re having fun on their social media.”
Smith-Schuster added some context to Villanueva's controversial statement.
“For [Villanueva’s] stuff, I think what he was saying more so was that [he’d] prefer to be in a balanced offense than a more heavy passing offense. That’s honestly true, we couldn’t run the ball as much,” Smith-Schuster said.
Smith-Schuster did add, however, that Villanueva was a part of some of his TikTok dances.
“As far as the TikTok dances, [Villanueva] was a part of them," Smith-Schuster said. "He was in my TikToks too, he was dancing, he was in Chase [Claypool]’s, too. As far as having fun, he had his fair share, too.”
Smith-Schuster is past the whole TikTok controversy and is looking forward to the 2021 season and what new offensive coordinator Matt Canada has planned for him.
“Playing outside more, down the field, deep threat, moving around,” Smith-Schuster said in regards to what Canada has planned for him in the offense.
He also said that Canada is "built for this."
Smith-Schuster averaged just 8.6 yards per catch last season, which ranked 126th in the league, so hopefully, Canada utilizes him better than Randy Fichtner did.