(Photo by Simon Bruty/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger has been spreading the ball around this year and all his receivers have been getting in on the action to help contribute to the team. They don't care about who is getting the limelight. It's all about winning for this group. It's a complete contrast to the days of Antonio Brown having outbursts when he wasn't getting targets or other wide receivers on the team were making big plays.
Roethlisberger gave high praise to JuJu Smith-Schuster today in his interview with the media, raving about how selfless Smith-Schuster has been this year, especially after rookie Chase Claypool's four-touchdown performance against the Eagles on Sunday.
"It's interesting. When I came into the locker room after this last week, I wasn't sure what the demeanor was going to be from the other receivers, to be perfectly honest, because obviously, Chase (Claypool) had an amazing day," Roethlisberger said. "I looked over at JuJu (Smith-Schuster) to kind of see his reaction because he is our No. 1 receiver. I looked over at him, and he had the biggest smile on his face. He was, and it's not because Chase was right there with him. Chase wasn't even next to him. He had the biggest smile, he was having fun with other guys.
"I just can't say enough about him and what that meant to me and what that meant to other guys and how proud we are of him that he truly was happy for Chase. He was happy that we won the game. Did he have huge stats? No. But we won the game and that's all that matters. I think for a No. 1 receiver to feel that way in the locker, I told my wife about it, I told my closest friends about it. That just made me really proud and happy that we have selfless guys on this team that are more about the win than they are trying to get their stats. I can't say enough about JuJu and what that meant after the game."
It's not surprising to hear Smith-Schuster display this type of character, as he's always been a team-first guy and doesn't mind when other receivers are making plays and getting attention. He knows that eventually he'll get his targets and will have opportunities to make plays. Sometimes just one guy has the hot hand, as we saw with Claypool against the Eagles on Sunday.
Smith-Schuster also got harsh treatment from Martavis Bryant and Brown in his first couple of years in the league when he was putting up big numbers and getting attention, which I'm sure plays a factor in how he doesn't want to give that same toxic environment for a young receiver like Claypool that he had to go through.