JuJu Smith-Schuster Focused on Jalen Ramsey, Not Lack of Attention
JuJu Smith-Schuster will line up against one of the NFL's best cornerback on Sunday. The Los Angeles Rams bring a defense stacked from top to bottom, with a newly acquired cornerback that's known to shut down top opposing receivers.
This week that cornerback - Jalen Ramsey - is tasked with Smith-Schuster. The third-year receiver has felt the effects of losing a quarterback and a Hall of Fame wideout. Through eight games, his stat line hasn't been what he's hoped, but he's remained grateful the Steelers have found their way back to .500.
When asked about his lack of touches, Smith-Schuster has stayed pretty consistent with his answers. He's never said he'd like to touch the ball more, and continues to turn attention towards the team. Nine weeks into the season, that hasn't changed.
"It's the situation, scenario of our team," Smith-Schuster said. "Thank God we got a huge win and we have to keep stacking them. In my perspective, getting the ball, whatever we do, a wins a win and that's what we need to get a championship."
This week, he's facing possibly his toughest challenge yet in Ramsey. The new addition to the LA secondary has only been targeted 13 times since joining the Rams. During the Steelers' last three wins, Smith-Schuster was only targeted 18 times, leaving this an unfavorable matchup for the receiver.
Smith-Schuster is aware of who's going to be lined up across from him, though. He's acknowledging who he's competing against and what the LA defense brings to the table as they enter Heinz Field.
"He's arguably one of the best corners in the league, I have the opportunity to go against him, it's going to be great, it's a blessing," Smith-Schuster said. "Their secondary is one of the best secondaries we play throughout the season."
The change of receiving core after Antonio Brown's departure has been questioned all season. Despite the talk of Brown becoming nearly silent, there is questions as to whether or not Smith-Schuster can thrive as the team's number one.
Combined with the loss of Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh's offense has take numerous blows in major ways. Smith-Schuster, like the rest of the team, isn't worried about those not in the locker room but rather the players this team has to work with each week.
"For us, the guys who stay are the guys that we have," Smith-Schuster said. "We're still going to play, whoever's in that huddle, in our room, in this facility, that's what the Pittsburgh Steelers do - they bring guys in to play for us."
Against a talent-loaded Rams defense, it'll take everything they've got to give their team the upper hand. According to their top receiver, it's a simple equation to win.
"Oh no doubt, we have to go out there and make our plays and execute," Smith-Schuster said. "When the balls in the air we have to go get it."