AB to JuJu: Tough love was for ‘the culture’


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JuJu Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown embrace. – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

JuJu Smith-Schuster has been making his rounds with media during Super Bowl week in Miami, and of course, the topic of Antonio Brown is on every reporter's list of questions.

Smith-Schuster has navigated the questions well thus far, staying relaxed and reasonable throughout. You know, the opposite of how Brown has previously treated Smith-Schuster:

Or this:

... which prompted the following response from Smith-Schuster:

So yeah, their relationship has been rocky at best. Brown hasn't been shy about calling out Smith-Schuster. And Smith-Schuster has kept it classy all the way, including this on Thursday when asked by Pat McAfee what he makes of the entire AB situation.

"It kind of came out of nowhere,” Smith-Schuster said of Brown’s vitriol. “It came out of left field. I did not expect to see any of this. You know, playing with Antonio Brown my first couple years, we always talked about being great and dominating. And that’s what we did. The last time we played with each other, we both had over 1,000 yards and 100 catches and what’s going on right now off the field, social media-wise, it’s pretty, pretty crazy. I did not expect [any] of this.

“We were kind of, like, hand-for-hand. Let’s both be great. Let’s both do this. Let’s both reach our goal. And then the situation, what happened with him and with the Steelers, it sucked. Tough situation.”

Smith-Schuster also spoke with various other outlets about Brown, expressing sadness for Brown's current situation at every turn while sticking to the high road.

Apparently, Brown saw the quotes too, because he posted the following to his Instagram Thursday night:


View this post on Instagram


It’s about inspiring the culture; it’s all love

A post shared by @ ab on


Is that ... is that humility from Brown?

Brown's image shows him embracing Smith-Schuster during their time as teammates with the Steelers, and the caption reads: "It's about inspiring the culture; it's all love."

Hey, shoutout to that semicolon usage too, man. Brown really stepped it up with this one. Maybe that recent court appearance did humble him a bit.

Or maybe somebody else posted this to his Instagram and he has no idea.

Personally, I'm an optimist, so I hope Brown is starting to soak in some of the recent events and make that change back to the smiling All-Pro receiver Pittsburgh knew so well.

Either way, Brown's latest post — genuine or not — appears to be a step in the right direction.

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