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Former Steelers CB Ike Taylor: JuJu Smith-Schuster ‘Upgraded Version’ of Hines Ward



Former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor joined the Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday, and had high praise for wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.

When asked about Pittsburgh re-signing Smith-Schuster, Taylor compared him to none other than Steelers great Hines Ward.

“He’s a Steeler. He’s very very very physical. He’s the upgraded version of Hines Ward,” Taylor said. “He’s a very physical receiver. He doesn’t mind getting hit. He can block. He can go over the middle.

With regard to his characterization of Smith-Schuster as an upgraded Ward, Taylor pointed to No. 19’s superior athleticism, which put him over the top.

“As far as athleticism. As far as speed,” he said. “JuJu did a 70-yard, he did an 80-yard… JuJu got some long ass touchdowns.”

Based purely on numbers, Smith-Schuster has been far more productive than Ward to this point in their careers.

Through his first four years, Smith-Schuster has tallied 308 receptions for 3,726 yards and 26 touchdowns.

Ward was significantly less productive, catching 218 receptions for 2,559 yards and 15 touchdowns over his first four seasons. That being said, Ward entered the league in a very different era than the one in which Smith-Schuster currently plays.

The Steelers re-signed Smith-Schuster to a one-year, $8 million deal last week.