With the Super Bowl on Sunday, all eyes around the world will be glued to the Philadelphia Eagles against the Kansas City Chiefs, but that does not mean there are no connections to Pittsburgh. In fact, there is one glaring to Pittsburgh and the Steelers in the game. Former Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster will suit up for the Chiefs in his first Super Bowl appearance.
Smith-Schuster played for the Steelers from 2017 to 2021 after being drafted out of USC in the 2017 NFL Draft. He grew up a Steelers fan, although coming from Long Beach, California. However, they never reached the big dance with Smith-Schuster on the squad. So, he took a leap and joined the Chiefs, and now, he has reached the biggest stage in the NFL.
“Playing in Pittsburgh for five years, I love Pittsburgh and the Steelers,” Smith-Schuster said. “But making the decision to come to KC and play, it’s crazy. This [the Super Bowl] is real, I can’t believe it.”
In the past, Smith-Schuster has compared the coaching he receives from Andy Reid to that of Mike Tomlin. The commonality with both of them is that they get the same love for the players from them, and it shows up on the field. Somehow, someway, both coaches continue to get players to buy into their locker room mantras year after year.
“The feeling I get with Andy Reid and Coach Tomlin is that I don’t want to disappoint them,” Smith-Schuster said. “They make everything like, it’s more so when you get in trouble and don’t want your grandmother mad because she’s my favorite grandmother. I go out there and then I mess up, and you get upset with yourself and make them disappointed. That’s how I feel for them. And that’s why we go hard every day.”
JuJu Smith-Schuster did feel like he has overcome a lot to get to this point. The consistent negativity over his TikToks and career outside of football has been a commonality. However, he believes his mantra of sticking to himself and being true to who he is has allowed him to flourish at this stage in his career.
“Whatever you do in life, no matter who you are, you’re always going to have negativity,” Smith-Schuster said. “But at the end of the day, you have to be yourself, be authentic, and don’t change for anybody. I think that’s a big part of what got me to this point.”
If Smith-Schuster and the Chiefs win, it would be his first-ever Super Bowl title. Former Steelers DT Javon Hargrave will suit up for the Eagles on the other side of the ball.