Before practice on Wednesday, JuJu Smith-Schuster spoke extensively with the media. Taking questions until he was pulled away, JuJu took a variety of questions from thoughts on teammates, playing with the first team this week, and dealing with the loss of coach Daryl Drake.
Smith-Schuster was asked about what advice he would give to Diontae Johnson for his rookie season in order for him to have a breakout first year like he experienced.
“Just know your assignments, know your plays, know where you’re supposed to be at the right time. When I was here, I had a great receiver like AB to take those doubles coverages and I was able to make a name for myself under him. I think that Diontae has the same thing with (Donte) Moncrief, me, and even James (Washington) is going into his second year.”
JuJu was also asked to comment on James Washington and his play now compared to this point last season.
“A huge difference. A huge change. As you guys can see during the preseason, he’s making plays left and right. There’s no doubt in my mind he’ll be doing it during the season. So we’re excited to watch him.”
Smith-Schuster was also asked multiple questions about this weeks game and having a chance to play with the first unit, including Ben Roethlisberger.
JuJu Smith-Schuster said he's excited to play with the entire first team Sunday against TEN. He isn't sure how long they will go but sounds like Ben Roethlisberger will play.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 21, 2019
JuJu was asked about playing with veteran Donte Moncrief and how they have helped each other to this point.
“Donte has helped me a lot more so, like outside of football stuff. Just life itself. He’s a guy who’s 26 or 27 years old who’s a vet, and it’s great to have that guy. To have somebody older who has those amount of years in our room, it makes my job a lot easier.”
When asked about Coach Drake, Smith-Schuster shared many thoughts, but said some of the best stories are to be kept in the locker room.
JuJu Smith-Schuster had wristbands made for the WRs to remember Coach Drake. One says “shut out the noise” and the other says “never choose good when great is available.” JuJu said that was the last quote Coach Drake said to the group.— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) August 21, 2019
Before heading to practice, JuJu answered one last question about the closeness of the wide receiver’s room.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, explaining his contention the Steelers WR room is closer than ever:— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 21, 2019
"You can just see it. I think honestly it’s because we are all in it for the same reason – and that’s just to win. There’s not really one person’s in it for another (reason)."
To see all of Smith-Schuster’s comments, the entire question and answer session can be seen here: