“When He Started Doing TikTok It Jinxed Him” | Stephen A. Smith Expects JuJu Smith-Schuster To Have Rebound Season, Kick Curse

(Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was taken in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He instantly paid dividends. The talented speedster from USC caught 169 passes for 2,343 yards and 14 touchdowns in his first two NFL seasons.

He had the longest TD reception (97 yards) in the NFL in each of those seasons. 

Things changed when his mentor and wide receiver partner Antonio Brown was traded to the Raiders prior to Smith-Schuster’s third season. JuJu struggled as the focal point of the offense, and his production dropped without AB there to draw double teams. 

While his play suffered, his dancing on the social media platform TikTok however, became Award-winning — much to the chagrin of Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

As a result of what the organization probably felt was misplaced focus, JuJu’s last three seasons dwarf in comparison to his first two, with just 154 receptions, 1,512 yards and 12 touchdowns. While injuries have affected his productivity, his off-the-field antics didn’t help matters.

Now he takes his TikTok celebrity to Kansas City, where he’ll hopefully help replace the loss of All-Pro Tyreek Hill, who was all business on the field. At the end of the day, he didn’t fit the culture Tomlin is trying to establish as the team rebuilds without Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger. 

His dancing even caught the eye of ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, a lifelong Steelers fan. On Monday’s episode of “First Take” Smith had this to say about JuJu’s TikTok hype. 

“All I’m trying to say is this, Tyreek Hill is gone. JuJu Smith-Schuster is there now alongside Mecole Hardman. Do you know what we know about JuJu Smith-Schuster at this particular point in time? He ain’t doing TikTok no more. He’s declared that he won’t be doing TikTok this year. Thank God, OK?”

Smith wasn’t done, as he believes the TikTok lovefest jinxed JuJu. That may be a bit far-fetched, but nevertheless it’s funny.

 “Because before he was doing TikTok, he was doing his thing. When he started doing TikTok it jinxed him. So now he’ll get back to being the damn promising player that he is because he’ll be healthy. And I believe in JuJu Smith-Schuster. I genuinely like him. I’m just saying you’re in Kansas City. You got some stuff to prove.”

 

JuJu Will Play A Vital Role In The New Chiefs Attack: Team Traded Tyreek Hill To Dolphins

The Chiefs signed Smith-Schuster with the belief that he’d be their No. 2 receiver. Less than a week later, in a surprise move, they traded Hill to the Dolphins. That pretty much moved JuJu into their No. 1 receiver role, with Travis Kelce being a tight end and still catching the bulk of the balls.

 Can JuJu handle the responsibilities that come with that?

He should be just fine with Patrick Mahomes delivering the football and with Kelce attracting so much attention, JuJu should see a lot of single coverage. The team also added wideout Marquez Valdes-Scantling to take the top of the defense with his 6-foot-4 frame and 4.3 speed.

K.C. has offensive gurus in Andy Reid and Eric Bieniemy calling plays, so that also bodes well for JuJu who will be utilized in a way that accentuates his strengths. An upgraded offensive line was evident last season and K.C., added some real pop in the backfield with former Buccaneers running back and Super Bowl champion Ronald Jones.

 

 JuJu Lucky To Go From One Well-Run Franchise To Another

Not many players can say they were able to have starting roles for two of the most iconic and well-run franchises in the NFL. Smith-Schuster has that opportunity, and although it’s a one-year show-me deal, if he performs the Chiefs won’t hesitate to re-sign the talented pass catcher. The Steelers offered him a deal to stay, but Smith-Schuster decided it was time for a fresh start elsewhere. 

As one of Mahomes’ merry men, the pressure is off. All he has to do is catch the ball when it’s thrown to him, and that will be often.