JuJu Smith-Schuster: No hard feelings against A.B.

While Antonio Brown's exit from Pittsburgh certainly didn't lack in the drama department, JuJu Smith-Schuster is maintaining that there is none lingering between him and his former teammate as mandatory minicamp marches on.

Nearly three weeks after saying that team chemistry is "on point" following the trade that sent Brown to the Oakland Raiders in March, the Pittsburgh Steelers' new No. 1 receiver addressed where things are today.

Needless to say, he's not foreseeing any flareups like the two participated in over Twitter this spring the next time he and Brown are in the same vicinity.

"I looked at him as a role model and in that situation I didn't want it to end like that. I have no hard feelings against him," Smith-Schuster told the media at his locker Wednesday. "Obviously, if we were ever in the same room, I'm going to say what's up to him. I think hatred is a huge word to use against somebody.

"At the end of the day, he is a great player. He comes out every day, his work ethic. He worked hard. Other than that, I don't have anything towards him or anything like that."

Smith-Schuster will likely continue to field just as many questions about Brown this season as he has kickoffs during his budding career but he can't let it be a distraction.

Back in May, the 22-year-old said he felt like a "French bulldog barking at everybody" but, as the season approaches, Smith-Schuster will have to establish himself as the alpha among a group of receivers looking to prove themselves following the charismatic Brown's departure.

Perhaps playing with and learning from Brown his first two seasons gave the young wideout, who made the Pro Bowl in 2018 after a season with 111 catches, 1,426 yards and 7 TDs, the necessary tools to take over in his third year?

Only time will tell if Smith-Schuster can steady the Steelers with an increased workload and fill the void left by the seven-time Pro Bowler.

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