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Smith-Schuster regrets bitter end to AB’s run with Steelers

Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster wishes Antonio Brown’s end run in Pittsburgh had been amicable.

Smith-Schuster jumped to the No. 1 receiver role with the team when Brown was dealt to the Oakland Raiders.

Brown left Pittsburgh, torch in hand, criticizing management, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and other team leaders. He didn’t exactly share kind words about Smith-Schuster, either.

Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

“The man’s a role model. In that situation, I didn’t want it to end like that,” Smith-Schuster said Wednesday. “I have no hard feelings against him. Obviously if we’re 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’s a great player, he comes out every day with work ethic. He worked hard. Other than that, I don’t have anything toward him like that.”

Brown put Smith-Schuster on blast with a direct attack via Twitter shortly after the Steelers announced Smith-Schuster as the team’s 2018 Most Valuable Player. The team award is voted on by players in the locker room.

Brown tweeted: “Emotion: boy fumbled the whole post season in the biggest game of year ! Everyone went blind to busy making guys famous not enough reality these days ! by the way check the list.”

Smith-Schuster replied to the April 7 Twitter storm.

“All I ever did was show that man love and respect from the moment I got to the league. I was genuinely happy for him too when he got traded to Oakland w/ a big contract, and now he takes shots at me on social media?

“Crazy how big that ego got to be to take shots at people who show you love! Smh.”

With the benefit of hindsight, Smith-Schuster said he should have passed on the emotional response and avoided the negative attention it brought.

“I never want to be the center of attention for causing problems,” Smith-Schuster said. “I just try to stay positive as much as possible. When stuff like that goes sideways, I say what I say and then I back out and leave it at that.”

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)