Michael Conroy / Associated Press
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster said Wednesday he will stop dancing to midfield opponents’ logos before road games.
“For the betterment of myself and my teammates, I will stop dancing to logos,” he said. he told reporters.
Smith-Schuster’s the pregame dance party began to attract attention after it posted a video on TikTok showing the Buffalo Bills logo in week 14.
The bills were immediately taken into account. Defender Josh Allen seemed to refer to him in his speaking to the offense before leaving the tunnel – “Let them talk, dance all f-king, let’s make f-king” – and the safety of Jordan Poyer confirmed that he gave an extra boost.
“I’m not going to lie. Seeing them dancing on our logo before the game and seeing all this, that transforms you a little bit,” Poyer he told reporters after a 26-15 victory over Pittsburgh. “It kind of gives you a second itch to go out there and play with a little extra fire.”
Smith-Schuster said he danced for most of the season and did not intend to stop, which he claimed by dancing to the Cincinnati Bengals logo before the 15-week fight.
“One thing I’ll tell you guys: I won’t stop being myself” he said. “I will be the JuJu I have become: authentic. TikTok is a new platform that I use to stay in touch with my fans and grow. I have been doing this since the beginning of the season, midseason … I will not stop doing it. “
After Monday’s outrage, Bengals security Vonn Bell suggested that Smith-Schuster provided additional motivation.
“I saw 19,” Bell he told reporters with a smile about what he saw before he put a big shot on the wide receiver. “I’m not a boastful guy, man. I just go out there and let my game talk. It just happened to be about it. I just play football, man. I just go there and try to do a play.”
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, who downplayed any motivational advantage that could be gained from the dance, explained on Tuesday that he intends to discuss the situation with his star receiver.
“I’m aware of that” he said. “And I intend to talk to JuJu. But we’re professionals. I doubt any of those tricks and things like that are legitimate motivating factors as you step into professional stadiums. It’s about respect.”
Few things coach coaches more than potential distractions, especially when a team that previously looked like a title contender lost three games in a row, including a surprising upset against the Bengals, who entered Monday’s game with a record. of 2-10-1.
So while Smith-Schuster’s dancing was harmless fun before the start, it’s no wonder the dance show was interrupted for the rest of the year, while the Steelers are looking to regain their championship form.
The last road game of the regular season in Pittsburgh comes in week 17 when he visits FirstEnergy Stadium to take the Cleveland Browns (10-4) in a game that could decide AFC North.