JuJu Smith-Schuster 'gotta be No. 1 in (touchdown) celebrations' in 2018
JuJu Smith-Schuster was an NFL all-rookie performer last season . But what perhaps brought him even more notoriety among the public at large was his exuberant touchdown celebrations.
Two major national outlets that cover the NFL, for example, each named a separate Smith-Schuster celebration as one the two best of the entire 2017 season. Wednesday, the young Steelers receiver vowed to defend his title.
"Gotta be No. 1 in celebrations," Smith-Schuster said from his locker during mini-camp. "Yeah, that's something that I want – but you have to take care of business first."
Per USA Today's opinion , Smith-Schuster was involved in four of the league's 32 best TD celebrations in 2017: he and Bell reenacting the Jalen Ramsey/A.J. Green fight was ranked No. 32, Smith-Schuster's "Elf" snowball throw was No. 14, his "Dragon Ball Z" cartoon tribute was No. 11 and his mock locking up of a bicycle was named the best of them all.
Also, an ESPN poll of players ranked the snowball fight between Smith-Schuster Bell as the second-best of the season behind only the Vikings' "Duck-Duck-Goose."
When asked if he's been working on his 2018 repertoire of post-TD hijinx, Smith-Schuster implied he had – and referenced a recent trip he made to the California headquarters of video game developer Electronic Arts, which produces the popular "Madden NFL" series.
Smith-Schuster did not directly say he performed a celebration or dance for EA, but he did say he's been working on some.
"Yeah, super. Check out the new Madden. I'm gonna post some pictures. Pretty dope. Major celebrations this year."
Still six months shy of his 22nd birthday, Smith-Schuster seems to have achieved an understanding of balance between work and fun in regards to life in the NFL.
"Everything off the field that happens is because of happens on the field," he said. "If you take care of business on the field, everything will fall into place off the field. With marketing, with doing appearances, just doing stuff around the community with charity, it's awesome, we can do all that because we take care of business on the field."
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.