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Column: Smith-Schuster fires up foes through jigs and digs

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Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) celebrates after scoring on a 5-yard pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Say this about Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster: he sure knows how to fire up foes through jigs and digs alike.

Baker Mayfield trolled the Steelers star Sunday night, bellowing, “The Browns is the Browns!” as he hurried to join his delirious teammates following Cleveland’s 48-37 AFC wild card win at Pittsburgh.

In the leadup to the game, Smith-Schuster was asked if this year’s Browns were any different than those in years past after their AFC North rival had ended an 18-year playoff drought.

He said he thought “they’re still the same Browns teams I play every year” and while they had talent, “the Browns is the Browns."

Not anymore. The Browns snapped their 17-game losing streak at Heinz Field with their first road playoff win since 1969.

“You know, I don’t regret what I said,” Smith-Schuster allowed afterward. “I said the Browns is the Browns. They came out and they played a hell of a game. You know, there’s been games where we feel we lose them and today wasn’t our night and hopefully the same Browns will show up next week ... and go out and do the same thing they did tonight and have a hell of a game.”

The sixth-seeded Browns (12-5) visit top-seeded Kansas City (14-2) Sunday and the Steelers face an earlier-than-expected reckoning after following their franchise-best 11-0 start with five losses in their last six games.

Last month, the Bills and Bengals took exception to Smith-Schuster's habit of dancing on other teams’ midfield logos before games and posting the videos on TikTok.