Can the Steelers avoid another homecoming?
The Steelers saw a familiar face when they played the Cardinals, as Conner made his long-awaited return to the Steel City. A local kid who dominated at the University of Pittsburgh, it was a feel-good story when he first beat cancer and was then drafted by his local team. He had a strong career here before signing with the Cardinals.
While I still like Conner, I wasn’t pleased to see him run over this defense during their outing. The Steelers have a similar homecoming this week as fellow 2017 draftee JuJu Smith-Schuster returns to face his old team. While it looked like Smith-Schuster was set to be the next great receiver for this team, his play fell off as the offense began to crater.
He had a decent showing a season ago for the Chiefs before signing a bigger deal with the Patriots. It was an odd pairing on paper, and the duo haven’t really connected so far. He is on pace for the worst year of his career minus his injury-shortened 2021 year. This has been due to his fit as well as the quarterback play in New England.
He isn’t in the same league as Conner right now, but the fabled “revenge game” is still a real possibility. It would be heartbreaking to see Smith-Schuster light this defense up given his struggles this season. I have no qualms with him as a person, and I hope he gets his career back on track, but I just don’t want it to be this week.