The Pittsburgh Steelers finished 12-4 last season despite finishing toward the middle of the pack in passing offense, and star receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was among those who also turned in a solid but unspectacular 2020 campaign.
Smith-Schuster racked up 97 receptions last season but averaged a middling 8.6 yards per reception, although he did punctate those numbers with 9 receiving touchdowns.
Has the former USC standout and social media influencer become a possession receiver all of a sudden, based on that number being way down from his career average of 12.1?
No one knows for sure what’s in the Steelers’ offseason plans, but it does appear as if Smith-Schuster wants to toughen up for the 2021 season.
Recently, the Steelers star took to social media to share a surprising offseason workout regiment: getting punch in the stomach by 5-foot-10 WBC interim lightweight title holder Ryan Garcia.
Dubbing it the “Ryan Garcia Body Shot Challenge,” the video was also shared on YouTube and can be seen below.
Smith-Schuster winces as he takes each body shot to the stomach while letting out a series of grunts. The technique is picture perfect from Garcia, who clearly hits about as hard as any NFL defender Smith-Schuster has ever faced:
Smith-Schuster currently ranks number 13 all-time on the Steelers’ all-time receiving list (with 3,726 yards), which can be seen below. Do you think he will ever catch up to these guys, as he heads into his fifth season as one of the team’s best players?
Steelers All-Time Receiving Leaders
- Hines Ward– 12,083 yards
- Antonio Brown- 11,207
- John Stallworth- 8,723
- Heath Miller- 6,569
- Louis Lipps- 6,018
- Lynn Swann– 5,462
- Elbie Nickel- 5,131
- Buddy Dial – 4,723
- Plaxico Burress- 4,206
- Mike Wallace – 4,042
That’s it for now. Thanks very much for reading my Senior Bowl column!