Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster Dances on Logo, Bengals Respond

JuJu Smith-Schuster fumble

Jamie Sabau/Getty Images Vonn Bell #24 of the Cincinnati Bengals forces a fumble by JuJu Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter on December 21, 2020.

Six days ago Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster indicated that he had no plans to stop dancing at midfield—on the logos of other NFL teams—as part of his pregame routine. “I’m not going to stop being myself,” he said defiantly.

True to his word, the fourth-year receiver danced on the Bengals logo during pregame warmups on Monday evening, as seen below:

No doubt the video, which was posted on TikTok, got the attention of Bengals players.

Bengals Safety Vonn Bell on JuJu Smith-Schuster’s Dancing

In the middle of this past week, Bengals safety Vonn Bell said Smith-Schuster’s logo dances were “kinda disrespectful.”

“We just gotta go out there, between the lines, go out there and hit him and let him know where he stands,” said Bell.

True to his word, Bell clobbered Smith-Schuster on a crossing route during the first quarter of Monday night’s game, which forced a fumble, one of three turnovers that the Steelers committed in the first half.

Below is the hit in question:

Is it Time for JuJu Smith-Schuster to Stop Dancing?

With the Steelers losing a third straight game and now looking like an easy out in the playoffs, it begs the question:

Should JuJu Smith-Schuster stop with his self-promotional pregame dances, which can’t possibly help—and can only hurt—his team?

No doubt questions about JuJu Smith-Schuster’s dancing are going to continue, especially in the wake of Cincinnati’s 27-17 win.

Keep in mind that multiple Buffalo Bills players indicated that Smith-Schuster’s dancing served as motivation last week, giving them “extra fire,” according to Bills safety Jordan Poyer.

And Dallas Cowboys players also expressed their displeasure with JuJu’s antics during and after the Steelers-Cowboys game last month, even though Pittsburgh managed to escape A&T Stadium with a 24-19 win.

Steelers Lost as a 14.5 Point Favorite

Of course, JuJu Smith-Schuster bears only a share of the responsibility for the team’s three-game losing streak.

The first half against the Bengals was as ghastly a first half as a Steelers offense has produced since, well, probably sometime in 2019. It was the first time the Bengals shut out the Steelers in a first half since November 1990, and much of the responsibility for the team’s 17-0 halftime deficit has to be attributed to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who mishandled a snap from center Maurkice Pouncey that led to a lost fumble. In the first half he completed only 7 of 16 passes for 19 yards, with no touchdowns, one interception, and a passer rating of 25.0.

It was so bad that Jordan Berry punted five times after three-and-out possessions. The team’s other three first-half possessions resulted in turnovers, including the above-referenced JuJu Smith-Schuster fumble.

In the end, Roethlisberger finished the night 20 of 38 for 170 yards, enough yardage to allow him to become the seventh quarterback in NFL history to pass for 60,000 yards.

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