Ahead of the Browns visit to Heinz Field for the all-AFC North Wild Card matchup on Sunday night, Smith-Schuster's comments didn't exactly show his upcoming opponent a lot of respect.
“I think they’re still the same Browns teams I play every year,” the wideout said, via Tom Withers of the Associated Press. “I think they’re nameless gray faces. They have a couple good players on their team, but at the end of the day, I don’t know. The Browns is the Browns.”
Throughout the season, Smith-Schuster has made a habit of providing upcoming opponents with extra motivation, including a stretch when he repeatedly broke out a popular Tik Tok dance on midfield logos in pre-game warmups. He decided to stop the dancing after being on the end of a brutal hit from Cincinnati Bengals safety Vonn Bell in Pittsburgh's Week 15 loss.
Head coach Mike Tomlin said he would talk to the wide receiver about his antics. It's safe to assume Tomlin isn't thrilled about Smith-Schuster's dismissive comments towards the 2020 Browns.
Browns linebacker Mack Wilson acknowledged Smith-Schuster's latest smack-talk.
— Mack Wilson Sr. (@MackWilSr) January 8, 2021
Pittsburgh bested Cleveland, 38-7 in Week 6. The teams faced off again in Cleveland for their Week 17 tilt — a 24-22 Browns win — though both teams were short-handed either due to rest, injuries, or the COVID-19 issues that have plagued the Browns locker room in recent weeks.
This Sunday, Cleveland will play their first postseason game in nearly two decades without their head coach, Kevin Stefanski, Pro Bowl left guard Joe Bitonio, plus three more coaches and seven other players due to COVID-19.
However, they now have a little extra bulletin-board material, courtesy of Smith-Schuster.