FOXBORO — JuJu Smith-Schuster was coached by offensive genius Andy Reid final 12 months, and had Patrick Mahomes, at the moment the perfect quarterback on the planet, throwing him passes.
And if that didn’t present sufficient of an adrenaline rush, Smith-Schuster received a Super Bowl ring taking part in for the Chiefs.
Listening to him Tuesday throughout his media availability, the latest Patriots receiver hasn’t traded in a Mercedes for a Volkswagen coming to Foxboro.
Smith-Schuster instructed the group he was loving life at Gillette, and already loving his soccer expertise.
While the Patriots signed him to a three-year, $33 million cope with the hopes he would add some flash to the offense, it doesn’t harm that he’s additionally doubling as a pitchman for what’s good about being on a workforce that hasn’t made it to the postseason in two of the final three years.
What drew him to Foxboro?
Along with the cash, after all, he chalked it as much as the attract of taking part in for head coach Bill Belichick.
“When I was in Pittsburgh for five years, we crossed paths multiple times,” Smith-Schuster stated of Belichick. “I respect his recreation. One factor that I’ve realized taking part in towards Bill, is that if he ever double-teams you, clearly you’re a key participant in his eyes.
“I think back then, when he was doing that, I saw that as he respects my game,” the receiver went on. “Being able to circle back around Year 7, to be here, kind of shows that he still has that.”
Smith-Schuster’s reward didn’t cease at Belichick.
How was he adapting to the legendary offensive playbook? Not Matt Patricia’s however Bill O’Brien’s?
“The playbook is amazing, honestly. It’s great,” stated Smith-Schuster, who acknowledged needing a school diploma to have the ability to research and decipher to performs. “Bill (O’Brien’s) great. He’s a great coach. He makes everyone feel welcome, excited, happy to be a part of the team, and also, ready to work.”
Talk about shifting on from final 12 months, and having a clear slate, Smith-Schuster made positive to emphasise factors that clearly weren’t in existence final 12 months underneath the Patricia-Joe Judge led offense.
Such as being on the identical web page, believing within the coaches and what they had been preaching.
“The group of guys we have are here to work, and to just get better.,” stated Smith-Schuster. “(Having) everyone on the same page, the coaches, the players, the staff, it’s a great feeling.”
While there are many pundits, current firm included, who really feel the Patriots haven’t put sufficient dynamic and explosive weapons round Mac Jones, the previous Steeler and Chief disagrees.
Have sufficient? Smith-Schuster believes the Patriots have greater than sufficient. He stated a number of instances the “sky’s the limit” for the workforce and the offense. It virtually gave the impression of Belichick took him out of central casting and employed him to pump the tires of the offense and all issues Patriot.
“Just being here, honestly, I love it,” he stated. “I can’t express more than what I feel being here, being a part of this team. We have something special here. I feel like it’s going to show.”
In a stacked division, with Buffalo, Miami and the New York Jets all formidable groups, time will inform simply how particular. But for now, it doesn’t harm to have one of many new guys function head cheerleader.
Naturally, he additionally praised presumptive starter Jones. While Smith-Schuster indicated the 2 haven’t performed catch simply but to start out forming chemistry, he’s assured within the third-year quarterback, who’s coming off a tough season.
“His role and his leadership is something I’ve seen from afar,” stated Smith-Schuster. “He’s a hard-working guy. Very, very smart at what he does, and working on his craft. But for Mac, sky’s the limit. I think with the guys we have here, all the weapons, it’s going to be a fun year.”
If Smith-Schuster can get the playbook, elevate his recreation, and turn into some kind of risk defenses worry, that can go a good distance towards the Patriots bettering.
When requested particularly about his position, he didn’t need to name himself the workforce’s No. 1 receiver, or pigeon-hole himself into a job. He joked about being the “slowest receiver” on the workforce, however finally described himself as a receiver who’ll do something to assist the workforce win.
“I love blocking, I love doing the dirty work, as far as going across the middle to catch the ball in traffic,” he stated. “Whatever coach has me do, I’m willing to do, no questions asked. As far as being a part of this offense, I think Bill (O’Brien) has something great planned for us. So whatever that is, is what I’m happy with us.”
Smith-Schuster had 78 receptions for 933 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 2022 with Kansas City. He was a Pro Bowl participant for the Steelers in 2018.
He already sounds energized to do higher issues. He spoke concerning the chemistry of the receiving room – they lately had a gaggle street journey to go bowling final week – and the way essential that was to the success components.
“I think it’s the chemistry, man, when you talk about a winning team, and talk about how close you can get the guys to play for one another, the love we have for each other to put it all on the line, that’s what I’m trying to do,” he stated. “That’s what I’m here to do, and I’m doing that … it’s having all three units under one, and we’re going to play our heart out.”
Smith-Schuster can also be making an attempt to get a really feel for town. He attended the Celtics’ opening-game loss to Philadelphia on Monday evening. He was taken in by Boston followers and the encompassing ambiance.
“The fanbase here is nuts,” he stated. “I can’t wait to see how it’s for (coaching) camp, or it’s for the season. I’ve been on the opposite aspect of the ball when it’s been loud right here, and we misplaced. I’d like to be on this aspect of the ball and we’re profitable and the fan base is cheering you on.
“But it’s definitely a place where the fan base is nuts … I’ve never been a part of a city like this.”
If the Patriots can get again to their profitable methods, Smith-Schuster will find it irresistible much more.