Raiders

Raiders

Picture this.

You're a young wide receiver playing for USC, and Antonio Brown is someone you idolize. You send him a direct message on social media in appreciation and asking for any advice. Years later, you're on the same team as him, sharing pass-catching duties for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

That's the story when it came to JuJu Smith-Schuster, who slid into AB's DMs when he was in college. Well, that was the beginning of the story. 

Now, what's their relationship like?

Well, it's complicated, as the saying goes, but Smith-Schuster still shows a sense of respect, as he told Michael McKnight in an interview with Sports Illustrated:

Brown never did respond to that initial message from Smith-Schuster -- at least not in that instance. 

The two had a social media war -- that tends to be synonymous with AB -- when Brown posted a reminder of Smith-Schuster's costly fumble in a loss to the Saints toward the end of last season. But now that Brown is a member of the Oakland Raiders, the ghost of AB lingers in the Steelers' locker room, and on the different platforms.

 

“Now that AB left and I’m the No. 1 guy, people are gonna say, 'Is he going to take it more seriously? Is he going to do less social media? Less public stuff?' ” Smith-Schuster said. “At the end of the day, I’m not gonna change because one person left. I’m gonna do what I always do, which is what’s best for the team."

So, he's still going to be JuJu.

[RELATED: Why Von Miller believes AB gets a bad rap]

Brown's relationship with the Steelers still remains sour, but the one commonality beneath all of the drama is the fact they all can agree on AB's talent. Still, the word "disappointed" can sometimes hit harder than "mad."