Slow down on the Ju-Ju love affair

PITTSBURGH — There’s a lot to like about Steelers rookie receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, beyond his name.

(By the way, his given name is “John Sherman” and “JuJu” came from his aunt).

He’s enthusiastic. He works hard. He rides his bike to work because he came here without a drivers license.

He doesn’t turn 21 until next month, which makes him younger than a lot of the people who are playing football in college.

It’s even better that he has the kind of talent to grab a pass in stride and complete a play that covers 97 yards, like he did Sunday night against the Detroit Lions.

It’s been a long time since the Steelers had a rookie who created this kind of buzz. But let’s not get carried away.

Smith-Schuster has done some good things, and he had a tremendous game against the Lions. But he’s still a rookie.

So if you’re inclined to say, “Forget about Martavis Bryant. Cut him. JuJu can take his place,” maybe you should reconsider.

There’s no doubt Bryant has been one of the disappointments through the first half of the season. His production is less than what’s been expected, and he’s been providing distractions with his ill-advised posts to social media.

Smith-Schuster’s emergence has been one of the best developments for the Steelers en route to a 6-2 record at the midpoint of the season. He’s been a contributor, but he’s not a finished product.

He’s still a rookie, and experienced defensive backs are going to have an advantage because they know all the subtle tricks of the trade. If Smith-Schuster has more games like Sunday’s, great. But don’t count on that happening on a weekly basis.

The Steelers are a better team with Smith-Schuster and Bryant rather than Smith-Schuster in place of Bryant. The depth behind these two and Antonio Brown is dubious, so the Steelers need all the receiving help they can get.

MLB fireworks

What’s up with all the offense in the World Series?

Here’s one possibility: The pitchers are seriously out of gas.

Maybe the baseballs have more life, but they’re being thrown by pitchers who have thrown a lot of innings over the last seven months. Maybe their pitches don’t have as much life or zip as they may have back in the summer.

The playoffs are longer, which means pitchers are working in more high pressure situations, too.

Baseball was never made to be played on Halloween.

Blunder-full

Can this even be possible?

It’s being reported that the Cleveland Browns had a deal in place for Bengals backup quarterback A.J. McCarron.

The Browns supposedly failed to report the trade to the NFL office by the 4 p.m. deadline, so it didn’t happen.

The Browns lost a quarterback to a procedural error? With the size of NFL coaching staffs and front offices, how could that even be possible?

There has to be someone there just to make sure all the paperwork is legitimate and that all the necessary steps have been followed.

How agonizing must it be for Browns fans?

Mehno can be reached at johnmehnocolumn@gmail.com

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