JuJu Smith-Schuster Catches TD in Steelers' Preseason Win over Eagles

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 10, 2018

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 09: Joshua Dobbs #5 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a touchdown pass in the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles during the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 9, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles' first game since winning Super Bowl LII did not go well.

Luckily, it's just preseason.

Joshua Dobbs and Landry Jones each threw a touchdown pass, as the Pittsburgh Steelers earned a 31-14 victory over the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday.

Nate Sudfeld threw two touchdown passes for the Eagles, who sat both Carson Wentz and Nick Foles. Both teams held out a vast majority of their veteran starters.

JuJu Shows He's Ready for Year 2 Breakout

One starter who was in the mix for Pittsburgh—albeit briefly—was JuJu Smith-Schuster.

He made the most of his time.

The second-year wideout connected with Jones for a 71-yard touchdown in the first quarter for the biggest play of the game. With Martavis Bryant plying his trade in Oakland now, the second wide receiver job is all Smith-Schuster's heading into his second season. He should be the Steelers' top big threat for Ben Roethlisberger.

"Just communicate. We communicate way more this year," Smith-Schuster said, per Ben Padanilam of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "We talk about everything, like 'What do I do on this coverage?' or 'If someone is doing this, what can I do to prevent this or do that?' It's just all about communication, and once you build that chemistry — AB and Ben, they've been doing it for about eight years since AB's been here. Year two for me, that's where I'm trying to get to."

JuJu and Antonio Brown should be one of the more entertaining wideout duos in the league next season. It's not too often you pair a dude who plays Fortnite with Drake and the Madden cover athlete in one receiving corps.

It was only one catch on one target, but Smith-Schuster looks ready to step even further into the limelight in his second year.

   

Goedert Flashes Potential to Give Eagles Another Versatile Weapon

Speaking of stepping into the limelight. Eagles rookie tight end Dallas Goedert had a strong first professional showing, hauling in four passes for 66 yards and a touchdown. 

A second-round pick out of South Dakota State, Goedert has been getting plenty of reps with Zach Ertz missing time for an undisclosed reason. He was Nate Sudfeld's most reliable target Thursday.

The Eagles weren't shy about using backup tight end Trey Burton last season, as he was fifth on the team in receptions (23). Ertz is 27 years old and made his first Pro Bowl a year ago; he's not going anywhere anytime soon.

But Goedert has been impressive in training camp and looked the part in his first live action. Don't be surprised if you see the Eagles mix in more two tight end sets this season if Goedert keeps this up.

"Yeah, it's going to be exciting, I think," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said, per Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia. "I'm encouraged obviously where Dallas is and his progress.

"He's still learning just the different intricacies, the details of route running, understanding coverage and leverage. But I think that as we scale back, when we get into a game plan and we're game-plan specific, when he can really detail, I think it's going to be an exciting matchup with he and Ertz out on the field."

What's Next?

The Steelers continue their preseason road trip next Thursday in Green Bay. The Eagles travel to New England to face off against the Patriots. Odds are we will see a little bit more of the offensive starters for both teams. 

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