"I think they're still the same Browns teams I play every year," he said before Sunday's postseason matchup, per 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."
Not that Cleveland needed any additional motivation in its first playoff game in nearly two decades against its chief rival, but this may provide it.
Smith-Schuster has turned heads a number of times this season with his tendency to dance on the other team's midfield logo during road games, although Cincinnati Bengals safety Vonn Bell said he was going to deliver a blow if the wide receiver did that in their game and proceeded to do just that with a hard-hitting tackle.
While the Browns may not be looking for any massive hits on Smith-Schuster, a playoff victory would be one way to send a message that they are no longer the "same" old team.
Cleveland won the Week 17 matchup between the AFC North rivals to get into the playoffs, although Ben Roethlisberger did not play in what was largely a meaningless game for the Steelers after they already clinched the division.
Smith-Schuster had six catches for 65 yards and a touchdown in that game and only two catches for six yards in Pittsburgh's 38-7 victory in the October matchup.
He will be under the spotlight in Sunday's game following these comments as the Steelers look for their first playoff win since the 2016 season.