"We'll have to prove it when we see them on Sunday," Garrett told reporters when asked if the team has begun a new, winning era.
On Thursday, Smith-Schuster said the Browns have yet to prove they're any different from the last two decades as Cleveland prepares for its first playoff game since 2002.
"I think they're still the same Browns teams I play every year," Smith-Schuster told the media. "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."
Garrett offered up a "no comment" when asked to respond to Smith-Schuster. Regardless, while the Browns proved themselves worthy of a postseason berth, succeeding on that stage is a different challenge.
The Steelers are 35-7-1 against Cleveland dating back to 2000. At Heinz Field, where Sunday's Wild Card Round matchup is being held, the Browns are winless since 2003.
"Nobody's going to sit here and tell you we're counting ourselves out," Garrett added. "These guys are hungry, and we're going to take it to them."
The defensive end noted the 12-4 Steelers "gotta show up and play just like we do," saying, "Nothing's going to be taken for granted, and nothing's going to be given to them."
If both sides back up their words, Sunday should produce an epic playoff contest.
Yet Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is 23-2-1 against the Browns in his career. History favors one side as much as the oddsmakers do. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Steelers are -265 favorites on the moneyline (bet $265 to win $100) and are laying six points on the spread at -108.
Garrett and the Browns can do more than prove Smith-Schuster wrong this weekend. They can shock the whole league.
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