Heading into Sunday's wild card round matchup against the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster made a polarizing comment about his team's upcoming opponent.
“I think they’re still the same Browns teams I play every year,” Smith-Schuster said. “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."
Following Cleveland's 48-37 victory over Pittsburgh at Heinz Field, it didn't take long to see that that comment resonated with a large portion of the Browns' roster.
Taking to social media after the game, several Browns players made reference to Smith-Schuster's comments and/or mocked the wide receiver's signature TikTok dance. In one clip from Cleveland wide receiver Rashard Higgins' Instagram live video, Browns receiver Jarvis Landry can be seen mocking Smith-Schuster's TikTok dance before referring to him by a derogatory term.
*Warning: Inappropriate language in video*
Similar sentiments followed in posts and streams from the likes of running back Kareem Hunt, left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr., safety Ronnie Harrison and even soft-spoken running back Nick Chubb.
Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield could also be spotted yelling "the Browns is the Browns" as he ran off the field following the first playoff victory of his career.
The Browns' playoff victory on Sunday marked their first since the 1994 season and their first win in Pittsburgh since 2003. After beating the Steelers, Cleveland now advances to the AFC divisional round, where it will face the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium next Sunday.