Steelers give JuJu Smith-Schuster chance to 'see what I can do'

PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers' empty-set offense is a chance for players such as rookie receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to get an extended look, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger pointed out Wednesday.

And it appears that he's getting just that this week.

Asked about his downfield playmaking during Wednesday's practice, Smith-Schuster said the team is "just trying to give me an opportunity, see what I can do.

"I think it's great," the second-round draft pick said. "It gives me the chance to show more outside and inside."

Smith-Schuster didn't record a catch in his debut against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday and committed two holding penalties, but the Steelers are high on his overall game.

Smith-Schuster is considered the fourth receiver behind Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and Eli Rogers. He's a good fit in the slot but says he likes both spots, especially the chance to get downfield.

The rookie says he's "super confident" in the offense, unlike six months ago.

"Whatever is possible to help out this team," Smith-Schuster said. "It could be special teams, offense, empty, spread it out, whatever it takes."

Le'Veon Bell is one of the game's elite pass-catchers from the running back spot, but against Cleveland, the Steelers used Smith-Schuster as the fourth receiver in a handful of empty sets. The Steelers were trying to manage Bell's workload after missing all of August without signing his franchise tender.

Roethlisberger suspects the Steelers will see more empty sets, which were "very good to us" last week.