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Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy airs frustration on 1-5 start, lack of production, Steve Smith dust-up: “Go watch the film and see what it is.”

Jerry Jeudy decided to clear the air Thursday.

In the process, he showed the extent to which he’s frustrated by his lack of production so far this season, his spat last week with former receiver and current NFL Network analyst Steve Smith, Jr., persistent trade rumors and, most of all, the Broncos’ 1-5 start.

“It’s always frustrating losing. Nobody wants to lose,” Jeudy told reporters at his locker. “Losing is the worst possible thing that can happen. That’s really frustrating.”

The latest loss came a week ago at Kansas City, a game in which Jeudy got into it with Smith before the game after Smith torched Jeudy on television and called him, in part, “just a guy” and “an average wide receiver,” and then Jeudy danced behind an NFL Network live shot.

“You don’t go to them in person and act friendly toward them and act like you didn’t just talk bad about them,” Jeudy said of Smith. “I don’t have no hate toward Steve Smith. He was a good player and all that stuff like that, but it’s just what I stand on. If you feel some type of way, keep that same energy when you see me in person. I don’t got nothing against him or anything, that’s just how I feel and that’s just what it is.

“If I knew he was going to apologize, of course I would have acted different, but at the same time, I know someone’s talking bad about me so I told him what it is and moved on from there. He wanted to take it to the media and make it bigger than it needed to be.”

Jeudy said he should have listened to what Smith was going to say to him, “but at the same time, I’m going back to my roots and where I’m from. Once somebody talks bad about you behind your back, don’t expect to come to them in person and think everything’s going to be OK.”

Jeudy proceeded to catch just three passes for 14 yards. He missed the Broncos’ season opener against Las Vegas recovering from a hamstring injury and since then has 20 catches (29 targets) for 222 yards, averages of four catches and 44.4 yards per game.

But he says that doesn’t tell the story of his season so far.

“I mean, as a receiver, there’s a lot of people you’ve got to depend on,” Jeudy said. “You can be open, but if the line don’t do their thing or the quarterback don’t do his thing or the (offensive coordinator) don’t put you (in a good spot), it’s a whole lot of stuff that you’ve got to go through as a receiver to be successful. I can’t really (worry).

“At the end of the day I’ve got to do what I do. People can say, ‘Oh, look at the stats, look at this, look at that.’ But the eye in the sky don’t lie.”

He indicated he thought the film showed his prowess as a route-runner.

“That’s what y’all need to go watch the film instead of looking at the stats,” he said. “Go watch the film and see what it is.”

Jeudy’s drawn criticism, particularly this season. He finished 2022 with a flourish, logging 523 yards and three touchdowns in the Broncos’ final five games. The stats and the film suggest he’s one of the most talented receivers in football at beating man coverage.

In the spring, Denver picked up his fifth-year option, guaranteeing him $12.987 million in 2024.

But that’s only driven more commentary as he’s started the season with modest numbers.

“I’m a first-round pick, so people have high expectations for me and I have high expectations, too,” said Jeudy, who Denver picked No. 15 overall in 2020. “But at the same time, when you don’t, how can I say this — I don’t want to say I’m not playing to that standard, because I feel like I’m doing what I can do and I’m controlling what I can control. I just feel like when you’re not playing to that standard, people are going to talk bad about you. Especially when you’re losing. When you’re losing, people are definitely going to talk bad about you.”

Jeudy hasn’t just been criticized, he’s been the subject of trade rumors dating back to the offseason. That talk quieted for a while once the season started, but with Denver fading already and the NFL’s trade deadline approaching Oct. 31, the Broncos are fielding calls about the receiver among several other players.

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