Emmanuel Sanders took his talents to the Mile High City earlier this offseason after spending his first four NFL seasons in the Steel City. Despite hauling in passes from one of the game’s best quarterbacks during his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sanders says he’s noticed an immediate and significant difference between Ben Roethlisberger and his new quarterback, Peyton Manning.
“I feel like Peyton is a far better leader, in terms of staying after practice, catching balls, wanting guys to get on the same page with him, things of that sort, Sanders told 104.3 The Fan in Denver.
“This is the first time I’ve had a quarterback that every single day after practice—no matter what his accolades, NFL MVP, Super Bowl MVP—he keeps guys like me and [rookie receiver Cody] Latimer after practice. . . . He’s not one of those guys you’ve got to chase down. He’s going to be right in the same spot, ready to work, every single day. I just feel like that’s a difference from a mental standpoint.”
For what it’s worth, Sanders’ sentiments are intended to reflect Peyton’s rare work ethic, leadership and determination, as opposed to knocking Big Ben. The former 2010 third round pick (No. 82 overall) out of SMU added that Roethlisberger is also a winner and he enjoyed their time as teammates, but is happy to be in Denver.
“I’ve got so much love for Ben,” Sanders said. “At the same time, I’m not going to lie. I’m happy to be part of this organization and happy that Peyton is my quarterback.”
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound receiver comes off a solid breakout 2013 campaign, as he set a career-high in receptions (67), yards (740) and touchdowns (six).
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Michael Gartman is a College Football and NFL Senior Writer, the AFC South and NFC West Lead Writer and the Founder, CEO of GridironGrit.com. He’s also about to start reporting on topics across all sides of the political spectrum and analyze important issues in the liberty movement for a political website. Follow him @_MichaelGartman on Twitter. Be sure to ‘like’ Gridiron Grit on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @GridironGrit to keep up with the latest coverage on college football, the NFL and more!