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Old 12-11-2010, 10:22 AM   #1
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Default Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders is starting to catch on

Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders is starting to catch on
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...nt_713274.html
By John Harris
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, December 11, 2010

Rookie receiver Emmanuel Sanders didn't want to wear No. 88 after the Steelers drafted him, and it had nothing to do with following in Lynn Swann's footsteps.

He said he didn't know who Swann was.

"I wanted a teen number," Sanders said. "Hines (Ward) said to me, 'Man, they gave you a legend. You've got big shoes to fill. I had no clue who (Swann) was, so I went and did my research and looked on YouTube and saw his accolades and his height and weight. It was similar to mine, and I was like, wow."

Lately, Sanders has been justifying the jersey.

Targeted six times in a must-win game against the Baltimore Ravens last weekend, Sanders caught three passes, two for first downs. His biggest play came in the third quarter on a 28-yard catch to the Ravens' 2-yard line.

Sanders made a rookie mistake when he didn't roll into the end zone before being touched down. The drive stalled, and the Steelers settled for a field goal.

"We're fresh out of college, still kind of on college rules a little bit. That's exactly what Coach (Mike) Tomlin is talking about,'' Sanders said. "He understands that we're performing, but we're also rookies, and there's gonna be some mistakes."

Sanders wasn't the only young player the Steelers relied upon in the 13-10 victory.

Rookie Antonio Brown and second-year tight end David Johnson also caught three passes. Second-year receiver Mike Wallace had a team-high five catches, and second-year running back Isaac Redman caught the game-winning touchdown pass.

"We're getting a lot of contributions from young guys like Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders and Isaac Redman and David Johnson," Tomlin said. "It's encouraging."

Sanders has 16 receptions for 228 yards and two touchdowns despite not playing earlier in the season. He has returned 25 kickoffs for a team-high 25.1-yard average and has 10 special teams tackles.

Besides making big catches against Baltimore, Sanders delivered a key block on Redman's touchdown catch and made the tackle on the ensuing kickoff.

"Yes, he is a wide receiver and kick return man," Tomlin said, "but that was as big a play as he's delivered for us, to run down there and tackle a guy inside the 20 in the latter part of that game."

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:29 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders is starting to catch on

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He has returned 25 kickoffs for a team-high 25.1-yard average and has 10 special teams tackles.
Well it's a team high because we have the number one fair catcher.
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders is starting to catch on

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Well it's a team high because we have the number one fair catcher.
El doesn't return kicks, he has only been used for tight punt situations where we likely want fair catches called and no muffs.

I thought this was stupidly obviously by now.
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders is starting to catch on

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El doesn't return kicks, he has only been used for tight punt situations where we likely want fair catches called and no muffs.

I thought this was stupidly obviously by now.
Whoops I read wrong and it's stupidly obvious.
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders is starting to catch on

I think the Steelers did well to find a couple productive guys in Sanders and Brown as WR's. Brown's return ability really helps out his case for being the #3 or #4 WR on the team long term.

Wallace, Sanders, Brown are a nice young group of guys to mix with the vets. Almost reminding me of guys like Andre Hastings, Jahine Arnold back in the day to go with Thigpen, Johnson, Hawkins, etc.
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders is starting to catch on

Hes certainly been impressive on offense but what's really bee impressing me is his Special Teams play...not even the returns, he always seems to be making the key tackles when the other team is returning and didn't he force a fumble earlier this year too?
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Old 12-11-2010, 01:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders is starting to catch on

He didn't know who Lynn Swann was? Wow.

If this dude plays football, he should know of the great dynasties of the past and know at least the prime time names of those dynasties.
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Old 12-11-2010, 01:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders is starting to catch on

Well Sanders better play like Swann!
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Old 12-11-2010, 02:33 PM   #9
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Cool Re: Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders is starting to catch on

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Hes certainly been impressive on offense but what's really bee impressing me is his Special Teams play...not even the returns, he always seems to be making the key tackles when the other team is returning and didn't he force a fumble earlier this year too?
This is key in my eyes because Stefan Logan was coming up big as well, not just as a returner. He too used his speed to get downfield and disrupt returns. Good to see Manny doing the same.

Yes, he did indeed force a fumble, though I'm pretty sure it wasn't too long after he had fumbled away possession. I could be wrong though.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders is starting to catch on

How does he not know who Lynn Swann is? I hope that is some sort of inside joke, otherwise, I really have to question the intelligence of this kid. That would be like an aspiring physicist in his third year of school not knowing who Albert Einstein is, or a professional basketball player not knowing who Michael Jordan is.

Personally, I think Antonio Brown has quietly been having a much better showing this year than Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders is getting way more opportunities on the field than Brown just by virtue of their draft position, IMHO. Sanders got hurt early on this season, and Brown came right in and scored a TD on his very first time ever touching the football in the NFL. He has been electrifying on kick/punt returns (while Sanders had to learn how to hang on to the ball after a couple of costly special teams fumbles), and has looked faster and more aggressive in the passing game in the few opportunities given to him.

I like both of them-- with Wallace and maybe Sweed, we have the core of a very good receiver corps for years to come. I just like Antonio Brown better at this point, and think he is farther along, no disrespect to Sanders, he has been great as well.
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