“I got brought down by the punter, which is something I am not too happy about,” said Sanders. “But I get another opportunity this week.”
What Sanders was referring to was an electric fourth quarter 63-yard punt return against the New York Giants in the Steelers 24-20 win, that could have gone for a touchdown if he had not been stopped by punter Steve Weatherford.
His teammates have been teasing him about it, he has been getting on himself for it, and if that isn’t enough there is a large photo hanging in the hallway outside the Steelers locker room showing Weatherford getting ready to hit Sanders.
“I am giving myself heat,” said Sanders. “I have an alter ego telling me you got downed by a punter. I wish I would have scored. It is something next time I get the opportunity I will make the most of it and score. I have been getting heat all week. They aren’t going to let it go until I get another opportunity to take it the distance.”
Last week Sanders was forced into action after Antonio Brown suffered an ankle injury in the first half and Chris Rainey injured his ribs in the second half.
“Antonio went down in the first half so right after halftime I went out and caught some punts and got comfortable just in case,” said Sanders. “Then when I saw Chris Rainey go down and I knew I was up next. It was a crucial situation and I wanted to make a play to help my team win.
“You are a championship caliber team and when somebody goes down the next guy has to step up and fill that void. You have to play up to the standard. Coach (Mike) Tomlin says the standard is the standard. We live and breathe that. If we want to get to where we need to be and that’s Super Bowl champions, through the season guys will go down and guys will have to step in.”
The Steelers likely will need Sanders to step in this week against the Kansas City Chiefs, as both Brown and Rainey are still question marks. And while Sanders doesn’t know yet exactly what his role will be, whatever it is he will be spending time this week getting ready.
“We are playing on Monday night so I have an extra day to prepare myself,” said Sanders. “I have to study a lot. I am going to work hard in practice and stay singularly focused on winning. If the ball comes my way it comes my way, but I am going to do my job, get open and make plays.
“I am excited about the opportunity to help my team win. It’s a Monday night game, a lot of fun, great environment. Hopefully I can have a big game as a returner and receiver.”
Tags: Emmanuel Sanders
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