Emmanuel Sanders Press Conference Transcript Wednesday Super Bowl XLV

Emmanuel Sanders Press Conference Transcript Wednesday February 2nd Super Bowl XLV

QUOTES FROM PITTSBURGH STEELERS PRESS CONFERENCE

WIDE RECEIVER EMMANUEL SANDERS

(on what it is like to be an SMU alumni playing in Dallas) “It feels good to be back home. I am very comfortable around my surroundings right now and I am just blessed to be here. I couldn’t ask for a better situation – to be playing in the Super Bowl in the same city that I played college football in. It couldn’t get any better than this.”

(on having veteran Hines Ward teaching him) “It’s been a very smooth transition in my opinion. At first it was kind of hard. We weren’t really comfortable with the playbook and the camaraderie with the team wasn’t there. But, as the season went along, it got even better. I started understanding the playbook fully and I started understanding my teammates, also, and what they’re about and what this team is about. So, it really helped, and Hines did a great job and not only Hines, but Antwaan Randle El did a great job. They’re veteran guys. They’ve won a Super Bowl already and they just helped (make) the transition even better. We still had the rookie treatment, of course, but they helped us both with the playbook and teaching us the ‘Steeler Way’ – that hardcore, smash-mouth football.

(on how Ben Roethlisberger taught him) “Ben has helped me and Antonio (Brown) out tremendously. He is kind of hard on us, (but) we understand now that he was trying to get us because he said that he saw that (the team) was going to need us. But, at the beginning, he was kind of hard on us. He was like, ‘Get with the program or you’re going to get out.’ (He) was real hard on us, but it ended up helping out because we worked hard because there is nothing that you want but your quarterback’s trust and we were trying to get that.”

(on what he does when a play breaks down with Roethlisberger) “It definitely changed, but it’s just backyard football. Whoever’s deep has to come shallow and whoever’s shallow has to come deep. And the good thing is we actually practice that at practice. Sometimes you’ll be wide open in practice but Ben will just scramble out just so we can practice it because he knows that’s the kind of football we play and it’s been successful. I think that’s what makes Ben so great. I’ve played against opponents where you have a quarterback that can break down the pocket and it sucks the energy out of the team because you think you’ve got the quarterback down and he escapes out and throws for a 30-yard bomb. So, it’s a lot of emotions that are in the other opponent and it just sucks them right up out of them.”

(on if his emotions have changed at all today because they are back to practicing) “Yeah, yesterday was definitely a fun day – a lot of laughs, a lot of jokes. Today, we’re starting to focus in on the game and game preparation, practice, getting your body ready to go. There are a lot of distractions out there and you’ve got to stay focused and maintain and understand why we came out here and that’s to win a ball game.”

(on if the media circus dials up the speed for the team this week) “Yeah, we’re definitely ready to play. It’s the biggest stage, the biggest game in America in the biggest stadium right now. So, the atmosphere is there and I’m ready. I’m excited; it’s going to be fun to walk out there with 100,000 people screaming and ready to see a ball game and I’m looking forward to playing.”

(on if the Pittsburgh wide receiving corps is excited to play on a good surface) “Oh yeah, definitely. There are no weather conditions. You just go out there and play football and that’s what I’m looking forward to. That was what it was like when I was being raised and playing football in Texas, that’s what I’m used to. I’m not used to the cold weather and so it’s definitely going to be good to just play in a dome and go out there and rock it.”

(on what’s it like to be on a team with so many players who have already won a Super Bowl) “They take the hype out of the game. You can tell just around our team it’s a whole bunch of laughter, jokes and the guys are just staying loose. No one’s uptight about the game because they’ve all played in it. Us young guys are riding on the wave that they’re providing right now. We’re having fun.”

(on the amount of Steelers support down here) “It doesn’t surprise me at all. Steeler nation is worldwide. I have people call me and they’re overseas and they say that they have Steeler bars and Steeler towels, so it definitely doesn’t surprise me. We’ve got the best fans in the world.”

(on the impact that Ward has had on him) “He has a huge impact. I remember I was ecstatic just going to a great organization like this with the Rooney family and the winning tradition. But, I was really ecstatic because my mentor is Hines Ward. He’s been playing in the NFL for 13 years, two Super Bowl rings, Super Bowl MVP – you couldn’t have a better situation. I was just trying to get in there and get under his wing. In meetings, when he is talking, I constantly listen to him and try to see the game how he sees it because of everything that he has accomplished, I want to accomplish for myself. I know he’s going to help me in all phases of it.”

(on if he was surprised that Ward is so helpful to a rookie) “Hines is a great guy. Hines understands that it isn’t about Hines Ward. It’s about the team and winning. That’s why they continuously go to the Super Bowl all the time – because it’s not about the individual players. It’s about the corps and the group. We have to be strong as a receiving corps and we all have to make plays. He understands that he is going to take on double teams, so in order for the double teams to not have him, he’s got to help us out – the young guys. He’s got to help Mike (Wallace). He’s got to help us all and then it works out perfect because we’re moving the ball and we’re scoring.”

(on the best piece of advice that Ward has given him) “Come to work every day. He hasn’t said it, but I’m one of those guys that just sits back and watches what everyone does. Hines gets in the cold tub; he takes care of his body. He’s in the training room. He’s in the film room. And not only that, (but) he’s always telling jokes and having fun. That’s what he taught me – to not take this game so serious (and) to remember that this is football. It’s a game. Enjoy it, embrace it, continue to make plays and take care of your body and you’ll play a long time.”

(on his “Easy Money” nickname and if it makes it more fun to play) “Well, my first name (begins with an) ‘E,’ and they just kind of made it ‘Easy Money.’ It clicks. I’m the second member of the ‘Young Money’ family. It sets the tone: Always remember that this is a game that we play, so embrace it and have fun with it. Mike (Wallace) came up with the ‘Young Money’ family and believe it or not, it brought us closer. Now we come into the huddle and we’re like, ‘YM, let’s go. We’re a family. Let’s go out and win this game.’ It has done nothing but help us.”

(on the other players embracing the nickname) “They enjoy it, even Mike Tomlin. Every day he comes to practice when we’re stretching and he asks, ‘How’s my Young Money crew doing?’ And we go, ‘We’re doing good Coach. We need a little bit more money.’”

(on if his teammates are giving him a hard time about this weather) “Yeah, Mike (Wallace) was just giving it to me 10 minutes ago. He said, ‘Come on E, what’s up with the weather? You said we were going to have warm weather.’ It’s weird. I was in Pittsburgh in the cold weather and I was excited to go back to Texas. I packed shorts, short sleeve shirts and then we came here and brought Pittsburgh with us on the jet.”

(on what he considers the strength of the Green Bay secondary) “They play bump-and-run coverage. Those young guys are hungry and they love to win. I can tell by how they play. We’re definitely going to have our hands full. I think Bruce Arians has a great game plan on how to get out of the bump-and-run and we’re going to see. It’s going to be fun.”

(on if he feels that this is a battle-tested team based on who they had to go through to get to the Super Bowl) “Oh yeah. (Green Bay has) a great defense. They have a great offense. We definitely have to bring our ‘A’ game. We have to play mistake-free football. At the end of the day, it’s not about Green Bay. It’s about the Steelers. I feel like if we go out and perform and do what we do and don’t beat ourselves, we’ll come out on top.”

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.