Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger Says WR Emmanuel Sanders Is Smart & Better Than Most Think

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who reportedly lobbied the front office to match the one-year, $2.5 million offer sheet that wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders signed with the New England Patriots, is very happy to have the SMU product back for the 2013 season and said that it\’s good for the team.

Roethlisburger talked to Mike Prisuta of DVE Radio following the Steelers decision to match and he heaped praise on Sanders.

“He’s a lot better than people give him credit for being,” Roethlisberger said of Sanders, via the report made by Prisuta on his blog. “He’s really smart.”

Roethlisberger thinks that Sanders can play either outside or in the slot and told Prisuta that the Steelers former third-round draft pick possesses a physical skill set that’s a combination of speed and quickness.

“If he stays healthy I think he can do some great things,” said Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger did not stop with Sanders, however, as he also told Prisuta that it\’s hard to lose a guy like wide receiver Mike Wallace to free agency.

As far as the Steelers offensive line goes, the veteran quarterback believes that they could potentially be the best unit that he has ever had if they all can stay healthy. Last season, Mike Adams, Marcus Gilbert, Willie Colon and David DeCastro all missed several games due to injuries. Even center Maurkice Pouncey missed nearly two full games due to a knee injury suffered early in the loss to the Tennessee Titans.

Roethlisberger has been front and center this week for the first phase of the Steelers offseason program and he talked to Teresa Varley of on Monday about him being the example setter and what he has told those that are in attendance.

“I wanted to tell them this is the start of the 2013 season,” said Roethlisberger. “It’s important for us to know if we want to be the best we can be it starts now. I wanted to let them know that I am here to help and support them, and I plan on leading any way I can.

“We have had so much change. We lost a lot of veteran guys. I look around and I think there are only five or six guys on this team that are older than me now. It’s important for me as a leader and a quarterback to be here and show guys I am dedicated to this team and this season and am doing what I can to be the best I can be.”

Good for Roethlisberger. Actions speak louder than any words can and this team will only go as far as he can carry it. The team has indeed lost quite a few players this offseason, but all are replaceable.

Roethlisberger is entering his second year of working with offensive coordinator Todd Haley and he will also be in line for a big extension next offseason in addition. There don\’t seem to be any more distractions ahead of him right now and hopefully things can stay that way moving forward.

As far as Sanders goes, at least he will have two of his three receivers back from last season. Sanders needs to, however, have a career year, and I am sure that Roethlisberger is making sure that he understands that now that the Steelers decided to match the Patriots offer sheet.

  • Dan

    I would agree with Ben that it would be a lot to over come to lose Wallace and Sanders in the same year. We can’t count on a draft pick to start in year one. Will be nice if Sanders has a mediocre year this year, so we can afford him, then a break out year next year after he’s signed long term. But it won’t be a great suprise if he has some up and down games then spends the rest of the year on IR.

  • Dominic Johns

    I agree with Ben. I think Manny can be better than AB. When we drafted him, I thought he would become better than Wallace… we will see but I have high hopes for the kid.

  • steeltown

    It truly is an interesting year we are entering, not just because we have new potential starters (McLendon, Worilds, C.Allen, Sanders) but because most of these guys are in contract yrs and will be playing their butts off, whether its with the Steelers or elsewhere they want to prove that they are legit..even Hood im sure wants to put his best foot forward in terms of production in 2013.. same could be said about Ben, a season where in all likelihood when its over he should be receiving an extension. I think he has some extra motivation as well. Hopefully it translates to good things

  • Busforever

    I really like what I hear from Ben. He is certainly saying all the good things. Steelers really need some leadership, especially on offense with a young O Line, unproved RB and a young WR group who lost a deep threat and failed to meet expectations last year.

  • David Edward

    I really wouldn’t expect Ben to say anything else after he lobbied for them to bring Sanders back.

  • steeltown


  • JohnnyV1

    Ben is trying to lead and say the right things, but it’s true, actions speak louder than words. Maybe if comes in, in tip top shape, perhaps skipping the trip to Scotland for golf, or goff.

  • TheBlitz

    I agree with Ben. In their rookie year, Sanders was clearly ahead of AB on the WR depth chart. Injuries have slowed him down. The contract AB got last year could have easily been his if he was healthy.

    Let’s also not forget that he got injured in the Superbwol and the lockout delayed his recovery because he did not have access to the team doctors to speed up his recovery. Now he looks 100% healthy and ready to compete.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    I think Ben is right here, he has the potential to be great. Hopefully it will show this year(after we get him locked up in a contract!).

  • Nolrog

    I’d rather he be dumber with fantastic hands.

  • Nolrog

    Was thinking the same thing.

  • charles

    Best words from Big Ben: this could be the best Oline that he has played behind.If that is true then we have Dwyer over 1000 yds Redman better than 500 yds and give Ben some time and he will tear the defense up. I really enjoy the way he loves to go long. The draft obviously is the next thing, but it would be great to see Oline and Dline gel this year. Waiting is the hard part….

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Was Ben giving that quote while in a bathroom in a college bar, or while plowing through an intersection.

  • walter mason

    Hes not as dumb as he looks?

  • Jeff Johnson

    Well, it wasn’t just that he said what he said after lobbying for him, Ben lobbied for Sanders for a reason.

  • duh, let me type this real slow , so you can understand it. He did not miss one minute of anything team related with his trip to Scotland, He went during the time players were on their own time, some went fishing, some went to other places and a lot of them went on vacation with their families, try to grow up a bit and get a life, schmuck.

  • JohnnyV1

    Thank you for the counterpoint Bill, but have a little class and keep the personal insults to yourself. It’s a fan blog, where opinions are shared about the article. Besides, you never know who your audience is.
    Subject: Re: New comment posted on Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger Says WR Emmanuel Sanders Is Smart & Better Than Most Think

  • PoKey21

    Doesn’t Matter how smart a player is, if they can’t stay on the field for more than 3/4 a season all the brains in the world won’t help anything.

  • zyzak

    Good points all Bill