Sanders Says Preparation Biggest Difference Between Manning, Roethlisberger

During a Monday evening Q & A session with his Twitter followers, former Pittsburgh Steelers and current Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was asked to state the biggest difference between his new quarterback, Peyton Manning and his former quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger.

Sanders answer? Preparation.

Are you surprised? Should Sanders have even gone there?

Manning has always been regarded as a film junkie and a stickler for details, so I’ not really surprised by the Sanders’ answer. Being more prepared, however, will only take a player so far as ability also plays a huge role in success of a player, especially a quarterback, at the NFL level.

Manning is a great quarterback and destined to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame even though he’s only won one Super Bowl to date. We’ll see if Roethlisberger winds up with a bust in Canton as well, but many believe he needs a third ring in order to be bestowed that honor.

Despite all of his accomplishments, Manning’s career completion percentage of 65.5 is only slightly higher than that of Roethlisberger’s 63.3. In addition, his career interception percentage of 2.6 is only slightly lower than that of Roethlisberger’s 2.8. Roethlisberger, however, has put up his numbers behind some offensive lines that would have likely put Manning out of the league several years ago.

As far as the playoffs go, Roethlisberger’s 10-4 record easily outshines Manning’s 11-12 record. In fact, one of Roethlisberger’s 10 wins came against Manning during the 2005 playoffs. Perhaps Manning should have prepared better for that game. Perhaps Sanders should be prepared to not win the Super Bowl in 2014.

Sanders covered his behind by saying that he considers Manning and Roethlisberger to both be Hall-of-Famers. He also stated that he didn’t return to Pittsburgh in 2014 because he wasn’t offered a long-term contract. Why? Perhaps the Steelers didn’t think that he prepared well enough to play with Roethlisberger. Maybe Manning should be prepared for that as well.

  • Paddy

    I have a feeling Ben has a lot left in the tank, he certainly will have opportunities to get the Steelers to the Super Bowl the next five years. Manning if he doesn’t win soon in Denver will be remembered for failing big time in big games. You can watch all the film you want but shouldn’t Manning have more titles by now?
    I remember 2005 playoffs when he was terrorized by Joey Porter that afternoon, I’m sure he thinks about a lot.


    I think people get their shorts all bunched up over nothing…a simple, reasonable question was asked, he offered an honest answer, and one I would say is valid…regardless the comp % results are pretty similar…two totally different styles of play.

    On the SB…I don’t think Ben NEEDS another one to get in, but he might need another 2-3 seasons of playoff caliber OFC to secure his bust.

    QB play is a big part of it often times, but sometimes not…Peyton was not the best player on the field when he won his ring and Ben certainly wasn’t when he won his 1st…Russell Wilson wasn’t either….teams win SBs.

  • steeltown

    Not surprising. Glad he stated he thinks both are HOF worthy.

  • 20Stoney

    Agree with everything you said, but Sanders needs to realize how that is going to sound before he says it. If he simply adds something like “Peyton prepares more than any QB in the league,” the comment has a totally different tone.


    Yea, I get that, and you’re right, and he very did say both go in but media spins stuff for a click.

  • Jacque Strappe

    We can be bitter all we want, he was speaking truth.

  • Jacque Strappe

    I think Sanders is overrated, and that has nothing to do with this comment.

  • srdan

    Off season answer – preparation

    Season answer – durability

  • Kurt Williams

    Emmanuel who?

  • Aric Brown

    I was fully prepared to read this post

  • Yes, any number of questions. Sanders probably shouldn’t have gone there, only because everything gets analyzed beyond recognition these days, but in any event a one-word answer really only begs for further clarification and hardly does justice to either QB.

    Sure, Manning may be more of a “student of the game” than Ben is, and everything I’ve ever read/heard about him suggests that he lives and breathes the game in a way that sets him apart from pretty much anyone else in the league. He and his wife aren’t even having any children until he’s done with his playing career. But at the same time it’s easy to “prepare” when you have consistently outstanding O-lines and weapons like Harrison, Wayne, Clark, and James. Also, that’s just his style. His game isn’t about improvising, it’s about timing — he and his receivers always seem to be on the same page, and of one mind. And for that you need to be prepared.

    Maybe Ben could do a bit better in that area, but to me the most significant area of growth I’ve seen in his game over the years is just that sort of timing-based passing game (despite a rotating cast of receivers and a lot of young players to get to know quickly year after year).

  • Axe Skot

    I love this article. Ben is already a HOF’er in my eyes based upon what he has accomplished. He is a QB that every other team has said that they have to scheme differently for on defense, while consistently frustrating those D’s. Manning is an absolute pro and master of his craft, but in terms of ability and intangibles, 7 is a better QB. W ithout knowing what the offensive personnell would be, who would you take as your QB in the Superbowl, Manning or 7? While I don’t think that 7 will ever be the student of the game that Manning is, I get the feeling that Ben’s best days are ahead of him.

  • joed32

    And Lance Moore probably likes Ben more than Drew. When you go to a new team as a WR you want to get on the QBs good side.

  • Gary Hurd

    Funny stuff! Roethlisberger is not even in the same circle as Manning and the other great QB’s of this era. Anybody can fix stats. Lets see, how many records does Big Ben own (beside being stupid off the field?) NONE! Enjoy your team this year Stealers – you probably will miss the playoffs again. Denver will again be in the Super Bowl and yes Payton will be adding more incredible games to his resume.

  • SteelersDepot

    “… and yes Payton will be adding more incredible games to his resume.” Sean Payton? The one that beat Manning in a Super Bowl?

  • StrengthOfVictory

    It was much easier to forget some of Manning’s bigger losses prior to this past Super Bowl. But that loss (in embarrassing fashion) only seemed to highlight the gaffes of Peyton’s career. Manning is the general on horseback. His true battling days are done. Ben is the captain in the fray with his men. He takes hits and fights through pressure.

  • JohnB

    I like this write up. But it can totally be taken out of context cause he said one word. That could mean anything. “Ben prepares in socks…Manning, no socks…its a difference!” I don’t think Ben is the better QB of the two but he’s no chopped liver as made clear by the excellent points in the write-up above.

  • Jeff

    What’s even funnier though, is that Roethlisberger has something shiny that’s more important than any of Manning’s records……
    **Waits for BS rebuttal about football being a team sport**

  • Virdin Barzey

    I have no problem with Sanders response. I do believe Manning prepares like nobody else in this league at that position. That’s not an indictment of Ben and his preparation.

    Honest question, honest answer. I thought it was the right thing to let Sanders go, lets see if he can live up to the Manning preparation. I have my doubts.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I don’t think anyone questions Manning is more prepared. It’s OK to be honest and Ben can always prepare more if he wants to.

    I think he does Ben and the Steelers a service to remind Ben that every little bit of extra effort helps. He didn’t trash him or rub it in. He simply recognized the incredibly obvious. It’s also an area Ben can easily do more and make the team better.

    I hope Ben isn’t coddled so much that teammates have to avoid any mention that he is less than perfect.

  • joed32

    I hope Payton’s not in the Super Bowl again. Last year was just embarrassing.

  • stellarsfan

    Actually, he started off his career with two very impressive records. Rookie season he set a rookie record winning 14 straight games. Next year, all he did was become the youngest quarterback to win a Superbowl. And let me stop you before you say something about that game, We’re all aware he had an underwhelming performance. But who quarterbacked the team in the 3 straight road playoff victories prior to the big game?

    A few other HOF worthy points:
    4th highest regular season career winning percentage (.710)
    9th all-time in NFL passer rating (92.6).
    5th in yards per attempt (8.06)
    11th in completion percentage (63.24%)
    10-4 playoff record with 2 Superbowl titles in 3 appearances…and counting

    Also, he’s arguably the toughest quarterback to bring down in NFL history. His uniqueness to the position while still being an elite passer is definitely worth considering.

  • Gary Hurd

    Ben does win toughest QB for sure! My mistake, he does hold two minor records.

  • Gary Hurd

    Like I said enjoy another loosing season! Herr Herr!

  • Gary Hurd

    Sean Payton? Really? Who even wants to talk about an idiot like that? He should of been suspended for life!

  • James Kling

    Who would you rather have as your QB in the big game? Say, needing a 4th quarter comeback? If you’re a FF type, Peyton’s your boy though.

  • Matt Manzo

    I don’t think Denver has anything to brag about after that Super Bowl performance!

  • Matt Manzo

    We didn’t have a losing season.

  • steeltown

    Manning is a great ‘regular’ season QB I’ll give him that and well respected by ALL… you should try it sometimes, ya know, respect.

  • steeltown


  • Michael Pearce

    In this last decade Ben has been to three Super Bowls and won two. What QB has won more in the last ten years?. Ben’s record in the playoffs is much better than Peyton. If Ben played for another decade he could not lose as much as Peyton has in the playoffs. I would have loved to have seen Peyton play and win a Super Bowl behind any of the O Lines that Ben did. The regular season is a wash. Ben has always been in a tougher division with real rivals. Peyton has had a free ride in one of the worst divisions in the league for most of his career that gave him one of the easiest schedules to play every year. Ben should be in the HOF if he retired tomorrow. He does not have to make 4 Super Bowls and win 3 to do that. His career speaks for itself as it is. He has been the Pittsburgh franchise for the last decade.

  • treeher

    Ben would have two more trophies if he had been playing behind Mr. Manning’s O-line. Same with Mr. Brady’s line.

  • Craig Ressler

    I think all this indicates is that Big Ben could be even better and more successful than he already has. There are few that are as dedicated/obsessed as Manning but that’s why he, in many regards, is able to do what he does on the field that others with comparable physical tools can’t. Having the physical talent and the drive to be the best ever are lethal combinations.

  • Jeff

    Gary, Dave was poking fun at the fact that you can’t spell your favorite QB’s name right.

  • steelerdre

    Another disgruntled player who couldn’t catch a cold and less not forget…can we say 3rd BUST!!! Thanks Emmanuel for nothing!!!!

  • steelster

    Nice, I’m glad you can read.

  • Madi

    Let’s not get butthurt. Manning prepares more and better than Ben. That’s not necessarily a knock on Ben, it’s just a fact. If I said the biggest difference between Emmanuel Sanders and Mike Wallace is speed, is that a knock on Sanders? No, it’s just a fact.

  • 2443scott

    hope sanders saves some that signing money i have a feeling he wont be with denver very long or play that much one is because hes new 2 because he lacks in route running and manning is all about timing …to me bens a real qb he plays the way footballs ment to be played …mannings the nfl league qb he plays the way nfl wants it played safe and toss ball get the money from crowd and get game over with..

  • Starbuck63

    Perhaps Gary wasn’t well enough prepared to understand the joke 🙂

  • ScottBB

    Not really news. It’s no secret BB isn’t the best at preparation. Obviously no one is at Manning’s level but BB could do a lot better.

  • Starbuck63

    Minor records…really? Being in the top 2-3% of ANY profession is praiseworthy.

    It’s called excellence. Hatefulness and trollish comments do not diminish his accomplishments.
    Not to mention the fact that he has two championships out of three Superbowl appearances also speaks volumes.

    I don’t know you but I’d say its a good bet, judging by the disrespect and jealousy filling your posts, that you’re not at the top of any profession.

    Your “you guys suck” type of argument is just sad. While it is common to hear internet bad-asses posting things they would never say out loud, it is still worthless and a waste of time.

    Yes, Manning is a great QB. But insulting ours like you’re some angry 9-year old doesn’t make your team or QB any better and it doesn’t take diminish the pain of Denver being utterly humiliated in the Superbowl,

    If you can’t put up a cogent or even readable post go back and troll at the kiddie table. and let the grownups talk.

  • Steve

    The Super bowl last year sure was incredible. On how bad Manning was and how sorry Denver played.

  • Your jokes about preparation are on point in this article Dave, lol. I definitely wasn’t prepared for that

  • Not in the same circle, huh? What circle is that? The 2X superbowl winning QB circle? I’m sure if Peyton finally makes it, Ben will welcome him with open arms. Of course by that time, Ben might be in a different circle, with 3 superbowl rings. I’m a fan of Manning and wish him the best. I think the donkeys should have taken advantage this year though. The window is quickly shutting on Peyton.

  • Milliken Steeler

    After not even showing up to the Superbowl and embarrassing the fans in Denver with that drubbing… drubbed 55-10 to once right?

    The last thing I would be doing, is come over to a Steeler thread and flap about a two time ring holder.

    Omaha! Omaha! smh

  • Aric Brown

    Peyton Manning is the greatest QB I’ve ever seen play the game of football and I don’t even think its close… that being said, to say that Roethlisberger is not in the discussion with other great QBs in this era is absurd… if you really sit back and think about it Roethlisberger has strung together pretty nice career stats when you consider that he hasn’t had a real running back or an offensive line in about 7 years…

  • srdan

    We are just poking fun at your lack of general football knowledge and inability to spell. Thanks for visiting.

    Please view the 6 shiny trophies on your way out after your team gets waxed and your son feels the rush of Renegade and asks you for a terrible towel.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Well…in our last SB against Green Bay it was noted that Aaron Rogers spent every moment preparing for the game while Ben took out his OL to dinner and who knows what else. That can make a difference between good and great.

  • Gautama Om

    He’s just Butthurt that he got a lesser contract from the Bronco’s than what he thought he was worth and asking from the Steelers prior to him being a free agent.

  • srdan

    Well, half a decade ago i would have answered Brady. Now I think its between Ben and Eli. Although Andrews’ prowess in the comeback last year leaves me wondering what he has to offer in bigger games. I don’t think Rodgers talents can be overlooked either, but talent doesnt win big games. And I’m not sure what I think of his guts. Haven’t really seen it, even though he beat us.

    I think some quarterbacks are like a Porsche. They look great when things are smooth, not many sacks, the defense is on their heels. I think of Peyton, Brady (now), Palmer in this category. When the sacks start coming and the defense takes it to them with hurries, their ability to make plays goes from a 10 to a rookie thats lost in the speed.

    BB and Eli don’t get flustered easily. They keep playing. I honestly think that this is due to them having a different personality thats closer to a linebacker than a modern QB.

  • Gary Hurd

    Lets see! Ben last year 28 TD’s – Payton 55 TDs (record).
    Ben QB rating 92.0 – Payton rating 115.1.
    Steelers record last year 8 and 8 (impressive)
    Denver record least year 13 and 3 Ummm?

  • Gary Hurd

    WOW, AFC west get 3 teams into the playoffs and that’s a weak division? Come on, check your division – it was the most loosing division in the league! HERR HERR! Bens only HOF is a hall leading to a restroom! LOL

  • Gary Hurd

    Sorry for my mis spelling I am handicap with uncorrectable vision so sometime I miss a stroke or hit the wrong letter. This is my first time invading cherished Steeler land (I am a Bronco fan for life – born in Colorado Springs – living is Washington – hate “the mouth”). Pittsburgh is a historical club and I am sure they will bounce back. You guys were really very civilized in your responses (for the most part) and I apologize for rocking the boat. We in Denver are ecstatic to have Sanders and we will see what happens, but I think we all are going to see Mr. Sanders catch a lot of TD’s and passes from Manning – he has a great chance to elevate his game because of Payton. Good luck and no hard feelings to Steel Curtin, one of the toughest physical team’s in the league – just do me a favor and cause havoc in the east. PEACE!

  • Gary Hurd

    I hate to burst your bubble but it IS a team sport! A lot of folks in Steeler nation have even described what would of happened if “R” had been on Denver’s team this year and Peyton been in Pitt (he would of had to of retired because of the hits he would of gotten). Another in the sand fan – Jeff hope your Football year goes well, I know my Broncos will have another great year – we learn from failures in life. I have no doubt Pittsburg will be a force this year as will Denver

  • Gary Hurd

    You are so true! But, I think Denver is going to correct that bad outing in a forceful way with a terrific year and avenge that loss in week 3 at Seattle – Denver is going to be a very tough team to beat. Sit back Matt and enjoy the show, hope Steel team can get some respect this year.

  • Gary Hurd

    Steve, it was more than sad! But as you know true fans stick with their team through good and bad. We are hoping Sanders provides that extra juice to propel this team and Peyton to a championship. He really does deserve another ring. Brings back memories of Elway’s career. I hated Manning when he was at Indy ripping up Denver, but the guy does so much for the game and the people in the towns he plays in, you just got to cheer him on if your any kind of true football fan.

  • srdan

    Thanks, I appreciate the civilized response. BTW I love that part of the country. I could easily live out there.

    I agree with you, a player that runs routes the way sanders does will greatly benefit from the accuracy from a QB like Peyton. BB prefers receivers that get open past the initial few seconds fo a play (where good route runners like manny excel). Its a totally different skil lset.

    Speaking of FF, Manny is on my radar. I think that there are enough balls to go around just like last year, and a void left with Decker taking his wife to NYC.. However, I will be cautious with sanders’ injury history, but if he plays he will catch a lot of balls. TDs will be scarce next to Thomas and Thomas, and manny is not Decker in the RZ.

  • Steve

    Gary – You may be looking for Sanders to take you to the Super Bowl, but we that have seen him play the last couple of year will tell you to start praying for miracles. He is mediocre at best and didn’t do much with the Steelers.

  • Rob Erickson

    Dude, are you new to football? Manning played all but one year in the AFC South with Tennessee, Jacksonville and Houston. Scary stuff. Only thing keeping Ben out of the Hall is the anti-Steeler bias and the fact we already have Bus and Hines in a holding pattern, with Troy following close on their heels.

  • Gary Hurd

    That hairdo guy?

  • Gary Hurd

    Sometimes a new venue is all it takes! Denver has a great receiving core and even if Sanders doesn’t produce Mr. Latimer will have his shot. Sanders is actually listed as Second String on Denver’s roster behind DT, I here he is a good downfield blocker so he could be springing Wes Welker, DT or JT, it will be interesting to see how he is used. One thing for sure Denver did not pick him up as key to a Super Bowl win, Elway went out and put almost everything into upgrading our poor defense that lost a lot of players to injury and had some guys not producing. I think the defense will decide how far Denver goes this year. Same could be said for Pittsburgh!

  • Gary Hurd

    Johnny, its where they are for this up coming season! Sad as it is Big Ben is not even ranked in the top 10 (guess who is no. 1?) The guy just rewrote the record books last year. Best offense ever in points scored, most touchdowns in a season, 4 receiver’s with 10 or more touchdowns. When Ben and Peyton retire, lets revisit where both rank ALL TIME! Terry won some SBs and where does he rank?

  • Dan

    Saying that Ben Roethlisberger isn’t as studious as Peyton Manning is like saying that a Dodge Viper isn’t as fast as a Bugatti Veyron.

  • Axe Skot

    Neither English nor math are strengths of yours it seems. Go back to your bridge.

  • Gary Hurd

    That’s why he is rated the number one “player” in the NFL for 2014! Herr Herr!

  • Gary Hurd

    What rock did you crawl out from? Herr Herr! Who just got selected as the number one player in the NFL for 2014? Can you spell that?

  • Randy G.

    I will say it again and again. Big Ben’s early troubles (which he was not found guilty of anything) has hung around his neck for 10 years now. What else could Sanders say with a loaded question about both QB’s.??????? Big Ben seems to always be on the back burner when ask about the elite QB’s in the league. Why? To say otherwise is just beyond rational thinking. In ten years when we look back I am here to tell you his stats will be up there with all the greats — period! One thing just might shine above the others and that is the rings he has and the ones he will get. Manning, Brees, Brady, Rogers, or any other elite QB playing today would be hard pressed to play at the level Ben plays at with the O- lines he has had over his ten years in the league. NOBODY playing today can get close to Big Ben in what he can do when the coverage breaks down — NOBODY. He is the complete QB and few if any can say that. The BURGH will keep him above those other QB’s and he will deliver the Super Bowl Trophy back to the BURGH. Then what will Sanders say when asked that same question next pre season ???????