Monday, former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders took to the airwaves of a Denver sports radio station and let it be know that he thinks Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is a far better leader than his former quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
“I feel like Peyton is a far better leader, in terms of staying after practice, catching balls, wanting guys to get on the same page with him, things of that sort,” Sanders told 104.3 The Fan in Denver. “This is the first time that I’ve had a quarterback that every single day after practice — no matter what his accolades, NFL MVP, Super Bowl ring — he keeps guys like me and [rookie receiver Cody] Latimer after practice. . . . He’s not one of those guys you’ve got to chase down. He’s going to be right in the same spot, ready to work, every single day. I just feel like that’s a difference from a mental standpoint.”
Sanders’ comments immediately became headline news around the NFL and they’ve finally gotten back around to some of his former teammates.
On Wednesday, Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was asked to weigh in on Sanders’ recent dissing of Roethlisberger. Brown, who just so happened to be selected 113 picks after his former teammate was in the 2010 NFL Draft, said he thought that what Sanders said was “terrible”, according to Chris Bradford of the Beaver County Times.
“You don’t throw your QB under the bus, the guy who made you who you are,” said Brown, according to Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network.
Sanders isn’t the first former Steelers wide receiver to say the wrong things to the media about Roethlisberger following their exit from the Steel City. Just last season, current Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace proclaimed that his new quarterback Ryan Tannehill can probably throw the ball “a little bit farther than Ben.” Like Sanders, Wallace tried to backpedal after making that statement, but the original quote circulated for quite a while.
While together in Pittsburgh, Sanders, Brown and Wallace referred to themselves as the “Bugatti Boys.” By the sound of things, the three probably no longer exchange birthday or Christmas cards with each other.
As for Roethlisberger, I doubt he really cares what any of his former teammates think about him. Rest assured, we’re likely to find out soon if he does.