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Sanders Putting in Extra Work

Posted Jul 31, 2014

Emmanuel Sanders knows the amount of work it takes to get to a Super Bowl. He is putting in extra time so he can learn the offense and contribute as soon as possible.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Emmanuel Sanders, Cody Latimer and Peyton Manning all stayed late after practice on Thursday. As their teammates retreated to the locker room, the three of them remained outside working together in the rain in hopes of getting “on the same page.”

Even after Manning went inside, Latimer and Sanders continued working on their routes and throwing each other passes.

Sanders said getting on the same page is taking time, but it will happen “for sure.”

He is willing to put in the time. He puts in the time after practice with Manning and other wide receivers and when he gets home after long, grueling days of camp and studies the playbook.

“It takes some work but at the end of the day anything you want in life, you’ve got to work hard and achieve and I know that and therefore I’m putting the time in,” he said.

Sanders is adjusting to playing multiple positions, but he said that is exactly what he wants. He wants to be as versatile as possible and a threat all over the field. But, he said the difficult part about playing slot receiver and on the outside is understanding “the whole conceptual value of the play.”

Sanders doesn’t care where he lines up, he just wants to make an impact on this offense.

“I just want the ball to come,” he said. “It doesn’t really matter. At the end of the day I’m in a great system, I know how the system works and I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

Sanders’ speed and quickness have been apparent all throughout camp. He has been able to put space between him and the corner covering him.

Sanders was the highlight of Day 5 of practice by beating Rahim Moore for a touchdown in 1-on-1s and then finding the end zone on a catch-and-run touchdown from Manning in 11-on-11, getting away from fellow newcomer Aqib Talib.

When Sanders first arrived in Denver, he called it “wide receiver heaven.” Even though the studying required to master the system is significant, he still feels the same way.

While Sanders wasn’t a member of the 2013 Broncos, he has a similar chip on his shoulder. He knows what it’s like to walk off the field after a Super Bowl, heartbroken, disappointed and surrounded by the wrong color of confetti.

“I’ll never forget walking off that field,” he said.

Sanders, because of a broken foot, only played in the first quarter of the Steelers’ loss to the Packers in Super Bowl XLV. Even though he didn’t play the whole game, the loss had the same devastating impact on him.

“It definitely hurt, but at the end of the day, it also made me stronger mentally and physically,” Sanders said. “I used to say my rookie year ‘I just want to get to the Super Bowl.”

“I never said I wanted to win the Super Bowl. Same thing with these guys and now we’re saying, ‘I want to win the Super Bowl, not get to the Super Bowl.’ You want to win it.”

After making it to the Super Bowl his rookie year and then the playoffs his second year, Sanders and the Steelers failed the make the postseason his next two seasons. He said he took making the playoffs for granted when he was a young player. Now he appreciates the opportunity and all the work it takes to get there.

Many young players on the Broncos think the playoffs are a given. Sanders knows better.

“The past two years I haven’t made the playoffs and I’ve been that guy sitting at home on the couch like ‘Man, what did I do wrong? What I could I do to get better?’ and things of that sort,” Sanders said. “The playoffs are definitely not a given. You have to go out and get it.”

Sanders and the returning Broncos know all the work it takes to get to the Super Bowl and that finishing it off is the hardest part. That’s why, even though the team is still in training camp and over a month away from its first game, Sanders continues to put in extra work in the rain after practice. He doesn’t want to be sitting on his couch in February wondering what he could have done differently.

“It takes determination, it takes hard work and it takes a great team, great leaders in order to attain that goal and I think we have that here,” Sanders said. “We just have to keep working, keep our nose to the ground and just keep going.”