Emmanuel Sanders relishing "smaller" role with Broncos

Rob Carr

Emmanuel Sanders signed a three-year deal with the Denver Broncos this offseason, pairing him with 6-foot-3 WR Demaryius Thomas. He's enjoying the idea of playing opposite a larger receiver than he had in Pittsburgh.

Emmanuel Sanders being one of the largest players in a wide receivers meeting room probably isn't a good indication of size among the position group.

And that must have annoyed him when he was in Pittsburgh, based on comments he made in a recent story by Denver AP writer Eddie Pells. Asked about the dynamic of Sanders lining up opposite 6-foot-3 Demaryius Thomas, Sanders seems excited.

"(Thomas is) a big, physical receiver and I'm more a smaller, quick, faster receiver that can stretch the field. It definitely gives our offensive coordinator the ability to go with matchups. I think Peyton likes that a lot better also."

Sanders made comments suggesting the Steelers were a run-first team in his time there. Pittsburgh ran the ball 394 times, the 25th highest mark in the league and threw 586 times, 13th highest in the league.

It doesn't hold a candle to the passing onslaught instilled in Denver, anchored by Peyton Manning.

"To have the opportunity to come into a passing system with one of the greatest, if not the greatest, player to play the position, it's a blessing."

If Manning can get Sanders across the elusive 1,000 yard mark in a season in his career, perhaps some weight will be added to his claims. Sanders caught 67 passes but only roughly 60 percent of his targets (112). Essentially, Sanders' career stats, particularly those of last season, do not paint the picture of a hugely successful downfield receiver. Denver feels comfortable with him, all the same.

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