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Sanders calls Big Ben a first ballot Hall of Famer

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Former Steelers receiver praises his former quarterback on NFL Network.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Emmanuel Sanders still has love for Ben Roethlisberger.

The former Steelers and current Broncos receiver said as much during his recent interview on NFL Network.

In this interview, Sanders said that both Roethlisberger and Denver quarterback Peyton Manning are "two first ballot Hall of Famers." Sanders spent the first four seasons of his career catching passes from Big Ben and is embarking of his first season with Manning in Denver.

The stats Roethlisberger has tallied in his first 10 seasons in the league would seem to validate Sanders' claim. Big Ben is already the Steelers all-time leader in passing yards and touchdown passes. He is 24th all-time on the NFL passing list and sixth among active quarterbacks. Roethlisberger currently has an impeccable 92.3 career passer rating.

Most importantly, Roethlisberger has led Pittsburgh to the postseason six times while capturing four division championships, three AFC championships and two Super Bowl titles.Only Tom Brady has led his team to more Super Bowl victories and appearances among active quarterbacks.

It does seem, however, that Roethlisberger has been overlooked by both the media and even current players. He was voted by his peers as the 31st best player in the NFL on NFL Network's annual poll this past season. Andrew Luck, who is entering just his third NFL season and has won one playoff game, finished at No.29. Cam Newton, who is yet to garner a playoff victory, stands at No.24.

Perhaps it's because of his gritty play in a glamor position that turns people off. Maybe some people can't let go of his off season issues that plagued Roethliisberger earlier in his career. Maybe it's because of the Steelers consecutive 8-8 seasons. Regardless, you can't hide the facts, and over 34,000 passing yards, 219 touchdowns and a 94-47 regular season record to go with two Lombardi Trophies has to mean something.Sanders knows how good Big Ben is, and it's nice to see him getting some credit from someone authorized to give one.