Big Ben on Emmanuel Sanders comment: “It hurt”

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A couple months after Emmanuel Sanders left the Steelers for the Broncos this offseason, he said that his new quarterback, Peyton Manning, is a better leader than his old quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. This week Sanders stood by that comment despite criticism from some in Pittsburgh. And that hurt Roethlisberger’s feelings.

Roethlisberger told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that it bothered him to hear that Sanders feels that way.

Whether he meant it or not, it hurt in a sense that I tried so hard to keep him here last year and was always supporting him. When he was down in practice, I always talked to him. When he had a baby, I was trying to help him,” Roethlisberger said.

Roethlisberger also wonders why Sanders hasn’t called him to talk about it.

“He’s going to say whatever he can about the quarterback he is with,” Roethlisberger said. “I was more disappointed he didn’t reach out to me. I know he told some other guys: ‘You know I love Ben, I didn’t mean it like that.’ I wish he would have reached out to me and just say that and I would have been fine with it.”

The Steelers and Broncos don’t meet on the field this season, so it may be a while before Sanders and Roethlisberger have a reason to see each other. Roethlisberger just wishes Sanders would make time to pick up the phone.

92 responses to “Big Ben on Emmanuel Sanders comment: “It hurt”

  1. While Sanders probably should’ve just kept his mouth shut, I *knew* before I even read this article there wouldn’t be one mention from Roethlisberger along the lines of “Hey, maybe there’s something to this, maybe I could stand to be a better leader”.

    Again, Sanders should’ve just stayed quiet. I needed to hear that Manning is a better leader than Roethlisberger like I needed to be told the sky is blue.

  2. Sanders: Bone Head and Rock Hands.
    We’ll see how much love he gets from Peyton when he drops a game winning pass … when it counts.

  3. Ben is a true leader. Shaky Hands Sanders is just mad we never considered resigning him. He’s a below-average player at best. Ben is as tough as it comes. He has multiple rings and countless 4th quarter comebacks. He’s arguably the best QB of all-time and definitely the most under-appreciated. Show some respect.

  4. Ben, consider the measuring stick. There are fewer than half dozen men, on that list of elite NFL leaders capable of pushing their teammates through fire: Peyton Manning, Drew Brees & Tom Brady – and those are just the QBs. There are defensive players capable of doing the same thing. Everybody can’t be Joe Montana and lead in the manner that he did, but let that drive you to strive to be/do better.

    It shouldn’t hurt when condidering the measuring stick. Calm down, Ben. And this is from a Browns fan. Some people are amazing leaders, some are great, most are average, and some – like many of our bosses, shouldn’t be leading at all. The entirety of what Sanders said shows that there was no malice, but only stating the fact that Peyton Manning was an amazing leader of men which we all knew. 99% are going to be below his benchmark. That’s just a fact.

  5. Sanders comments are totally Class-less. You just dont throw ex-team mates under the bus. Dont care how you feel about them. Just aint right. Im not a big Ben fan, but Im sure he wouldnt do it to Sanders. Some payback is in order here.

  6. I wouldn’t feel too bad about it, Peyton is a great leader but where he usually leads you is to a postseason collapse. Sanders will learn all about this shortly.

  7. Has there been reports regarding Ben’s leadership skills? From the outside looking in, this year is crucial for Ben to step up and lead this team. Young receivers, suspect Oline and questionable db’s( 34 year old Ike Taylor) his patience will most certainly be tested.

  8. My God, is there anybody inside, or outside of football that doesn’t think Peyton is a better leader than Ben? It’s not like he said Ben is a bad leader, which from this article it’s easy to see he is.

    Passive Aggressive leaders are bad leaders.

  9. I don’t know, I struggle with this one. I mean on the one hand one can’t argue the best regular season leader but if i’m in a Super Bowl i’d have to say i’d feel much better with Ben as my leader. That’s the only game that REALLY matters.

  10. Provided Sanders stays healthy (of course), Sanders will be a very good and productive player for the Broncos. Believe that.

    But there was no reason for him to float out gratuitous inferential comments disparaging Ben. Sanders could have praised Peyton to the hills (not to be confused with Peyton Hillis) — but he didn’t need to have to also bring Ben down with it.

    I wish him well, but don’t appreciate the toxic b.s. he’s demonstrating — and I do appreciate his absence in our locker room. A.B., Wheat, Lance, Martavis and Justin or Heyward-Bey (I’m so thinking Justin Brown will be our 5th) — are TEAM players.

    In short, we have some concerns at OLB and Corner, but one position we’re jacked at is Wideout. And we don’t need a tumor suiting up for us at Heinz Field, and the tumor has been excised.

  11. Sanders has a right to his opinion…but he just might want to remember who was throwing passes to him the last few years that allowed him to go sign a nice big contract somewhere else.

  12. Sanders just jinxed his season. The way he dropped passes over his career, to bump his gums like this is amazing.

    You already know how this will end if we get in the playoffs.

  13. Ah who cares. I’d imagine Ben only thinks about it when he’s asked about it, which is the only reason he said anything in the first place. Peyton Manning still can’t keep Sanders from fumbling or dropping passes, or is this what Sanders needs as “leadership? That would more likely take a miracle.

  14. Sanders was asked a question. He answered it. Get over it.

    What else is he supposed to say? That he liked his old QB better? Equivocate? He stuck by his current teammate. Like he should. Steelers fans would expect exactly the same if the situation were reversed. So I’m unimpressed by the slander.

  15. Good for Ben for standing up for himself…here is a guy who went out of his way to help Sanders while he was in Pitt and the first thing he does when he leaves is stick a knife in his back…..Sanders could have handled the situation better even if he felt Peyton is a better leader…..he should of read what Welker said when asked to compare Brady and Manning

  16. I love you man!!

    Seems like those terrible towels just keep soaking up the tears lately…

    Good news for SteAler fans, your team doesnt play Oakland this year so theres a chance you will have one less loss this season.

  17. Ben would have looked a WHOLE lot better had he responded with “I agree” or “Peyton is an amazing leader.” This makes him sound thin-skinned.

  18. Well, Peyton IS a better leader. There’s no denying that. However, Sanders could have said it a little better.

  19. Quit whining Crosby……oh, wait.

    I find it funny that a town that thinks it’s so tough has two of the biggest prima donna superstars.

  20. No Surprised that Manning is a better Leader… When is the Last Time big Ben held a Quarterback Camp in his Name, that College Football’s top QBs all Attended. I imagine all those College QBs would probably skip a Rothlisberger Passing Academy Camp, thinking it was a joke. Whose parents want their kids to follow someone like Rothlisberger, and all his indecent accusations involving the law. I’m sure those same parents, of College QBs, would be ecstatic to hear Peyton Manning was giving there kid QB lessons. Big Ben needs to grow up and keep playing football, besides maybe the likes of Lance Moore will help him out more than he knows….Good Riddance

  21. Quit whining Crosby……oh, wait.

    I find it funny that a town that thinks it’s so tough has two of the biggest prima donna superstars.

    Jealousy is a form of flattery……oh wait I almost forgot , immaturity skippy.

    Ben should have given a no comment and called Sanders himself and the trolls on here would less to do today. Ben is not the leader Peyton is, but few are. Ben has his two rings so don’t think he really cares what the experts on here think.

  22. Hard to fathom why some of these pro athletes feel the need to pipe up and say anything at all? If he were asked a question, and wanted to respond, you might think he would have said something on the order of he appreciated his time with the Steelers, and was very fortunate in his career to go from playing with one great QB to another. Something like that?
    In Pittsburgh, it seemed that Manny Sanders was most noted for dropping passes at some of the most crucial times, and for nursing one injury or another. He’ll likely wind up as something like the 5th WR on Denver’s roster this year. Sounds about right…

  23. I wonder if Denver fans were “hurt” seeing Peyton and the Bronco’s get BLOWN OUT in last years Super Bowl? Or do you just get used to it after awhile…..you know like when you have seen your team lose more Super Bowls than any team in NFL history…..not to mention complete ass whoopings:

    39-20
    42-10
    55-10
    43-8

    Wonder how long Peyton hung around with his teammates throwing the ball around and “making sure everyone was on the same page” after that 43-8 Super Bowl meltdown? LOL

  24. Peyton is the kind of leader that controls everything. That’s one kind of leadership. Ben is another kind of leader, and he has been equally as effective. Tough, fearless and leads by example.

    There is more than one way to lead. 6 Super Bowl appearances between them and 3 wins. Not so bad.

  25. A couple weeks ago I commented that Ben was the toughest Q’back in the NFL and that this was coming from a Ravens fan……… I rescind those comments now. You let me down Ben by being a baby !!!!

  26. Ben was the reason that the Steelers kept Sanders in 2013 and he was his biggest supporter in discussions about keeping him 2014 and after. Early in Sanders’ career while he was fighting nagging injuries, Ben supported Sanders into his growth as a player and eventually into the starting lineup after Ward retired. So Sanders can praise Manning all he wants, but it was Roethlisberger that made him.

  27. Sick of the Ben has more rings nonsense. Did he earn them? I’m guessing football insiders don’t think so and they don’t think as highly of Ben. Ben is not known to be a student of the game and people, Hines Ward for example, call out his lack of leadership. No one has ever called out Peyton for leadership. Peyton is a guaranteed first ballot HOF and Ben is on the bubble. If football analysts thought as highly of Ben and his “two rings” he wouldn’t be on the bubble.

  28. A couple weeks ago I commented that Ben was the toughest Q’back in the NFL and that this was coming from a Ravens fan……… I rescind those comments now. You let me down Ben by being a baby !!!!

    Gee if Ben let you down over this what was your reaction to Ray Rice…let me guess you shook your head and then said go Ravens. Grow up.

  29. Funny how fans of other teams criticize Ben for being honest but it’s ok for Sanders to speak his mind. What these fans don’t know is when Emmanuel Sanders was being slaughtered by the media and fans for repeated critical drops and fumbles Roethlisberger was the only one to tell the media to back off Sanders. He also lobbied hard for the Steelers to resign him. It’s one thing to say Peyton Manning is a great leader but to continue to say he’s a better leader than Ben is disrespectful. You can give a new teammate props without slamming a former one.

  30. Canton Bulldogs, did he earn his rings? Altho he didn’t play spectacular he didn’t lose the games. He was above average thru out those seasons so on the whole he more then earned them. Ben has a play off record if 10-4. 3 SB appearances, a 2-1 record. Peyton is 11-12 in the postseason, 1-2 in the SB and a record 8 one and dones. One guy is good at preparing and studying and the other is good at winning in the postseason.

  31. Big Ben on Emmanuel Sanders comment: “It hurt”

    Why does Ben Wallace care what Emmanuel Sanders said?

  32. Sanders was asked a question. Sanders answered it. Sanders didn’t back pedal like a coward, he owned his statement. Oh yeah, and it was a fact. The only issue here is with whiny sqeeler fans. Get over it.

  33. why don’t you grow up. the poster said nothing wrong. and every ravens poster doesn’t warrant a ray comment. you couldn’t be more of a child. waahhh. someone said something bad about my Steelers. waahhh

  34. Ok ….He hasn’t even played one regular season game with Peyton. How does he know how Manning will lead if Sanders is not running his routes right? All that I am saying is if anything Sanders hasn’t spent enough time in the pressure cooker with Manning to form a fair comparison. If you go by reputation then I am sure Manning is your guy. I don’t need to be in the locker room to base it off of reputation. I’m calling Premature E Sand U lation.

  35. Peyton is the kind of leader that comes to the office at 5am, works until 8pm, and expects everyone else to do the same. Ben comes in, works hard, and trusts in his other teammates to do their job without the need of babysitting them. In fantasy football…give me Peyton. In real life football…I’ll take Ben.

  36. Don’t sweat it Ben….in a couple of years, the no-talent overrated Sanders will be asking if “You want fries with that” and you’ll have another SB ring by that point…..

  37. We’ll see what Sanders has to say about Peyton after he drops a TD pass in the end zone, like he did several times in Pittsburgh……………..(Manning Face).

  38. Where did you tie the white horse you rode in on to save all the sensitive Raven fans? I know he is tethered to Rays statue, but hope he doesn’t poop on the white suit.

    Ben may not be the best leader or vocal leader,but his team mates have faith in his courage and determination they he has demonstrated over and over.

  39. Big Ben shouldn’t care what Sanders has to say. Big Ben has made sanders career. He’s the enemy now. I can just see bronco fans cringing when sanders starts dropping passes again. It’ll be bring on the punt unit.

  40. same place yours is tied. you just can’t seem to handle anyone commenting negatively on the Steelers so you resort to your usual personal insults and claim some type of moral superiority. and Ray Lewis still? really. and yet nothing about pouncey from you. You truly are a joke

  41. Did Peyton ever rape a girl?
    No?
    Shows you right there who the better QB and leader is.
    And any pain Ben feels is nothing at all compared to the pain he gave to his rape victim.

  42. Well, being a Seahawk fan, I’ve seen both quarterbacks in the Superbowl, in person. They couldn’t be any more different.

    Peyton Manning puts up great numbers. Awesome fantasy QB. Not so great in the Superbowl, and you can pretty much pin the SB44 loss right square on his jersey thanks to that pick-6 to Tracy Porter. And he sure didn’t look like a leader when he was pouting on the sideline during SB48 while Wes Welker was over there trying to motivate people.

    Big Ben put up horrid numbers in SB40 against the Seahawks, but he got the job done and has 2 rings to show for it – which is more than Peyton. And unlike Peyton, you can directly correlate those 2 Superbowl wins to Big Ben’s unique skills. He might not be a glamorous passer, but he can take a hit and then buy time and improvise like few other QBs. His final drive against the Cardinals in the Superbowl was incredible. And he showed real guts against the Seahawks in XL, frustrating our blitz and just hung in there until he was able to make plays.

    I laugh at Peyton every time I see his mug on my TV, but I respect Big Ben. And that’s regardless of his team getting some pretty big favors from the refs in XL. Don’t care. The dude showed the skill necessary to win those rings. He earned ’em. I just wonder how long it’ll take Sanders to start whining about Peyton’s tendency to throw game-costing late picks in the postseason.

  43. same place yours is tied. you just can’t seem to handle anyone commenting negatively on the Steelers so you resort to your usual personal insults and claim some type of moral superiority. and Ray Lewis still? really. and yet nothing about pouncey from you. You truly are a joke

    If you post something stupid or false you should be held accountable or at least open to comments letting you know the comment is not acceptable. I know you are one where everyone gets a trophy and is not held accountable for anything so you won’t understand personal accountability. You enjoy making knee jerk high school comments, but don’t want to be called on it….you give jokes a bad name. Cheers

  44. Will Peyton still be the better leader after he chews you out for fumbling the ball while running downfield with no one around for at least 10 yards?

  45. samhackney
    Aug 14, 2014, 8:28 PM EDT
    You know what hurts? 8-8

    Doesn’t really hurt since it was a reloading year. The team is younger and hungrier, 10 wins shouldn’t be an is sure, second longest active non losing season streak so can’t complain too much.

  46. Ben has never been a guy to hide pain, matter of fact we hear about every bump and bruise he gets. Followed by miracle recovery.

  47. Will this be another reloading year yinzers? Can’t remember any stealer fans claiming last year at this time we don’t expect to make the playoffs cuz wer’e reloading. Pretty convenient after your sorry seasonS huh?

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