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.