Sanders Back Home

"It feels good to be back home. I am very comfortable around my surroundings right now and I am just blessed to be here. I couldn't ask for a better situation – to be playing in the Super Bowl in the same city that I played college football in. It couldn't get any better than this." - Emmanuel Sander

(on what it is like to be an SMU alumni playing in Dallas) "It feels good to be back home. I am very comfortable around my surroundings right now and I am just blessed to be here. I couldn't ask for a better situation – to be playing in the Super Bowl in the same city that I played college football in. It couldn't get any better than this."

(on having veteran Hines Ward teaching him) "It's been a very smooth transition in my opinion. At first it was kind of hard. We weren't really comfortable with the playbook and the camaraderie with the team wasn't there. But, as the season went along, it got even better. I started understanding the playbook fully and I started understanding my teammates, also, and what they're about and what this team is about. So, it really helped, and Hines did a great job and not only Hines, but Antwaan Randle El did a great job. They're veteran guys. They've won a Super Bowl already and they just helped (make) the transition even better. We still had the rookie treatment, of course, but they helped us both with the playbook and teaching us the ‘Steeler Way' – that hardcore, smash-mouth football.

(on how Ben Roethlisberger taught him) "Ben has helped me and Antonio (Brown) out tremendously. He is kind of hard on us, (but) we understand now that he was trying to get us because he said that he saw that (the team) was going to need us. But, at the beginning, he was kind of hard on us. He was like, ‘Get with the program or you're going to get out.' (He) was real hard on us, but it ended up helping out because we worked hard because there is nothing that you want but your quarterback's trust and we were trying to get that."

(on what he does when a play breaks down with Roethlisberger) "It definitely changed, but it's just backyard football. Whoever's deep has to come shallow and whoever's shallow has to come deep. And the good thing is we actually practice that at practice. Sometimes you'll be wide open in practice but Ben will just scramble out just so we can practice it because he knows that's the kind of football we play and it's been successful. I think that's what makes Ben so great. I've played against opponents where you have a quarterback that can break down the pocket and it sucks the energy out of the team because you think you've got the quarterback down and he escapes out and throws for a 30-yard bomb. So, it's a lot of emotions that are in the other opponent and it just sucks them right up out of them."

(on if his emotions have changed at all today because they are back to practicing) "Yeah, yesterday was definitely a fun day – a lot of laughs, a lot of jokes. Today, we're starting to focus in on the game and game preparation, practice, getting your body ready to go. There are a lot of distractions out there and you've got to stay focused and maintain and understand why we came out here and that's to win a ball game."

(on if the media circus dials up the speed for the team this week) "Yeah, we're definitely ready to play. It's the biggest stage, the biggest game in America in the biggest stadium right now. So, the atmosphere is there and I'm ready. I'm excited; it's going to be fun to walk out there with 100,000 people screaming and ready to see a ball game and I'm looking forward to playing."

(on if the Pittsburgh wide receiving corps is excited to play on a good surface) "Oh yeah, definitely. There are no weather conditions. You just go out there and play football and that's what I'm looking forward to. That was what it was like when I was being raised and playing football in Texas, that's what I'm used to. I'm not used to the cold weather and so it's definitely going to be good to just play in a dome and go out there and rock it."

(on what's it like to be on a team with so many players who have already won a Super Bowl) "They take the hype out of the game. You can tell just around our team it's a whole bunch of laughter, jokes and the guys are just staying loose. No one's uptight about the game because they've all played in it. Us young guys are riding on the wave that they're providing right now. We're having fun."

(on the amount of Steelers support down here) "It doesn't surprise me at all. Steeler nation is worldwide. I have people call me and they're overseas and they say that they have Steeler bars and Steeler towels, so it definitely doesn't surprise me. We've got the best fans in the world."

(on his "Easy Money" nickname and if it makes it more fun to play) "Well, my first name (begins with an) ‘E,' and they just kind of made it ‘Easy Money.' It clicks. I'm the second member of the ‘Young Money' family. It sets the tone: Always remember that this is a game that we play, so embrace it and have fun with it. Mike (Wallace) came up with the ‘Young Money' family and believe it or not, it brought us closer. Now we come into the huddle and we're like, ‘YM, let's go. We're a family. Let's go out and win this game.' It has done nothing but help us."

(on the other players embracing the nickname) "They enjoy it, even Mike Tomlin. Every day he comes to practice when we're stretching and he asks, ‘How's my Young Money crew doing?' And we go, ‘We're doing good Coach. We need a little bit more money.'" (on if his teammates are giving him a hard time about this weather) "Yeah, Mike (Wallace) was just giving it to me 10 minutes ago. He said, ‘Come on E, what's up with the weather? You said we were going to have warm weather.' It's weird. I was in Pittsburgh in the cold weather and I was excited to go back to Texas. I packed shorts, short sleeve shirts and then we came here and brought Pittsburgh with us on the jet."

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