Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders spent some time on Tuesday night and again this afternoon explaining his motivation for and the significance of his flip into
the end zone last Sunday in the Meadowlands.
Since Mike Tomlin had already outlawed further such displays, Sanders’ explanations came off as beating a horse that, if not already dead, had at least clearly escaped the barn.
But given Sanders’ history this season, you have to wonder what he’ll come up with next in terms of ill-timed, ill-advised displays that betray his inability to keep
his eye on the ball.
Against Chicago, Sanders missed a block that contributed to a Felix Jones fumble.
Sanders reacted in anguish instantly, before the ball had been recovered, which it eventually was by the Bears.
And against Minnesota in London, Sanders cut off a route on what became an interception and once again reacted instantly and obviously to the mishap, before a tackle had been made and the play had been completed.
Sanders is a good player who can make the occasional splash play, one who blocks well and competes hard and is appreciated for as much in the Steelers’ locker room.
But he’s not yet a great player and one reason why is he’s too emotional and too caught up in his individual impact on a play (good or bad).
Sanders needs to tone it down, focus and understand that what ultimately matters is winning.
He’ll have plenty of time to react with as much emotion as he can muster in response to whatever the ultimate result.
Doing so prematurely isn’t helping Sanders or the Steelers.