There’s two special players in camp that I’m really looking forward to watching in the pre-season. Steelers rookie wide receiver tandem of Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown. So far they are meeting the expectation level of their position coaches and gaining ground in their knowledge of the system.
But everyday in camp is a new challenge. It’s Groundhog Day everyday, ballistically speaking. You can’t rest on what you did yesterday, you have to build on what you did yesterday. Emmanuel Sanders found that out yesterday. During the course of the afternoon practice, Sanders jumped off-sides, then quit on the play. Always run it out. You never now.
Then during punt cover, Emmanuel playing the Gunner got double teamed by Will Gay and Bryant McFadden. What they did to the young Sanders would have cost them a stay in the “Hoos-gow” for personal assault anywhere else but on the football field. Sanders got beat like a rug all the way down the field and a double seismic lift and slam executed by the tag-team of McFadden/Gay had Sanders looking up from his back at his antagonists.
To top off a not-so-great day Sanders missed a check at the line of scrimmage on a blitz while the ball got rifled his way and Sanders was blowing down the field and he couldn’t pick it up in his rear-view mirror.
Having said all this, it’s just another great learning experience for Sanders. The grind of camp is on. Now it’s becoming a test of your fortitude. Can you continue to bring the vim and vigor in day 7-8-9? Can you concentrate in the meetings, are you doing the personal study and mental gymnastics that move you forward? Can you retain the same focus you had as in day 1 and 2? Can you ignore dead legs, aches and pains? These are the personal demons that chase every player in camp.
The young Emmanuel is no different than any other young guy in camp. He will answer with his play on the field, and I expect his answer will be a most positive one. Sanders has been on a steady climb and was due for “one of them days.” They will happen, ya know.
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READ Craig’s “Training Camp” blog stories (Link)