ShareThis Page

Steelers notebook: WR Sanders is focused on winning, not extension

| Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, 8:06 p.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders stretches for a pass during practice Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, at St. Vincent in Latrobe.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers cornerback William Gay covers Emmanuel Sanders during practice Monday, July 29, 2013, at St. Vincent in Latrobe.

Emmanuel Sanders knows the clock is ticking when it comes to signing a long-term extension with the Steelers, but that doesn't mean the receiver is dwelling on the fact.

The Steelers matched New England's restricted free-agent offer to Sanders during the spring, ensuring his return for this year.

After that, all bets are off.

“If I am here, I am here. If I am not, I'm not,” Sanders said. “I am not really worried about the business side of it. This is the one year that I have right now and I want to win a Super Bowl.”

Sanders, a third-round pick out of SMU in 2010, said he is more interested that he is healthy for the first time in his career and is getting the opportunity to be a starter.

“It is like every other season, and I am honest when I tell you this,” he said. “I really don't think about the contract.”

Sanders, who has had two foot surgeries and a knee surgery during his short career, will play the “Z” wide receiver spot this year that typically sees more one-on-one coverage and more blocking responsibilities.

Ta'amu was afraid

Nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu spent the past week on the physically unable to perform list with a sore hamstring he injured before the start of training camp.

Ta'amu said it's been three weeks since he heard a pop in his hamstring while running.

“When it happened, I was scared to tell them, but I had to,” Ta'amu said.

• Rookie running back Le'Veon Bell excited the crowd with several runs during the evening practice at St. Vincent. But coach Mike Tomlin was quick to temper the crowd's enthusiasm. “The crowd reacted to every ball we snapped today,” Tomlin said. “He had some moments as did some others. He's working hard and trying to do what we asked him to do, and that's a great place to start for a young guy.”

• Several players sat out practice — including linebacker Jason Worilds (toe), cornerback Marcus van Dyke (hamstring), defensive end Brett Keisel and tight end Matt Spaeth. Also, cornerback Curtis Brown's left thigh was heavily wrapped after practice, but Tomlin said none of the injuries are considered serious. But rookie guard Nik Embernate sustained a potentially season-ending knee injury Thursday. Tomlin said he tore both his ACL and MCL. “Obviously, he's down and out,” Tomlin said.

• Several NFL officials met with the Steelers to review this year's rule changes and points of emphasis — including rule that prohibits a runner or tackler from initiating forcible contact with the crown of the helmets outside the tackle box. Ron Tolbert, a side judge, acknowledged a review of 2012 game film revealed that the 15-yard unnecessary roughing penalty would have been called five times. Also, the peel-back block is now illegal anywhere in the field of play. All players, except punters and kickers, are required to wear knee and thigh pads.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.