Super Bowl notebook: Ex-Steeler Sanders enjoys Media Day spotlight

| Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, 10:18 p.m.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — It used to be called Media Day.

However, the NFL moved Media Day up a day, shifted it to prime time, moved it to SAP Center and renamed it Super Bowl Opening Night.

Still, in all reality, not much has changed. There still were crazy characters, former players asking questions, Miss Universe and plenty all-around craziness.

Former Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who took part in Media Day in 2010 in Dallas, took it all in stride.

“It's crazy out here,” Sanders said. “I remember as a rookie that I didn't know what to expect. I remember coming to media day and thinking it was going to be just like locker room (interviews). I didn't know it was going to be like this.”

Sanders left the Steelers following the 2013 season and signed with the Broncos, who play the Panthers in Sunday's Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium.

Sanders remembers that moment of his rookie season fondly.

“I remember me and Antonio Brown doing an interview with Deion (Sanders), and it was cool,” he said. “I still go back and watch that video to see how far we've come. I do remember looking around and wanting a podium.”

Sanders got his podium on Monday.

Harris: Steelers were the best

Denver cornerback Chris Harris Jr. was torched by Brown for 189 yards and 16 catches, most of which came in the second half of a December game at Heinz Field.

Harris hadn't surrendered a touchdown in 35 games before Brown scored twice on him in the Steelers' 34-27 comeback win over the Broncos. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 380 yards.

“Big Ben is a great quarterback and going against that receiving corp — that was the best receiving corps we faced all year, and Big Ben is on it,” Harris Jr. said. “That game we were shorthanded and we didn't have our safeties. I didn't have my best game. Sometimes that happens, and you have to refocus. Sometimes you need that as motivation.”

Boomer weighs in

Former Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason, now a studio analyst for CBS as well as hosting a morning radio show ‘Boomer and Carton,' said the only rivalry he played in that could match the intensity of this year's Steelers and Bengals games was the Bengals and Oilers of the early 1990s.

“(The Oilers) were the only team that I could every remember having the passion that the Steelers and Bengals had this year,” Esiason said.

Esiason said running back DeAngelo Williams was a recent guest on his radio show and told Esiason he already hates the Bengals after only one year with the Steelers.

“I said to him why was it the Joey Porter got thrown out of a game when he was a player before they played the Browns; why was it that the Steelers and the Ravens had all those wars against each other; and now the Bengals and the Steelers?” Esiason said “What's the common thread with all of those issues? The Steelers. They bring it out in everybody. It is their fault.”

No more coaching for Cowher

Former Steelers coach Bill Cowher has been out of coaching for nine years. Don't look for him get back into it anytime soon, if ever.

“No, no,” said Esiason, a CBS studio host alongside Cowher. “That guy is so happy right now. He is happily married and living large in New York. Everybody says, can you coach the Giants? He loves that. He is beloved, and he hasn't even called a play for the Giants, so why would he ever want to change that?”

Cowher lives in New York along with his wife Veronica Stigeler (singer Queen V) and has long been attached to taking over the Giants job once Tom Coughlin left.

Coughlin was fired two weeks ago but was replaced by Ben McAdoo.

“I have never shut a door,” Cowher said. “You never shut a door until you have to. I work at CBS and love what I am doing. I am 58 years old, and I feel young and feel still involved in the game. This element of the game — the offseason — I am enjoying it. Never say never, but I am very satisfied with my life.”

Mark Kaboly is a Tribune-Review staff writer. He can be reached at mkaboly@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.

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