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Sanders making his mark

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By Scott Brown
Friday, Nov. 26, 2010
 

Steelers rookie wideout Emmanuel Sanders said opposing defensive players still don't know who he is.

That could change, and sooner rather than later.

Sanders has caught seven passes for 74 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Steelers' last two games.

The third-round draft pick out of SMU has made such rapid progress after overcoming an early season quadriceps injury that he and veteran Antwaan Randle El are essentially sharing the job of No. 3 wide receiver.

"He's growing as fast as anybody I've ever had," Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said of Sanders. "Every time he gets an opportunity, he does extremely well with it."

That is true on special teams as well as on offense, as Sanders is the main reason why the Steelers lead the AFC in kickoff returns (26.4 yards per return).

Sanders has impressed the Steelers with his aptitude and studious nature.

But even the 5-foot-11, 180-pounder would admit that it doesn't take a ton of smarts for a first-year wide receiver to attach himself to the likes of Hines Ward and Randle El.

"I just every day try to get under Hines' wing, get under El's wing, take as many notes as I can and try to pay attention to the minute details," Sanders said.

What also has his attention is the respect Sanders said he has yet to receive from opposing defenses.

"Yeah it bothers me, but I've just to get in the weight room and keep getting stronger and staying in the playbook," Sanders said. "Some day, hopefully, all my hard work will pay off."

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