RE: EMMANUEL SANDERS
Wide Receiver - Southern Methodist Mustangs
3rd Round – 82nd Overall
Scottie Montgomery: First of all, it's great to be in Pittsburgh tonight and also wonderful to draft the type of player we just drafted in Emmanuel Sanders. I think he is an unbelievable person to start with and a great addition to the room. I had the opportunity to sit with him a couple of times now, and mentally he's as strong as a lot of the guys that I had a chance to be around during this draft process. I really think he's going to be a young man that's going to be quick to the tuck. He's as guy that can finish the football and I'm really, really extremely happy and excited about the opportunity to work with him.
Is he also a return guy?
Yes, he does have return value. He is a guy that without return value is still highly valued at the receiver position. But yes, he will also help us in special teams, not only in the return game, but other areas of special teams.
SMU uses the run-and-shoot offense. Is it hard to evaluate receivers in that offense?
It's an impressive offense. That's why we have the National Football League combine and other things. It's hard to evaluate guys in any situation in any position right now because you don't know the jump that they have to make to this level. We feel confident in the job and evaluation that the entire department did and the coaching staff did and we're very comfortable with him and happy about it.
What stood out about him on tape?
Speed. And once again, the thing that I said earlier about him being quick to the tuck, he has the ability to catch the ball and get it north and south. That's something that I value quite a bit. Two to three yards could win you a football game on this level and any level for that matter. He is a guy that I really feel good about, his quickness with the ball and his hands and finishing the football.
Will he start out in the slot?
We have yet to come to that conclusion. That's something that we will evaluate over the next couple of weeks and he'll come in and he'll work best, we'll find a place for him and we'll try to get him going as soon as possible.
Was he mainly a slot guy at SMU?
He played a few different positions at SMU. June could move him around quite a bit and look for some matchup situations. It's kind of hard to double him over the top but he made plays on the outside, made plays on the inside, very comfortable in both locales.
He's only 5'10". Did his leaping ability come through on tape?
He plays big, he never gets dwarfed with the ball in there. So, for me, I'm more of a guy with a full pattern of a large catch radius rather than a 6'5" body with a small catch radius. I like guys that can extend and catch the football, and he definitely has that ability.
Did you go to the Shrine Game, practices, or anything else?
No, I was not at that game.
He had a couple suspensions in his past.
That's something I do not care to comment about. Don't feel comfortable talking about it in this situation.
But clearly you guys didn't have problems with the situations.
No, we didn't have a problem with any of the situations. Thought he was a great, young man. Had the opportunity to sit down with him, like I said, numerous occasions and just thankful that we are where we are right now with Emmanuel Sanders.
You have a number of guys with that same physical make-up, from what you've seen with the Steelers wide-receiving core. Do they all have wide-catch radiuses?
That is yet to be determined. You know, it's year to year. So, we'll find out exactly where everyone is and the evaluation process will go on, and really, really happy with the room I've inherited. Unbelievable men, some great players in there, and guys who want to get better. The atmosphere in the room right now is hot, as I like to say. It's really competitive.
Are you not really missing a big receiver?
No, we don't feel like we're missing any. It's not a value of size. It's a value of making plays.
Is he coming into a good situation with a few veterans in front of him?
I think he's coming into a great situation because he's coming into a situation where he's going to be around one of the greatest wide receivers of all time, with Hines (Ward) in the room. There's going to be a lot of things that I won't be able to have the ability spend the time on with him and I have to spend it with everyone in the room, then Hines (Ward) can help him get through some of the things that rookie receivers don't have the ability to get through.