ATLANTA — Emmanuel Sanders sits in a room at the adidas VIP Suite with a boot still covering his leg after tearing his Achilles in practice in early December. Sanders wears a light grey sweater and ripped jeans and seems particularly chill. He yawns and explains that he’s been staying out until 3am almost every night he’s been in Atlanta, not atypical for athletes and celebrities on the scene. Sanders says when he wakes up, he asks himself why he stayed up so late.
The Broncos wideout is a fan favorite in Denver, but his time in the mile high city has been clouded with injuries. Sanders will be 32 next month and has the third highest price tag in Denver, so his resolve to get back and start winning is higher than ever.
In our conversation, we talk about everything from his new coaching staff, his style, how he tries to spread positivity and that strange Twitter fight with Antonio Brown.
Kailey Mizelle: How is everything progressing with the injury and moving forward?
Emmanuel Sanders: Everything is good. Just taking it one day at a time. You know I’m actually looking forward to the adversity. For every minor setback, you actually grow. So that’s what I’m using this opportunity as, an opportunity for me to grow mentally and physically. And I say physically because truthfully I’m in rehab every day. I’m getting stronger and stronger. I’m taking care of my abs, and everything is just getting stronger. And then mentally, it’s no pain no gain. So right now I’m going to your pain, but I’m also gaining, and I’m getting mentally strong. My goal is to try to become Comeback Player of the Year, so hopefully I’m able to obtain that. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m looking forward to putting in the work.
KM: That’s a great mindset. Speaking of the team and getting back to work, how do you feel about Vic Fangio and the new guys that have been brought in? Have you met with anyone so far?
ES: I had lunch with Coach Fangio. It was a good lunch. He expressed the direction that he wanted to go on offense and what kind of philosophy he’s bringing on defense. I think he’s going to be a good head coach just from his chill personality.
And then, as far as the offensive coordinator he brought in I am excited about that. It’s Kyle Shanahan‘s type offense. [It’s] predicated off the run, and it’s zoned run protection. I know the offensive line is excited about that because it’s less stress on them. If we can put it all together hopefully, we can get back to winning. I met with the offense of staff last week, and I walked in there, and I told them hey let’s get this going because we’ve had three losing seasons and that’s not fun, so I’m ready to get back to winning.
KM: I saw you visited some kids last week in a Colorado hospital. How special was that?
ES: That’s cool, man, that was cool. I’ve visited two guys they were younger than me, and they were coming off injuries. One shattered his patella and so to be able to provide positive energy – I’m a firm believer in the energy that you give to the world you receive it back. If you’re a negative person and you get out negative energy, then negative energy is gonna come back to you. So I always try to portray positive energy out to the world, and I was happy I was able to do that.
You talk about people who are going through rough times here I am I’m injured as well, but at least I can go in and tell them, ‘hey look we’re in this together.’ ‘We’re gonna take it one day at a time, we’re going to have a strong mindset, and we can’t look back or look to the future, we can only focus on right now.’ That’s what I was preaching throughout the hospital.
KM: We’re at an adidas party, how would you describe your style?
ES: My style is very drippy. I got big drip. [Laughs] I feel like I got style. I take pride in it. I love shopping. If you talk to my wife she probably say I shop way too much.
KM: Who has the higher bill you or her?
ES: It’s about even. If you look up my wife on Instagram you know what I’m talking about for that. But we both love it. My wife actually has a clothing line, so she loves fashion, and I love fashion as well.
KM: Now let’s make a very sharp pivot. What’s your relationship like with AB?
ES: Oh that’s still my brother. Obviously you saw what happened in the media with him going at me on Twitter. But I guess he was just in his feelings a little bit because of what I had to do to do my job and speak my truth. But you know right now, I feel like we disconnected but I feel like down the road we’ll get back together and connect when everything goes back to normal.
KM: Have you guys had a conversation offline?
ES: Nah. Nah. But if I see him obviously, we could have a conversation. If I wanted to have a conversation with him I could pick up the phone and he’ll pick up my phone call. We can probably work it out. For me, I don’t have a reason to pick up the phone. I don’t have a reason to talk to him about it. There’s no reason because I haven’t done anything wrong. I didn’t say anything wrong about him. It is what it is.
KM: If you were to give him advice, what would would you say?
ES: It’s not my job to give him advice.