clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Broncos' Emmanuel Sanders: 'The message was definitely world championship'

New, comments

The first day of the Gary Kubiak era for the Denver Broncos is in the books, and as the disappointments from just a few months ago have been fading, the championship rhetoric is filling the hallways of Dove Valley once again.

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

If you're still worried about Peyton Manning in a Gary Kubiak offense, then just talk to Emmanuel Sanders.

With classic Sanders enthusiasm, the Pro Bowl wide receiver heading into his second year with the Broncos isn't worried about Manning, or the new zone blocking scheme, or playing slot...or really anything.

He just wants a world championship, that's all.

And he's not alone.

"The message was definitely world championship from the start. If it's not a world championship, it's a bust," Sanders said matter-of-factly about the upcoming season. "We get the opportunity to press the restart button. We've got a new coaching staff and we're trying to chase it, and it started today."

Defensive end DeMarcus Ware is emphasizing the same attitude with the defense.

"Our motto was if you sit back and think about the past, you can think about we could've done this in the playoffs, we could have done this two years ago. What about now? What about the guys in this room?" Ware said. "How far can you take each other in this room? Just like [Sanders' shirt says], ‘iron sharpens iron.' That's where it all starts - guys being there for each other and digging in."

Monday was the beginning of voluntary offseason workouts, but more importantly, the beginning of the Gary Kubiak era as Broncos head coach - and apparently, the beginning of "Iron Sharpens Iron" and "Relentless Discipline" as motivating slogans.

Works for me.

But for all the speculation about how a run-heavy Kubiak offense is going to affect Manning and his wide receiver corps, Sanders is here to quiet the noise and assure Broncos fans that Kubiak's scheme combined with Manning's arm is really a "recipe for success."

"I think it's going to be really successful once we get everything down pat in terms of hopefully implementing a little bit of Peyton's offense with Kubiak's run scheme," said Sanders, who will move to the slot receiver in three wide receiver packages, according to WR coach Tyke Tolbert.

Having played slot in college and with the Steelers, Sanders is comfortable with that move and says it doesn't change his goals for the season.

"My goal is to always try to have a 1,000-yard season. That's going to be the main focus - 62.5 yards per game," said the former Steelers wide receiver who had 101 catches for 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns last season with the Broncos, his best as a pro. "Whatever comes after that, that's a positive. Other than that, as long we win ball games, I'm happy."

Possibly the happiest guy on the team will be C.J. Anderson and his fellow running backs who will become officially relevant in this offense.

"I think it energizes C.J.," Sanders said about the new scheme. "I just saw this guy walking in with his chest a little big. But if I was him, I would be, too. He's fortunate to be playing in this offense. I think that he's going to have a big year."

Another guy likely to be happy is Cody Latimer, already publicly tapped by Kubiak to have a bigger role this season. And though that won't be hard to improve on, given that last year Latimer barely saw the field as a rookie wide receiver, a lot of coaches and players believe the 2014 second-round draft pick will have a big year in 2015.

Including Sanders.

"Cody is a special player. He has strong hands. He's a physical tool. I think that this is going to be the year that he jumps on to the map," Sanders said. "I think he's going to have a big year. I'm happy that he is on my team and in our wide receiver group."

Latimer got the coveted invitation to Manning's Duke Camp earlier this month, and Sanders said it was beneficial for the whole crew.

"When we go out there, it's definitely work," Sanders said, adding that they practiced an hour and half, twice a day for several days. "Peyton, he loves to throw it. You definitely are getting better. I think just as a group everyone got better. I think that's what it's all about. Just trying to get a jumpstart on OTAs."

And just to be clear, in case you weren't paying attention earlier - these workouts mark the beginning of a new season.

I think for everyone last year was a disappointment. But everybody has refocused. Same thing with Peyton. I've never seen a guy that loves the game as much as he loves it. That passion, that spark is there. He's fired up about Kubiak being here.  -Emmanuel Sanders, wide receiver

"I think for everyone last year was a disappointment, but at the same time it's a new year, so everyone is rejuvenated. Everybody has refocused," Sanders said Monday. "I think the same thing with Peyton. You talk about a guy that understands that the clock is ticking for him. He loves this game. He's one of those guys that I say repeatedly that I've never seen a guy that loves the game of football as much as he loves it. That passion and that spark is there. He's still the great leader of this organization and he's fired up about Kubiak being here and hopefully bringing a world championship to the city."

Ware added that there's no special urgency this year. It's the same every year.

"I think there is a sense of urgency every single year. Especially when you fall short for 10 years now," said the eight-time Pro Bowler entering his second year with the Broncos. "You have to look at it like the time is now. It is urgent. You don't know if you're going to have another year or not. Take what you have right now and move forward."

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you start over.

"We didn't click in the last playoff game, and obviously the results show because we didn't win. That's last year. We're focused on this year," Sanders reiterated. "I just want to win ball games. No matter how we get the job done, the ultimate goal is to win a Super Bowl."