January 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) catches a pass against the New England Patriots in the first half of the 2013 AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Emmanuel Sanders Says Broncos Don't Have True No. 1 Wide Receiver

What does it mean to have a true number one wide receiver?

By any definition I can think of, Demaryius Thomas would fit the bill. He’s big, fast, strong, sure-handed, and he’s been consistently dominant for a multiple year period.

So what did Emmanuel Sanders mean when he said this in an interview with SiriusXM radio?

“The thing that I like about the Broncos is there is really no No. 1 guy,” he said.

Don’t freak on Sanders just yet, Broncos fans. Here’s a little bit of context. Sanders is talking here about how he feels like being in Denver is wide receiver heaven. That having Peyton Manning as the quarterback, you could be the ‘#1′ wide receiver on any given week based on what matchups Manning is able to take advantage of. Look at a variety of examples from the season. I’m sure there were games when Demaryius dominated, as well as games where Julius Thomas had the lion’s share of catches, and Eric Decker, and Wes Welker, and so on.

So what else did Sanders say?

“The thing that I like about the Broncos is there is really no No. 1 guy,” he said. “Peyton always goes with the favorable matchup and that’s what I’m really liking about this offense. Any guy could go off for 180 yards or 100 yards with 10 catches any week, week in and week out, just based off of matchups.”

Certainly, Sanders isn’t wrong. He’s probably done enough film study that he has a good grasp on what his role could be with the Broncos, and he sees an expanded one compared to his previous job with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

And just to clarify here, Sanders is not trying to downplay the role of Demaryius Thomas in the Broncos’ offense. In fact, he’s more right than not. Peyton Manning throughout last season spread the ball around to the Broncos’ top three wide receivers a near identical amount, which was almost freaky heading into the final four games of the season where injuries started to play a role.

Surely, there will be no shortage of passes to go around this year, and Sanders will be one to benefit from that.

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Tags: Demaryius Thomas Denver Broncos Emmanuel Sanders

  • Chad Jensen

    It’s a valid point

  • trinity

    Demaryius is the best on the squad, but Emanuel is right. Peyton did a great job of spreading the wealth last season.

    • http://www.predominantlyorange.com/ SayreBedinger

      Nail on the head.

  • Erick Trickel

    Some people just don’t get Peyton doesn’t go into games thinking “oh i’m gonna look at player x all day to get him big numbers” its always “i’m going out there and going to exploit any weaknesses I saw on film and see today”. Play by play, game by game, Manning exploits the weaknesses and sometimes one certain player has the match-up exploiting the weakness.

  • Paul Lassiter

    Sense all the receivers get equal attention, including Julius Thomas, any reciever can be the # 1 on any given game. Decker has 4 TD catches last season against KC, so that made him the # 1 in that game.

    • http://www.predominantlyorange.com/ SayreBedinger

      Yep, and I was there for the Decker game. It was glorious watching Chiefs fans suffer like that ;)

  • Bob Hunter

    If you are a weak or rookie corner… your man will probably be the Broncos #1 receiver that week…!

    • http://www.predominantlyorange.com/ SayreBedinger


  • uh_infinity

    Don’t understand why some fans have gotten worked up over these comments from Sanders. Manning has been distributing the ball in this manner for years. Like everyone else “in the know” has been saying, the favorable match up on any play will get Manning’s attention.

  • World Wide Waco

    I also think it goes deeper than that and is at the heart of why specifically Elway wanted Sanders and targeted him in the FA market:

    Sanders is being touted as a deep threat…sure ok then he is fast…but Decker was rated by some as the best deep threat in the NFL 2013- one of the reasons he bolted…that kind of thing can really help land an awesome contract as happened with the Jets. You see BOTH Decker & Sanders can go vertical…the strength of Sanders is HIS ABILITY TO BE ELUSIVE AND SHED DEFENDERS AT LINE…Sanders is the patented receiver for press man and not only can he be open in less than a ‘steamboat’…he is just the kind of Jerry Rice type dude that can gather in a 4 yard pass and take it to the house.

    THIS is the reason he was brought into the fold and a HUGE reason Decker was allowed to bolt…Decker often spent more time begging the refs for a yellow hanky than he did getting open. Decker was not open immediately the majority of the time and although he ran great routes and on the deep routes was almost always an excellent target and great one on one…SANDERS will soon have us forgetting Decker as Decker wallows in mediocrity with the Jets anemic O (albeit a team with an awesome D)…and Sanders demonstrates that he can grab the ball in stride, in traffic, and be open near or at the line for quick check down receptions and still garner huge chunks of yards. Like Welker though it is a high risk position and so we have Latimer & Burse (who will have a roster spot on the team as KR/PR) for depth as well as a fine group of TE