Emmanuel Sanders has a way of making his presence known, whether its with his pregame Mile High Salute or his post-touchdown leap into the stands. After playing four seasons in Pittsburgh, he signed with the Broncos as a free agent in March 2014 and quickly became one of Peyton Manning’s favorite targets. Last year he racked up 1,404 receiving yards and nine touchdowns on 101 catches to earn his first Pro Bowl selection and a spot among the top 100 players in the league, as voted by his peers.
This year, as the Broncos transition to new coaches and a new offense, Sanders’ outsized personality has remained a constant. It’s hard to miss the 5-foot-11 receiver — on the field and on social media. Sanders recently teamed with CenturyLink on #FastDash to give away Broncos tickets, autographed items and more to fans through his Twitter (@ESanders_10) and Instagram accounts every Tuesday.
As he prepares for Thursday’s game at Kansas City, Sanders spoke with The Post about his experiences in the league, his days a baseball player and much more:
Q: What’s the best lesson you’ve learned since you’ve come in the league?
A: Definitely to take care of your body. If you don’t take care of your body, it won’t take care of you. When I broke my foot (in 2011), it set me back a little, it made me realize that I have to take care of my body.
Q: Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
A: My uncle. He taught me hard work. He was pretty much my coach ever since I was 6 years old in every sport — basketball, football, baseball.
Q: How were you in basketball and baseball?
A: I was all right in basketball. I really couldn’t make a layup. I was an effort guy. I played defense. And baseball, I loved baseball. It was my favorite sport, and the first sport I ever played. But it kind of got boring. As I got into high school, football was more physical and more violent and more fun to play.
Q: What positions did you play?
A: I played center field in baseball, and I batted first. I got tired of bunting. “We want you to bunt since you’re fast.” I’m like, “That’s boring. I want to hit a home run.” In basketball, I was a point guard.
Q: When did the focus shift to football?
A: Really when I got to college. All the way up to my senior year (of high school), I played every sport. I ran track and played baseball, but I started getting college offers for football, then I knew that was the path I was going to go. But I still ran track. I ran track not really for the competition but to get in football shape. And I played baseball just to play, because I knew my time playing would come to an end.
Q: Which players did you idolize growing up?
A: Deion Sanders. Barry Sanders. Bob Sanders. Anybody who had Sanders on the back of their jersey. They showed me that a Sanders can definitely make it, and everytime I suited up and I saw Sanders on the back, it made me feel like I was putting on the Superman cape.
Q: What’s one thing people may not know about you?
A: That I’m a home body. When I’m at my house, I’m quiet and just myself.
Q: What you’re not playing football, what do you like to do?
A: Really just sit at home and watch movies. I never go anywhere. I sit at home and watch movies and play FIFA on my PS4.
Q: Who is the toughest player to go against?
A: (Jets cornerback) Darrelle Revis. Every time I’ve played against him it’s been a battle.
Q: What’s your favorite stadium to play on the road?
A: Cowboys Stadium. That stadium really makes you feel like you’re in the National Football League.
Q: What has been your best moment as a Bronco so far?
A: I guess it’d have to be my first touchdown as a Bronco (against Houston, in the 2014 preseason). Even though it was preseason I knew I had arrived in Denver when I caught a 67-yard pass. It let Broncos fans know what I can bring to the city and what I can bring to the table.