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Player Diary: Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders

Pittsburgh rookie wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, a former star at SMU, will be writing an online exclusive Super Bowl XLV diary for the Star-Telegram this week. Here’s his third installment:

My day started at 8 a.m. when our team buses left the Fort Worth Omni hotel for the short ride to our practice facility on the TCU campus. During the regular season, Wednesday and Thursday are always our longest and toughest days of the week. That meant today was the day we would really focus on our opponent, and begin to implement our game plan for Sunday’s big game against the Green Bay Packers.

It is days like this that a rookie first learns the biggest difference between college and pro football. Whereas in college, because we are still students and have to attend class and do homework, we may only meet for a few hours. In the NFL, however, where the game plans are much more involved, our meetings and practices typically last all day. Our series of team meetings today began as follows: special teams at 9 a.m., then a full team meeting, and finally, we broke into positional meetings (I went with the rest of the wide receivers).

Because this is the Super Bowl, and there are close to 5,000 members of the media in town to cover this week’s events, the NFL requires that each team hold a smaller version of Media Day both today and tomorrow after our morning meetings, but before our afternoon practice. Unlike yesterday’s craziness at Jerry World, today’s media event took place inside Daniel Meyer-Coliseum at TCU.

Despite the fact we were in a much smaller venue than Cowboys Stadium, I was still blown away by the amount of people who were there to cover the event. Like yesterday, I again received a lot of local media attention, but today I was also requested for interviews by reporters from as far away as China and Amsterdam.

Our afternoon practice was held indoors at TCU, and started at 1:30 p.m. Because we are all excited about what lies ahead, the guys were full of energy and very enthusiastic. Overall I thought as a team we had a very productive practice. I also believe that the game plan put together by our offensive coordinator, Bruce Arians, is a very good one. Some of the reporters I noticed on the sidelines at practice today were Troy Aikman (who is announcing the Super Bowl on Fox) and ESPN reporter Pam Oliver.

After practice we had more positional meetings for about an hour and then we headed back to the hotel for some much needed rest. In fact, I am lying on my bed right now as I write this online diary. I will continue resting my mind and body as much as possible the rest of this week so that I will be ready to contribute on game day and help bring Super Bowl trophy Number Seven back to Pittsburgh Sunday night.

It feels really good to be able to live out my dreams, and I continue to thank God because without Him, there is no me!

Until next time...

Take care and God bless,

Emmanuel Sanders

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