At one time during his career, Bob Sanders looked like he was destined for stardom. The hard-hitting safety was coming off a year when he was named Defensive Player of the Year and the Colts defense looked completely different with him out of the lineup. Since that time though, Sanders has dealt with a myriad of injuries. While his ability can’t be denied, the Colts realized they could just no longer count on the safety. Sanders has played in just eight combined games over the last two seasons and it led to him getting released by Indianapolis.
The San Diego Chargers decided to take a chance on him this offseason. Sanders was brought in to play next to Eric Weddle, who looks like a rising star in the back-end of the secondary in his own right. It remains to be seen whether or not Sanders can ever regain the form that he showed before injuries derailed him, but if he can stay out of the training room, the former Defensive Player of the Year could be the perfect complement to Weddle and help keep the Chargers defense near the top of the NFL.
Bob Sanders joined XTRA 1360 in San Diego to talk about how tough it is to be watching from the sidelines, why he decided to go to San Diego, how he feels in terms of his health, whether or not he has had to change his game because of the injuries, and if he thinks he can still be the player he once was.
How tough it is to be watching from the sidelines:
“It’s tough. It’s really tough. You want to be out there, it’s hard to be on the field watching all the guys practice and not be able to get out there. It’s definitely tough but I’m looking forward to it.”
Why he picked San Diego:
“I was looking for a team that really wanted me and understood my situation and what I brought to the table. They really did. Norv (Turner) and I had a great conversation and it was a great fit.”
How he feels in terms of his health:
“Really good. I feel great. Can I say 100 percent right now? Not really. This is my eighth year in the league and I don’t think anybody in the eighth year in the league is at 100 percent. I feel good enough to go out, still improve, get better, and help this team.”
Whether or not he has had to change his style of play because of injuries:
“You really have to play smarter. The older you get the more you have to play smarter. You get there faster, put yourself in better positions, you’re not making tackles from 20 or 30 yards away, you’re getting closer in running situations. Things do change but as far as my physical nature? No I won’t change it.”
Whether or not he feels he can still be the player that he was:
“Absolutely. If you go back to look at the film and my game nothing changed. From the time I started to my last injury. I’ve had a lot of injuries. I haven’t been a player who played eight years and my game started to taper off, I started to lose it, give up big plays, and stuff. If you look at the film you know I just had injuries. Do I think I can still be a consistent good player? Absolutely. When I was Defensive Player of the Year I wasn’t even close to reaching my full potential so I feel like I can get a lot better.”
On the difference between Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning:
“They go about their business the same exact way. Think they are both students of the game and they’re really passionate about it. Philip is a locker room guy, not to say Peyton is not, but he’s more of a jokester, he’s playing around, he’s on the field, he’s having a good time, he’s saying jokes on the field, he always running around so it’s really good to see. He lightens up the atmosphere. Being around the quarterback he sets the tone for what this team is going to be. I feel Philip does a great job with handling your business when you’re in there and when it’s time to work you work but also having fun with it.”