Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images
Emmanuel Sanders was an arm—or five—short from writing his name in the 49ers’ history books. When Jimmy Garoppolo overthrew Sanders in the Super Bowl, it effectively represented the end of Sanders’ tenure with San Francisco.
He decided to sign with the New Orleans Saints this offseason in a decision he said came down to both wanting to remain on a competitive team, but also, you know, catch the ball more often. Sanders pointed to his excitement about being in a “pass-happy offense.” Head coach Kyle Shanahan notoriously asks a lot of his receivers, especially as blockers, but that may not have been appealing for the 33-year-old Sanders.
The last time the 49ers and Saints met, Sanders caught a 75-yard touchdown pass, threw a 35-yard TD pass and went for seven catches and 157 total yards in a 48-46, last-second win.
On UNINTERRUPTED’s 17 Weeks Podcast, Sanders did not mince words about playing San Francisco.
“I’m looking forward to playing against San Fran, but I’m looking forward to kicking their ass,” Sanders said. “When I tell you this, I look forward to kicking their ass. And the reason why is because I got so much love in that organization, for everybody that I know, that they not going to take it hard, right? But it’s competition.
“And I’ve been telling Kyle [Shanahan], I think I spoke with Kyle, I spoke with [wide receivers coach] Wes [Welker], I spoke with Deebo [Samuel], I spoke with [Kendrick Bourne], and they’ve been talking smack back and forth. And I just want to kick their ass. Go back to the locker room, I’ll see you guys later, but I still love y’all, but we just kicked y’all ass.
“And it’s not fair because they’re missing a whole bunch of their dogs, but that’s not my problem.”
To Sanders’ credit, he’s coming off a 38-3 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the 49ers are reeling. His expectation leans likelier than not.