Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Saints’ Emmanuel Sanders on playing 49ers: ‘I’m looking forward to kicking their a--’

Nov 12, 2020 at 10:07 AM--

Emmanuel Sanders was a big reason why the San Francisco 49ers reached the Super Bowl last season. However, the team could not afford to retain the veteran wide receiver. That led to his departure to the New Orleans Saints, where he was excited to play with quarterback Drew Brees.

Sanders will face his former squad on Sunday, and he's excited about that too. He still has a lot of respect for his former teammates and the organization that traded for him in the middle of last season, but there is no mistaking that the competitive Sanders wants to kick the Niners' butts this weekend.

"I'm looking forward to playing against San Fran, but I'm looking forward to kicking their a--," Sanders said on UNINTERRUPTED's 17 Weeks Podcast. "When I tell you this, I look forward to kicking their a--. 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 (head coach) Kyle (Shanahan) -- I think I spoke with Kyle, I spoke with (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 a--. Go back to the locker room, I'll see you guys later, but I still love you all, but we just kicked y'all a--.

"And it's not fair because they're missing a whole bunch of their dogs, but that's not my problem."

Sanders has hauled in 30 receptions for 342 yards with three touchdowns through six games and two starts this season.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked this week about Sanders and what he meant to the 49ers' run last season.

"He meant a ton, and I think it would have been real hard to get to where we got to if we didn't make that move for him," Shanahan responded. "He came in, did exactly what I was hoping for and more. Really hard to lose Emmanuel this offseason. One of the toughest decisions we had to make, but New Orleans came through and gave him what he deserved, and we had to move a different direction and go there in the draft."

Sanders had an impressive outing last season against the Saints. He caught seven passes for 157 yards with a touchdown, and even threw a touchdown pass in the 49ers' thrilling 48-46 win.

Added Shanahan: "Just watching him and what he did for us in that game last year these last couple of days is unbelievable, and he's doing an unbelievable job for them, also."

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