Emmanuel Sanders was the 49ers' missing ingredient on offense last season. He was a major key to making it all the way to Super Bowl LIV, but he won't take it easy against his old team this Sunday when the 49ers travel to play the Saints in New Orleans.
Not at all.
"I'm looking forward to playing against San Fran, but I'm looking forward to kicking their a--," Sanders said on the most recent episode of the Uninterrupted's "17 Weeks" podcast (h/t 49ers WebZone). "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."
The 49ers acquired Sanders, 33, from the Denver Broncos last season ahead of the NFL's trade deadline. He played 10 games for the 49ers and instantly became their top receiver. Sanders had 36 receptions for 502 yards and three touchdowns for San Francisco in the regular season.
Sanders signed with the Saints as a free agent this past offseason. He has had an up-and-down season, and has 342 yards and three touchdowns through six games with his new team.
While Sanders wants to smack the 49ers, it's clear this is all in good fun.
"I've been telling Kyle (Shanahan) -- I think I spoke with Kyle, I spoke with 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 [players], but that's not my problem."
The injury-riddled 49ers enter Sunday as nine-point underdogs against the Saints. New Orleans is coming off a dominant win over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while the 49ers were crushed by Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers last week. As we've learned this year, though, anything is possible.
If the 49ers do upset the Saints, expect a lot of good-natured trash talk thrown Sanders' way.