Ben Roethlisberger never got that phone call from Emmanuel Sanders

PITTSBURGH -- On his way out of Pittsburgh in 2014, Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders took a parting shot at his former quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, calling Peyton Manning a "far better leader."

In preparation to face the Broncos this week, Roethlisberger told the Denver media he's not bitter about Sanders' comments. Roethlisberger said shortly after the comments were made that he was hurt by them.

But the two still haven't talked since then.

"I never really had the problem -- I think a lot of my teammates had a problem with what was said," Roethlisberger said. "I'm not sure why Emmanuel -- still up to this day, he never reached out to me. I've just kind of let it go like water under the bridge."

Sanders, who said then that Manning was better in terms of staying after practice and working with receivers, insisted Wednesday he never said Roethlisberger didn't work hard. Roethlisberger helped him become the player he is now, said Sanders.

Roethlisberger and Sanders played together for four seasons. As a Bronco, Sanders broke out for 1,404 receiving yards in 2014.

"What I said was what everybody in the National Football League knows and when it comes to Peyton Manning, the guy is the ultimate leader," Sanders said. "I've got nothing but love for Ben. It was no shot at Ben."

Perhaps Sanders will tell Roethlisberger that Sunday?

"I don't have any hard feelings," Roethlisberger said.

-- NFL Nation Broncos reporter Jeff Legwold contributed to this report.