The Denver Broncos are undefeated this season and Champ Bailey is a big part of it. Two weeks ago with the game on the line, the Cowboys tried going after Bailey twice late in the game and were unsuccessful at doing so. There is not another cornerback in the league that I would rather have on my team. After all he shut down both Roy Williams and Randy Moss in back-to-back weeks. He is one of the fastest guys in the league, has great hands, and his awareness to read the quarterback’s eyes to predict the play is like no other. Who would have thought that these Broncos and new head coach, Josh McDaniels, would be in 1st place in the AFC West? Not me. I would have slated them to be at most 3-2 at this time of the year. That is why the NFL is so great! There is so much parity in this league and on any given Sunday even the Raiders can win at least one game. The Broncos are into the heart of their schedule as the next 3 games are against the Chargers, Ravens and Steelers. Let’s not pencil them in as AFC West champs yet. Give them a few weeks and we can really tell what this team is all about.
Champ Bailey joined WQXI in Atlanta to talk about their surprise start, whether there was any more emphasis on finishing the drill this week with Josh McDaniels playing his old team, how much Brian Dawkins has meant to the defense, what is different about Brandon Marshall this year than what he has seen in the past, Tony Romo deciding to challenge him 2 times at the end of the Cowboys game, how he feels about the Georgia Bulldogs are playing this year, and what he thought about the throwback jerseys.
On whether he thought they would play this well early on:
“Well I tell you what man. Looking at our team in the offseason and all of the things we went through. I mean it would be hard to believe that we could start this fast. You know I felt like we had a good team, I have been a part of that team for the last few years, I didn’t know. I really didn’t know. But I am pleased with the way that we have been able to start fast. We obviously we got a lot more left to do but right now it is good to start fast in this league.”
On whether there was any more emphasis on finishing the drill this week with Josh McDaniels playing his old team:
“Not necessarily. I wouldn’t say that there was more emphasis on things like that. I think he put more emphasis on how much he took part in preparing us for this team because he has obviously been a part of that team for the last few years. He knows their in and outs. He let us know as much as we could… As much as we could handle to prepare for that team.”
On how much Brian Dawkins has meant to the defense:
“Oh man I have so much respect for the way that he approaches the game and the way he plays. I mean his speeches are outstanding. The guy is an all-around good person. He is a great player and he shows up each week ready to go. You would never think that he is on the other side of 30. He acts like he is 25 years old. The guy is a great player and great teammate. We are lucky to have him.”
On whether Brian Dawkins is the main reason they are better this year:
“Credit is due for everybody in the defensive room. You look at, starting from our coach in Josh McDaniels and then down to Mike Nolan and then our leaders on this defense, guys that have played for a while. I think when the young guys look at the way we prepare and what it takes to win that is when you got to be a good defense because we got a lot of young guys on our defense that we depend on. If they don’t play well then it is not going to work.”
On what is different about Brandon Marshall this year than what he has seen in the past:
“I think one thing that shows up now is that he is more comfortable with the offense. He missed a lot of time in the offseason. And you know you can’t really do that and then become comfortable all of a sudden. He has become more comfortable, confident and he looks like he is having more fun and I think that is the main thing. He gets out there and he is having fun we know we are going to get good things out of him.”
On Tony Romo deciding to challenge him 2 times at the end of the Cowboys game:
“Well I am happy that he tried me. I would rather be the one to get all of that pressure in that situation because I have confidence out this roof at what I can do in a pressure situation. I live for those moments and I am just glad that he did try to throw it over there.”
On what he thought about the throwback jerseys:
“Well I tell you what. It was probably a split decision in the locker room as well. Everybody had a comment on that. It was one way or the other. They either loved them or hated them. I got about 3 text messages after the game: Oh you look clean out there man. Then I got about 3 more saying: What was wrong with those uniforms? It was back and forth. I actually think that I looked good…”