Champ Bailey on Tim Tebow’s Latest Late-Game Heroics: “When he improves his passing he’ll be unstoppable.”November 21, 2011 – 12:05 pm by Michael Bean
Tebow Mania lives on in the Mile High City, and why shouldn’t it? The Denver Broncos have won four of five since Tim Tebow replaced Kyle Orton at starting quarterback, with their latest victory coming this past Thursday night over the New York Jets. Tebow led the Broncos on a game-winning touchdown drive in the game’s final minutes to stun the Jets and add to his growing legend, but in all reality, the lion’s share of the credit for Denver’s resurgence should go to the Broncos defense. Without their solid play, there’s no way Tebow even has the opportunity for the type of late-game magic he’s been able to muster. For a veteran like Champ Bailey, it’s not about who gets the credit though, just that the team wins. And somewhat miraculously, the Broncos have found a way to fight and claw their way into the thick of things in the AFC West. At 5-5, the Broncos are just 1 game behind the division leading Oakland Raiders. However, having already beaten Oakland in Week 9, Denver really controls its own destiny heading down the stretch. They’ll try to keep the momentum in their favor and win their fourth consecutive game this coming Sunday when they travel to San Diego to take on the reeling Chargers in Week 12.
Bailey joined 102.3 The Ticket in Denver to talk about if he’d go with Tebow at quarterback for the next five years if he were in charge of the Broncos, how he and his teammates never doubted that Tebow would lead the team down the field for the game-winning drive last Thursday night, if he enjoys playing against unorthodox running threat quarterbacks like Tebow, the improved play of the defense starting up front with the d-line, and how he’s excited to be on a team that’s in the playoff chase at this stage of his career when earlier in the season it looked like they had no shot at competing for a postseason bid.
If he’d go with Tebow at quarterback for the next five years if he were in charge of the Broncos:
“The key word is winning games. If you’re winning games, why get rid of somebody who wins game for you? It doesn’t make sense. I don’t care how it looks, at the end of the day if you’re winning, that’s what it’s all about, right?”
On the celebratory reaction of the Broncos after the game-winning touchdown run:
“Look, I can remember standing there with Dawkins and I can’t remember who else was standing there on the sideline, and we were just like ‘we can drive this ball down, eat up all this clock and they won’t have any time.’ I mean, nobody doubted that he would take us down there and score. We just hoped he’d get us seven points instead of three points. So they did what they had to do and everything they did looked good up to that point, and that’s what makes it special.”
If he’d enjoy playing against quarterbacks like Tebow:
“Oh, no, I hate playing quarterbacks like him. Because when you have a quarterback that can run…what’s going to make him more dangerous in the future is when he improves his passing; he’ll be unstoppable. If he can get a lot better in his passing game, people are going to be so afraid of him.”
On the improved play of the Broncos defense starting up front with the defensive line:
“Oh yeah, absolutely. I give all the credit to our d-line, because when we can stop the run, slow that down, get pressure on the quarterback, it makes my life easy on the corner. So I got to give them all the credit. They’ve been playing better and better every week, these guys are so hungry and want to be some of the best in the game, so they’re working every day to try to be that. And they show up every week ready to play.”
On his excitement level being on a playoff contender all of a sudden at this stage in his career:
“I’m thrilled about the opportunity just to go out there and put ourselves in position to make the playoffs. One thing we’ve got to understand as a team is not to get ahead of ourselves and just try to keep getting better. Because if we don’t get better, we won’t do anything in the playoffs once we get there. So we’ve got to continue to improve. That’s one thing we’ve got to understand as a young team — just keep getting better, grinding and not getting ahead of yourself.”