The first No. 1 cornerback tasked with having to stop Peyton Manning? Champ Bailey, who is having to go up against the new Broncos quarterback in practice each and every day. So there aren’t many people on the planet who can give you a better assessment of No. 18 in orange.
Champ Bailey joined Brandon Krisztal on KKFN in Denver to discuss the expectation level in Denver with Peyton Manning in town, what it’s been like facing Manning in practice and what he and Manning have talked about in the locker room.
On the increased expectations in Denver:
“I love it. And I always expect to do my best on a personal level, but when you talk about what he can bring to a team. I mean, quarterback, I’ve never been shy saying, is the most important position on the field. You’ve got a great one, the expectations go up. And we’ve got a great one, so I welcome these expectations, because that means we’ve got a good shot at winning it all.
On what it’s been like going against Manning in practice:
“It’s been tough, but that’s the way I want practice to be. I want practice to be harder than the games, tougher than the games, and that’s what he does for us. He gets us prepared. I know a lot of quarterbacks that we’re gonna face who are not gonna put the ball on the money all the time. And that’s what Peyton does. Every ball he puts out there is on the money — you really don’t have a chance to intercept it most of the time, so I welcome that challenge because he’s just making us better.”
On the conversations he’s been having with Manning:
“It’s been good because we kind of have a lot in common. We played in the same conference, we came out just a year apart, so there is a lot of things to talk about. … We talk a few x’s and o’s here and there, just to kind of get a feel for what he’s thinking and he wants to see what I’m thinking a lot. It’s one of those things — it’s good to have a good veteran on your team to talk to about those things.”