Champ Bailey has had a Hall of Fame career, but he’s yet to make a Super Bowl. With Peyton Manning in town and the Broncos dominating, this might be his best chance yet as the clock ticks on his career. Bailey seems to see something special in this team, and he’s excited about the role he’s playing as a veteran leader.
Champ Bailey joined Les & Tom on 102.3 The Ticket in Denver to discuss this week’s game in Baltimore, being a contender, this year’s team compared to last year’s and his role as a leader and a wise old man in Denver. He also touched on a potential move from cornerback to safety in the future and head coach John Fox’s mentality.
On if there’s added emphasis for this week’s game in Baltimore:
“It’s a conference opponent and it has some significance to it, but at the same time it’s just another week for us to get better, go out here and prove that we can play with the best of them. Baltimore’s one of the top teams in our conference, so it would be good to go out there and get a win against them.”
On it bothering him that he hasn’t been on a lot of Super Bowl contenders until now:
“Yeah, it does. It’s one thing that, looking back, I wish I could have done this, I wish I could have done that, if we would have done this — all those excuses and reasons for why we didn’t make it. But we have a shot now. It’s right in front of me. We know we’re gonna get in the tournament. Now we just need to concentrate on making sure … we’re on fire, we’re hot. … We need to keep getting better every week.”
On why they feel like more of a real contender this year than they were last year:
“I think because the expectations are there. If you have expectations to do things that are great, and then you do it, it feels real. Last year, nobody expected us to do anything. And then we started 1-4; we had a quarterback who had limited throwing ability, unconventional offense, whatever it may be. That surprised a lot of people. … But now you’ve got a great quarterback that’s done a lot of things in this league. It just feels good.”
On being the Darrell Green of this team:
“I remember what he taught me back then and the things I learned from him. I’m just trying to give it back to these young guys. Trust me, all of them envy the position I’m in. They want to be in their 14th year. I just laugh at them when they laugh at me.”
On a potential move to safety:
“I’m not going to force myself to do it. When I feel like I’ll be better off helping my team at safety, then that’s what I’ll do.”
On head coach John Fox keeping it light:
“Even if we were losing, he’ll find a way to keep it light around the building. He doesn’t like people walking around on eggshells. He wants you to have fun doing your job and I can appreciate that from a coach.”
On who he’d say is the best defensive player in the NFL since 2000, without considering himself:
“I’d have to say Ed Reed. I don’t know a guy that’s produced as much as he has.”