Broncos Need Champ to be NFL Champs
By Daniel Calzone
Champ Bailey was once considered the best defensive player in all of football. Now in the twilight of his career, the 35-year-old corner has been forced to watch his team go 3-0 without him.
Bailey has been selected to 12 Pro Bowls, the most of any defensive back in history, yet I still feel like he is underappreciated. It’s not like his is a veteran who can’t do the job at a high level anymore; he was in the Pro Bowl last season at the age of 34. He is still one of the NFL’s best cover guys, and it is shame that he hasn’t gotten the opportunity to suit up and play with arguably the most talented team of his career. The most impressive and compelling stat I could conjure up from Bailey’s career comes in 2009, when he did not allow a touchdown pass all season, and was on the field for 98% of the snaps. Richard Sherman and Darrelle Revis could learn a thing or two from one of the classiest, most underappreciated players of this era.
Bailey has been sidelined all season with a foot injury, and appears to be extremely questionable for Week 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles. With Von Miller nabbing all the headlines, I believe the Broncos’ biggest missing asset on defense is not Miller, but Bailey. He not only plays lock-down defense on the opposing teams’ No. 1 receivers, but he brings a sense of leadership to a Denver Broncos defense that has looked good, but not great to this point. You need to be great to win it all in the NFL, and Bailey’s status for this season will play a big part in how far Denver ultimately goes. Foot injuries tend to linger, and defensive backs need to be able to plant their feet, and change directions on a dime in order to keep up with the receiver lining up across from them.
The Broncos believe Bailey could be back on the field very soon, possibly even this week. He was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday and figures to be a game-time decision for Sunday’s game Sunday against the Eagles. This already stacked Denver team hopes to welcome back one of the greatest defensive backs of all time in the coming weeks, in hopes of making a serious run at the Super Bowl. The Broncos will need Champ in order to become champs this season.