It is tough to know when your time is up for any great player of any sport. Such is the case for Denver Broncos‘ CB Champ Bailey who keeps getting peppered with the same question: Are you ready to make the switch to safety?
Bailey’s answer, whether this year or last remains consistent and to the point as noted by the Denver Post when he said, “Hey, until these young guys start doing something, I’m not taking a back seat to them. Later on, maybe, but right now I still feel like I can play at the level I expect and the level they expect me to at corner.”
In all honesty, why should Bailey make the switch when coming off a quality season in which he played one bad half in the Broncos’ playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens ? What everyone forgets is that Bailey made adjustments and shut down Torrey Smith in the second half, giving Peyton Manning and the offense the opportunity to win the game.
One bad half. Is that all it takes nowadays for one of the best corners this league has seen to be thrown to the wayside? Bailey should and will stay at his corner position until he decides it is time to either retire or make the switch to safety.
What fans need to understand is that in 2012, Bailey and Chris Harris combined for the best cornerback tandem in the league, allowing just over 900 yards to opposing receivers. Their consistency throughout the season shut down some very good receivers, and was a tremendous ingredient in the Broncos becoming the NFL‘s number two defense.
This year, you will see a defense that will play the nickel about 65 percent of the time, which will allow Bailey to play opposite newly acquired Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie while Harris plays on the inside. The Broncos will not be exploited like they were against the Ravens, and I am almost positive Bailey will make sure of that.
Bailey has been a shut-down corner for 14 years in the NFL, and should be given every opportunity to go out as he wants to. Maybe in the next two years he will decide it is time to switch, but every time someone asks him the question, he more than likely wants to prove them wrong.
One thing you have to love is Bailey’s brutal honesty and the realistic approach that he takes as he gets older. He is a consummate professional that understands where he is at in his career. One thing Broncos fans and those with the team need to believe is Bailey’s word as he stated, “If I see myself on tape and I think it’s time to make a move, I’ll know it’s time to make a move. I’ll be the first to see it. I’ll be the first to know it.”
I believe that is all I need to hear.