The Injury – The Switch – The Cap – The Cuts – The Leadership – & Age are all talking points that arise whenever Champ Baileys' name comes up these days.
Here are some recent quotes:
"He’s a phenomenal athlete—unbelievable cover skills."
—All-Pro QB Peyton Manning
(On if it bothers him that people think he has lost a step) From http://www.mychamplainvalley.com/
"No. Not at all. Like I said, nothing outside of me is going to motivate me more than me. I'm not worried about it. I don't care. I'm supposed to lose a step at some point, right? It's going to happen. You can't avoid it. Every old player gets old. It's going to happen. I don't feel like I can't play the game and that's all that matters."
(On Bailey playing the slot during his come back.) From http://www.thedenverchannel.com/
...Bailey found himself seeking advice from Harris, an undrafted third-year pro he's taken under his wing.
"You know, it's funny because I find myself asking him little things about coverages, mostly. Just what is he looking at, this and that," Bailey said. "He's had so much time in there and he's been so good at it, I'd be a fool not to look at him and ask him a few things."
"I didn't play as many snaps as I have in the past, so it felt pretty good to get my feet wet a little bit," said Bailey, (He played just 12 quarters in the 2013 season.)
The Broncos aren't saying whether they'll switch Bailey and Harris for the playoffs, (we all know what happened there) but this certainly is giving them the flexibility to do so based on matchups they'll see in January.
The next quote from Bailey is the one I found to be most interesting, (and perhaps a bit of a "tell") with regard to the switch.
"Right now it's what we do. Moving forward we'll do what's best for our team that week. The good thing is it creates some versatility across the board because now I can go in, Chris can go back in there at any moment. It just depends on matchups and things like that, if we want to switch it up we could."
This I personally took as evidence that Champ is willing to do whatever is best for the team, on and off the field. He's made the big bucks for many years. The man is smart, and I don't think he's failed to put some money back toward his retirement.
That is why I would be very surprised if Elway and Champ don't come to a gentlemans' agreement about his role and monetary value to the 2014 team. If they can come to a structured agreement that is mutually acceptable, I would be salivating at the thought of "Champ as a Joker"!
I look at Champ Baileys' experience, age and leadership abilities and think that he is perfectly suited to play the General in the Middle calling the plays and making certain everyone knows their job. This year just seems like the perfect time to see what DR-C, Bailey & Harris look like TOGETHER in our backfield.
We were salivating at the beginning of the 2013 season about just that, and then we never got to see it play out. Now, we could actually get to see what that looks like this year, but then, the Cap & the Cut are situations still hanging in the balance.
What's your opinion?