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Can the Broncos Live Without Champ Bailey?

Cornerback Champ Bailey of the Denver Bronocs takes part in practice during training camp at Dove Valley in August, 2010.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Cornerback Champ Bailey of the Denver Bronocs takes part in practice during training camp at Dove Valley in August, 2010. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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 I have been researching the Broncos new Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen's past history in order to reinforce the style of Defensive scheme that our team will use in the 2011 season and beyond. Allen's roots can be traced to the Buddy Ryan coaching tree by his association with Gregg Williams in New Orleans. Dennis also had the privilege of working with former Broncos coach Wade Philips. Those are some mighty branches in the defensive philosophic arboretum. All this points out is that the Broncos defense will have an aggressive, attacking tone, whether the scheme is a 3-4 or 4-3 Base set.

However, after coaching a 4-3 defense in New Orleans under both Gary Gibbs and Gregg Williams, the picture becomes clearer. Gregg Williams has an affinity for using heavy blitz packages up front paired with man-to-man coverages in the secondary. That leads me to believe that it would be best to keep Champ Bailey in a Bronco uniform. Champ is still one of the best man coverage Cornerbacks in the league, even at 32.

Think about it. The Broncos still need a bigger presence up front and you know I'm in favor of a pair of stud Defensive Tackles with the first two draft picks, but what about TWO "Shutdown" type Cornerbacks in the same backfield?

If the Broncos select Patrick Peterson with the 2nd overall pick, that could become reality. Especially in light of the latest Tweets by John Elway regarding Bailey's contract negotiations with the team. 

Finding Cornerbacks who have the skill-set to play Man Coverage aren't that commonplace at all. So when the opportunity comes along to obtain a matching set, it can be hard to pass up. The younger Corners that the Broncos have still need to realize their potential. Syd'Quan Thompson looks like an ideal fit for covering the slot receiver since he possesses the quickness to read the passer and jump routes. Perrish Cox will have his development hindered by an impending league suspension regardless of his guilt or innocence in an impending court case.

I don't know where Nate Jones fits in though. Since he is still under contract, it is possible he could fill in for Perrish until the suspension is fulfilled. He sure wasn't worth $.02  as the Nickle Back last season. Andre' Goodman will need to be replaced because his cover abilities don't offset his age and lack of talent in the tackling department. And tackling well is a prerequisite in this type of scheme. Cassius Vaughn is still developing and could very well break out this year, but if this scenario that I am suggesting doesn't occur, it will leave Denver with an anemic secondary.

The good news about all this (if it plays out that way), is that the Broncos are about to find out on Sunday, how much Champ Bailey means to the fans in the Mile High city. And because of that and the new defensive philosophy, the Broncos can not afford to let him walk. They would dearly miss Champ.

Go Broncos!