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Mike Shanahan, Rod Smith, John Lynch, and Brian Dawkins statements on Champ Bailey retiring

Champ's former coach and teammates talk about the future Hall of Famer's career in Denver.

Scott Boehm/Getty Images

Former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan

"The one thing you realize when you get a guy like Champ is what a special player he is. You can see his skill on film, but what you don't know is what a great guy he is, how he practices, how accountable he is and how much you enjoy being around him.

"With Champ, you just didn't have to worry about the receiver on his side of the field. When you talk about Hall of Fame cornerbacks, those are the guys you can say that about. That's what Champ did. He could sit on short routes because he was so fast, and he had the speed to accelerate as well.

"He always played at a very high level and had such a presence and class about himself. You just don't find guys like Champ Bailey very often."

Former Broncos safety Brian Dawkins

"Champ Bailey is one of the best to ever do it, in my opinion. A great conserver of energy, Champ wasn't in a rush to get to anywhere fast unless it was on the football field. He was one of the most knowledgeable and gifted players I've ever played with.

"Congratulations, Champ, on an excellent career, and like I told you right before every game we played, ‘It was a pleasure and honor going to go to battle with you.'"

Former Broncos safety John Lynch

"I first became impressed with Champ when I got to know him at the Pro Bowl. His skill was obvious. He was one of the best tacklers I have ever seen. Coupled with that, he was able to play shutdown, zone and bump and run. He did it all and was truly a complete player.

"We decided to come to Denver together with hopes of winning a World Championship. Although that never happened, I had the privilege of playing with someone I believe is one of best cornerbacks and one of the greatest defensive players this league has ever seen. I've had the chance to play with first-ballot Hall of Famers in Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks, and Champ Bailey certainly fits in that category."

Former Broncos receiver Rod Smith

"The trade to get Champ Bailey is one of the best moves the Broncos have ever made. We got his best 10 years in the NFL, and I'm grateful to be able to call him a friend.

"His work in practice was the foundation for excelling in the games, and he served as a great example for any athlete.

"I wish him continued success in his life after football."