DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey usually keeps pretty quiet when it comes to talking about how good the team is, but now he says the Broncos have the “potential” to be Super Bowl champions.
The future Hall of Famer was the guest on Xfinity Monday Live!
“That’s the thing — ‘potential’ — you know. I don’t know how much we can grow, but we are still growing,” Bailey said. “I think the better we get, the better our chances get. We’ve just got to keep improving.”
Everybody talks about Peyton Manning and all he has done this year, but the real story could also be how the defense has played above and beyond expectations this season. But Bailey wouldn’t say he’s surprised at how well the defense has played.
“I think we’re just kind of picking up where we left off last year,” he said. “We had some dramatic improvements last year. I think with the addition of Von (Miller) last year and Rahim Moore; those guys have played at a higher level this year, and when the young players play great, it makes the defense good.”
Bailey said the defense prides itself on making the important stops on third downs.
“When you stop somebody on third down, it eliminates the run game,” he said. “It gives you a good chance to win … our guys up front, they do a good job. Kevin Vickerson, he’s playing on a new level; Justin Bannan. And when you add a young guy like Derek Wolfe; you know he’s playing a very good rookie year. You can’t say anything more about what he’s done this year for us.”
The entire defensive backfield has also been stellar this season and one of the shining stars has been Chris Harris, who was an undrafted free agent.
“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Chris. He really has a lot of confidence in what he can do. I’m not surprised. I see it every day in practice. I saw it when he first got here, how hungry he was. I’m just proud of him, the way he stepped up and managed to go out there and make some plays for us.”
Bailey was drafted by Washington and got to play alongside Redskins great Darrell Green. He’s widely considered to be one of the greatest cornerbacks to ever play football, and getting to play with him was an honor for Bailey.
“It was so surreal, I have to be honest. I never expected to play with a great like that. I remember growing up watching him. The first time I saw a football game was like 1983 when they played in the Super Bowl. I was about five years old and I remember him, and just to have the opportunity to play with him — a dream come true.”
Bailey has played for the Broncos since 2004 after being traded by the Redskins for running back Clinton Portis. Following the trade, he signed a seven-year contract worth $63 million. He said he appreciates Pat Bowlen as an owner.
“He’s great. When we’re in the building, we see him, he’s very polite, treats everybody with a lot of respect and everybody respects him,” he said. “He’s the best owner I’ve seen.”
The Broncos try to make it 10 wins in a row when Cleveland comes to the Mile High City on Sunday. Bailey said the Browns are playing a lot better than they were in the beginning of the year.
“I think a lot of their rookies are starting to gradually improve, and they’re a dangerous team. They can turn the ball over, they can make you look bad if you let them.”
Kickoff is at 2:05 p.m. on CBS4.
– By Matthew J. Buettner, CBSDenver.com
Watch more of the video with Champ Bailey in the Xfinity Monday Live! section.