DENVER (CBS4) – It took 15 seasons in the NFL for Champ Bailey of the Broncos to finally make it to the Super Bowl.
Now the veteran cornerback is finally going to get a chance to play on the game’s biggest stage — Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Bailey may be one of the oldest defensive players in the league, but it didn’t show on Sunday as he and the rest of the Broncos secondary took care of business, limiting the New England Patriots to 277 passing yards and only one receiving touchdown.
“That’s what it’s all about,” Bailey said in the locker room after the game. “To give yourself a chance to get in the big one. That’s where we are now and we’ll enjoy this one for a couple of days and then get right on the homework for whoever we play next.”
Bailey said it might not sink in until the morning that he’s finally getting a shot at winning a Super Bowl ring.
Things have been challenging lately for Bailey, who has called this season his “most frustrating” because problems with his left foot limited him significantly. He was only able to play in six games including Sunday’s.
Bailey insisted to CBS4’s Vic Lombardi after the game he isn’t slowed by the injury now.
“I don’t put damaged goods on the field – that’s not how I am,” he said.
The Broncos were able to keep quarterback Tom Brady from making any long passing plays despite the absence of fellow cornerback Chris Harris, who is out for the season.
Bailey said the team has been able to overcome all of the challenges they have faced in recent weeks in a large part due to Head Coach John Fox’s leadship.
“He’s done a great job of making us understand the moments and taking advantage of them and I think with his absence and coming back, we just found a way to win and keep going. That really goes as a credit to him because he made sure that we were prepared for things like that.”
Bailey could be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame someday, and it’s a sure thing that he’d love to have a Super Bowl win on his already-impressive career resume.