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Old 10-08-2009, 12:23 AM   #1
dragondawg
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Default Bailey relishes increase in passes coming his way

Bailey relishes increase in passes coming his way

By PAT GRAHAM (AP)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. The bully on the corner for so long, Champ Bailey is now the one getting picked on.

Maybe it's his advancing age 31 or that he's coming off a groin injury that cost him half of last season and ended his Pro Bowl streak at eight. Whatever the reason, the Denver Broncos cornerback has seen his workload increase this season as opposing quarterbacks go after him.

All Bailey can say is, well, thanks.

"That only gives me chances to make plays," Bailey said with a smile Wednesday.

Bailey certainly made plenty of plays in a 17-10 win over Dallas last weekend that kept the Broncos undefeated. He intercepted a pass from Tony Romo at the Denver 6 and swatted down four passes, including two on back-to-back plays in the end zone in the waning seconds.

His performance earned him AFC defensive player of the week honors for the first time since 2003 when he was in Washington and seemingly in his prime.

Not that he's reading too much into the award.

"It means I played well last week, that's it," said Bailey, whose Broncos (4-0) face New England (3-1) on Sunday. "It means I have got to go out and prove myself all over again."

Bailey now faces his biggest test yet in Randy Moss.

Last year, Bailey and the Broncos had their season derailed at New England. The team was demolished in front of a national audience, picked apart by then offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels' play calling in a 41-7 loss.

Bailey shut down Moss until injuring a groin that would keep him out for two months. On the sideline, he watched Moss reach the end zone twice.

After that game, the usually mild-mannered Bailey went off on his teammates, saying they lacked a "nasty attitude."

"I hate to be a guy that sits on the sideline and talks about it, but I feel like I earned my stripes enough to really sit back and criticize people when I see something going wrong," Bailey said. "I want to win and I can't have people (giving half effort) on the field. I can't let people get away with that."

This season, the defense has the nastiness that Bailey has been craving. A once-maligned defense has morphed into a reliable unit, allowing a league-low 26 points through the first month of the season.

It all started with McDaniels, who overhauled the defense soon after coming on board from the Patriots. He brought in Mike Nolan to run the defense, then revamped the secondary. He provided Bailey help on the other side by signing cornerback Andre' Goodman, while adding experience at safety with Brian Dawkins and Renaldo Hill.

Now, quarterbacks are coming right at Bailey.

That's a decision Dawkins doesn't quite understand.

"I guess people have different (levels of) courage, if you will, to challenge him," Dawkins said. "If that's the case, we welcome that. Champ welcomes that. His potential to make plays only goes up when you challenge him."

Bailey can't remember ever getting this much action. Not at the University of Georgia, not with the Redskins or the Broncos. He had a career-high 10 interceptions in 2006 and thought quarterbacks had learned their lesson.

Apparently not.

Cincinnati quarterback Carson Palmer started the trend, lobbing a few passes Bailey's way as he covered Chad Ochocinco. Romo challenged him right up until Bailey made the final game-saving deflection with a second left.

Bailey expects Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to keep the challenges coming Sunday with Moss, whom Bailey has always respected, even when Moss was floundering in Oakland.

"Did he have a quarterback?" Bailey retorted. "It's like night and day with him when he has a quarterback. He does good things. People say he dogged it in Oakland, but I don't think so. The thing was he didn't have somebody to give him the ball."

Brady can definitely get Moss the ball.

However, the three-time Super Bowl winner is wary of testing Bailey.

Brady tried to squeeze in a pass deep in Denver's territory in a 2005 playoff game, only to have Bailey jump the route in the south end zone and return it 100 yards to set up a game-sealing score, handing Brady his first playoff loss.

So, how smart is it to challenge Bailey?

"I don't think it's smart at all," Brady said. "I don't think I'm going to come into the game saying, 'Let's see how many times we can throw at Champ.' "

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...QPz3AD9B6ICUO0
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:41 AM   #2
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Champ always seems to do good going up against Moss, I'm excited to see the match up, and I hope he gets some opportunity's to make some plays!
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:41 AM   #3
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Huge match up, I do expect some safety help at times. No one can cover Moss for an entire game without getting burnt.
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:44 AM   #4
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Nolan's secondary scheme really forces teams into coming at Champ. Goodman is a pretty good CB himself and we often roll Dawkins over the top of him as an extra level of protection there. Add Renaldo Hill, a very capable centerfielder playing deep, and its basically "do I throw into double or triple coverage, or roll the dice with Champ?"

Its another great wrinkle they've put into this defense. Knowing that Champ is a playmaker they're putting teams in position to where challenging him seems like the best choice. They might win some, but then so will Bailey, and wins against him won't go for six with Dawkins and Hill backing him up, whereas his wins very well might.
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:49 AM   #5
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Randy Moss vs. Champ Bailey

2008 at New England: Moss steamrolls Bailey's Broncos for 69 yards on five catches and two touchdowns, but Bailey left the game in the first half with a groin pull. Before he left, Moss had two catches for 18 yards.

2006 at Denver: As a Raider, Moss was blanketed and had an awful quarterback in Andrew Walter throwing to him. He finished with 86 yards on five catches, but his biggest gain -- a 51-yard catch -- came when he beat Bailey as part of double coverage.

2006 at Oakland: Moss gets one catch for 8 yards. Yawn.

2005 at Oakland: Moss scored on Bailey's Broncos, but not on Bailey. His 29-yard touchdown catch came in double coverage on the opposite side of the field from Bailey. He finished the game with six catches for 87 yards with the score. Twenty-four of those yards came directly against Bailey.

2005 at Denver: Twenty of Moss' 72 yards came directly against Bailey. He, nor his Raiders, scored a touchdown in the game.

We'd tell you about the matchups these two had against each other when Moss was in Minnesota and Bailey in Washington, but none exist. The Redskins and Vikings didn't play each other during Bailey's stint in D.C.
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:56 AM   #6
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Two of the best squaring off - should be a good battle. Moss is not 100% still, right? Neither is Welker from what I understand.
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBF1 View Post
Huge match up, I do expect some safety help at times. No one can cover Moss for an entire game without getting burnt.
I only watched the game through the corner of my eye, but Darrelle Revis pretty much shut Moss down man to man week 2. Plus, Bailey will get more help than the island Rex Ryan puts his DBs on.

I'm not convinced the Broncos are going to shadow Moss with Bailey. In fact, I doubt they will as they haven't done it with anyone all year. They will get plenty of tme against each other, though, and it should be a good matchup.

I'm more concerned about the underneath stuff than Moss going off. I may eat my words.
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:02 AM   #8
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I'd like to see the breakdown of passes thrown to the receiver that Bailey is covering. How many were completed, how many were broken up. I'd like to see the numbers against press coverage, soft coverage, and zone. I didn't get to see the entire game against the Cowboys, but from what I did see early on they had Bailey playing way too soft and Romo was hitting underneath patterns against him, which is hard to cover when the coverage is soft. But when it is press coverage, Bailey doesn't look like he's lost a step. QBs should just considered that guy covered before the snap and not throw the ball to him.
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McMan-Goblin View Post
I only watched the game through the corner of my eye, but Darrelle Revis pretty much shut Moss down man to man week 2. Plus, Bailey will get more help than the island Rex Ryan puts his DBs on.

I'm not convinced the Broncos are going to shadow Moss with Bailey. In fact, I doubt they will as they haven't done it with anyone all year. They will get plenty of tme against each other, though, and it should be a good matchup.

I'm more concerned about the underneath stuff than Moss going off. I may eat my words.
Revis didn't do that on his own. He had a safety up top, which allowed him to take chances that he normally wouldn't have taken if there wasn't double coverage.

It will be interesting to see how Nolan decides to defend Moss.
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