Found August 01, 2013 on Fox Sports:
Broncos_vs_cowboys_d064
(Eds: Updates throughout. With AP Photos.) By EDDIE PELLS AP National Writer It happens to so many of the great cornerbacks and Champ Bailey knows it will happen to him, too. Entering his 15th year in the NFL and still in search of the Super Bowl title that is the only piece missing from a Hall of Fame-bound career, Bailey knows the move from cornerback to safety is inevitable for defensive backs trying to prolong their careers. ''You've got to look at history,'' Bailey told The Associated Press after practice on Thursday. ''Ronnie Lott. Rod Woodson. Aeneas Williams. They all did it and they all did it before I did. History says this is about that time. I understand that and I'm not naive about it.'' Lott was 26 when he made the move - a small detour on his way to the Hall of Fame. Williams was 33. Woodson was 34. Bailey turned 35 in the offseason. He knows the whispers and questions get louder with each passing year. Every time he gets beaten badly - and that happened twice in the playoff loss to Baltimore last year - it's not simply a bad play, but rather a possible sign that his career is dwindling. Every time the Broncos sign or draft another cornerback - and that happened a handful of times this offseason - it's not simply a transaction but rather a possible sign the Broncos are looking for his eventual replacement. All of which may be true, Bailey concedes. ''But nobody's going to determine when I move if I don't feel like it's the right time,'' he said. ''It'll definitely be a decision and, whether I'm here or somewhere else, it has to be the right fit.'' Through the first week of this, his 10th preseason with the Broncos, Bailey and Denver still look to be the right fit for each other, the way they have been since Bailey arrived in Denver in a trade with Washington for Clinton Portis in the 2004 offseason. Bailey is lining up in his usual spot on the corner, sparring with members of Denver's loaded receiving corps - namely, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. In deference to the mileage on those thirty-something legs, the Broncos are limiting his time on the practice field, the same way they have the last few seasons. ''I think that's going to help in the long run,'' Bailey said. But his time on the sideline isn't down time. It's time spent observing, studying, mentoring. Bailey didn't get to his spot as one of the most revered cornerbacks in the game without becoming a student of the game itself. ''I would say the defense, really,'' cornerback Chris Harris said when asked what he's learned from Bailey. ''Being able to ID what the offenses are trying to do to try to attack me. Champ gives me an idea how guys want to run routes toward him.'' Harris is among those benefiting from playing in the same backfield as Bailey, but also among those who could be in line to take his spot one day. In the offseason, the Broncos signed free agent Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and drafted speedy Kayvon Webster, who, upon learning he would get the chance to play with Bailey, said, ''I love Champ. Favorite corner.'' After each move, the underlying question was whether the transaction signaled the official start of the beginning of the end for Roland ''Champ'' Bailey in the lockdown corner position. ''He can still get the job done,'' Harris insists. ''He wouldn't be here if he can't do it. Everybody has confidence in him to still be Champ Bailey.'' By ''being Champ Bailey'' over his first 14 seasons, he has compiled one of the most impressive stat lines in history for a cornerback, including: -12 career Pro Bowl selections, a record for a defensive back. -52 career interceptions, which places him third on the list of active players. -A total of three pass interference calls in 504 throws his way over the past seven years, according to Stats Inc. Teams are going after him more of late, and figure to do so again in 2013. Bailey was victimized by Baltimore's Torrey Smith, who caught a pair of long touchdown passes against him in Denver's 38-35 playoff loss to the Ravens. It made for a long offseason for Bailey, who, like all great cornerbacks, has learned to have a short memory. ''I'm still Champ,'' he said. ''I still can play this game at a high level and I believe in myself 100 percent just as much as when I was 25. There's no challenge put in front of me that I won't take on like a man and go out there and try to do the best that I can. I believe in myself and only time will tell if I need to move or anything like that.'' For now, the answer is `No.' But regardless of the position, he knows time is running out in the quest for a Super Bowl ring. ''I look at it as my only shot,'' Bailey said of the 2013 season. ''I don't know what's to be said about next year. I'm looking at right now as my only shot. I hope everybody in that locker room feels the same way because nothing's guaranteed in this league and we could all be in different places next year.'' Notes: QB Peyton Manning lost his footing while throwing during team drills and landed on his side with a clunk, bringing audible gasps from the crowd of around 3,000 at Dove Valley. He wasn't hurt. ... Thursday marked the first big fight of training camp, involving, among others, LB Danny Trevathan, TE Julius Thomas, T Chris Clark and several others. Players came off the sideline to break things up. No harm done. ''When something happens that we're not really used to at camp, I'll let you know,'' coach John Fox said. ''It's kind of par for the course.'' ... Rookie DE Quanterus Smith missed part of practice with an injured knee. ... Rookie RB Montee Ball fumbled during team drills. ... Rookie S Ross Rasner made a nice interception of QB Zac Dysert. ... Catch of the day belonged to WR Greg Orton, from Brock Osweiler on a long post pattern. ... The Broncos claimed rookie CB Nigel Malone off waivers.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Denver Broncos’ new “three amigos”

Eric Decker tries to break free from Champ Bailey to catch a pass in training camp Friday. (Credit: Stuart Zaas, Denver Broncos)As training camp carries on, you cannot help but notice what I have heard been called the new, “Three Amigos,” on the field. The original “Three Amigos” were receivers Mark Jackson, Vance Johnson, and Ricky Nattiel. The nickname came about by something...

Center of desperation: Lilja signs with Broncos

The Denver Broncos were able to lure former Colt Ryan Lilja out of retirement to play center with his old teammate Peyton Manning, the team announced Wednesday. Lilja played guard while with Manning from 2004-2009, and is familiar with QB Peyton Manning's line calls. Manning probably would've preferred Jeff Saturday, but he'll settle for Lilja. Before his retirement...
ALL FOR ONE

Fans join Broncos for training camp stretches

Training camp looks to be all smiles, even with a few injuries, for the Denver Broncos and their fans. Check out this short clip from Wednesday when the fans checking out training camp partook in some team stretching drills. Pretty cool. [Denver Post], via Traina Article found on: Next Impulse Sports

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie reportedly has a high ankle sprain

We reported earlier that Broncos cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was carted off the practice field today. According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen,  Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie suffered a high ankle sprain. Some relief in Denver. From a Broncos source, Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie suffered a high ankle sprain. — Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) July 31, 2013 High ankle sprains...

Manning has a patchwork pocket of protection

Peyton Manning is about to enter a season of Super Bowl expectations behind an offensive line that's full of questions, surgical scars, fresh faces and, yes, promise. Three centers with a combined 18 career starts at the position are vying for the starting job now that J.D. Walton and Dan Koppen are out, and the leading candidate, Manny Ramirez, has none of those starts, although...

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie leaves practice on cart with leg injury

According to Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post, Denver Broncos cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie left the practice field via a cart on Wednesday. Rodgers-Cromartie suffered an injury to his left knee or ankle.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie takes a cart ride

According to Lindsey Jones of USA TODAY Sports,  Broncos cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was carted off the practice field today. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie driven off the field. Put no weight on left leg as he was helped into locker room. #Broncos — Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) July 31, 2013 Rodgers-Cromartie has had a very good camp so far.  It would be a shame...

2013 Denver Broncos Fantasy Football Projections

QB Peyton Manning (Denver) It’s possible that the addition of Welker can lead to be even further improved Manning, but I don’t find it that likely that Manning will surpass the arguably 2nd best season of his career (at least in terms of QB rating) in what is his age 37 season. It’s more likely that regression to the mean and normal diminishing physical skills for a 37-year...

Earmarking the ADP of the Trendiest Fantasy Football Picks

If you followed this ADP series during the preseason for fantasy baseball, you’ll recall my affectation with discussing the rising ADP of some of the season’s most trendy picks and how their popularity essentially ruins their value on draft day. Quite often, a variety of players become the darlings of many a fantasy pundit and after a number of write-ups about an impending breakout...

Denver Broncos 2013 NFL Season Preview

Introduction The Broncos were on an 11-game winning streak last season going into the playoffs, but saw it come to a screeching halt with a home playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens. What happened? You can blame Rahim Moore for one of the most boneheaded defensive plays of the season, but the Broncos also had two special teams touchdowns to help them. From a pure offense vs. defense...

Broncos reach out to retired offensive lineman Ryan Lilja

When Denver Broncos center Dan Koppen was carted off the field with a torn ACL at Sunday's practice, it put the team in desperation mode to find a replacement center. In fact they are so desperate that they have reached out to offensive lineman Ryan Lilja who just announced his retirement at the end of the 2012 season about the possibility of coming out of retirement. Ian Rapoport...

Broncos trying to pry Ryan Lilja out of retirement

If Peyton Manning has his way he may be get to take snaps from his former Colts teammate afterall. While Jeff Saturday has no plans to unretire, the same may not be true for Ryan Lilja. The Broncos have offered Lilja, 31, a contract in hoping to bring him out of possible retirement, reports the Denver Post. Lilja had previously discussed a comeback attempt with the Kansas City Chiefs...

Broncos Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Carted Off Field With Leg Injury

Hopefully, nothing too serious, but we will updated when we have more details. BREAKING: Broncos CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie carted off field with leg injury. — NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) July 31, 2013

Fledgling Indian football league using screwy image of Tim Tebow in promo (pic)

Something called the Elite Football League of India (EFLI) is poised to to bring football to India (convenient locale, given the name). And while it is no sure bet that American-style football will make a big splash in the Subcontinent, it is backed by some big names, with Mark Wahlberg, Mike Ditka and Kurt Warner […]The post Fledgling Indian football league using screwy image...

Broncos agree to terms with OL Ryan Lilja

Ryan Lilja will step out of retirement to reunite with Peyton Manning. The veteran offensive lineman agreed to terms Wednesday with the Denver Broncos, who are desperate for a starting center following a season ending knee injury to Dan Koppen. Lilja, who turns 32 in October, has quite a bit of familiarity with Manning after playing guard for six seasons in Indianapolis. And while...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.