If you ask Champ Bailey what concerns him the most about headlines coming out of Dove Valley this week, he would not tell you it’s Brandon Marshall’s freak Big Mac attack. He might not talk about the absence of Rod Smith at the first day of off-season conditioning or the disappointing loss of strong safety Nick Ferguson, to the Texans. He won’t even mention the fact that punt returner Glenn Martinez can’t gain weight despite eating six meals a day either.
What has been weighing on Bailey’s mind is Jason Elam’s departure. Bailey stated that even though the Broncos have lost key players like Javon Walker and Ian Gold, Elam’s departure is the most disappointing of them all. Bailey said, “he won a lot of games for us last year. We didn’t win a whole lot, but he won about half of them for us.”
Bailey’s right about that. At the start of the season, Elam was a candidate for team MVP. While other players weren’t quite ready to start their jobs in September, Elam kept the Broncos in the playoff hunt early on.
When asked about a replacement kicker for the Broncos, Bailey said he’s concerned. “I’ll tell you what. There had better be a guy that impresses me when these camps start rolling around. Because (if not) it would really, really bother me then.”
There is no doubt that the kicking game matters a great deal in the NFL, and the Broncos will miss Elam’s leg for sure. However, it was time for him to move on, and it looks like former teammates are having a difficult time coming to terms with that.