Peyton Manning before the start of training camp at the Broncos training facility. (Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE)

Champ Bailey Making Peyton Manning Better


We always hear the Broncos’ defense talking about how great it is to practice against Peyton Manning. Today, it was Manning talking about how helpful it is to practice against the defense, particularly the seasoned secondary.

“It’s a great challenge going against our defense,” Manning said after Thursday’s morning session. “There’s a lot of speed out there, a lot of experience, especially in that secondary between Drayton (Florence) and Tracy (Porter), Champ (Bailey), Mike Adams. Really you get lots of different looks from our defenses and you get good one-on-one looks from these corners and safeties.

The veterans in the secondary will in turn, help the team’s young receivers.

“It’s a good challenge everyday,” Manning said. “We’re going to win some battles, they’re going to win some battles, but it’s making the Broncos better, and I know it’s really good for our receivers and for our timing.”

Of course, the true leader in the secondary is Bailey. Manning and Bailey go back a long ways when Manning was at Tennessee and Bailey was at Georgia. They played against each other for three year in college and then in Manning’s second year in the league when Bailey was still with the Redskins. That’s why Manning’s assessment of Bailey is so noteworthy.

“He’s the best corner I’ve played against in my career,” Manning said. “He always presents an intense matchup problem.”

Manning went on to say what a competitive battle it has been between him and Bailey.

“Champ has never intercepted me in the NFL, yet, I don’t think I’ve ever thrown a touchdown on him either.”

Broncos fans have to love this. Two future Hall of Fame players on opposite ends of the ball making each other better. That will only propel the Broncos forward.

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Tags: Champ Bailey Denver Broncos Peyton Manning