If home isn’t where you live, but where people understand you, then no one understands Denver Broncos’ cornerback Champ Bailey as much as the people of Georgia.
Bailey returns home to where he was born, raised, and played college football as the Broncos take on the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football.
“This might be the last time I play in my home state, so I took full advantage of making sure everybody that I care about it is there,” Bailey said.
Aside from bundles of ‘Bailey’ tickets, the future Hall of Fame cornerback will be assigned a very difficult task. Along with Tracy Porter, Bailey will be responsible for covering Roddy White, who has have five consecutive 1,000+ yard seasons, and Julio Jones, who had 6 receptions for 108 yards and two touchdowns in week one.
“We’re going to see a lot of great tandems, but these two guys are emerging to be one of the best,” Bailey said.
Jones stands 6’3″ and 220 pounds, and Bailey will be seeing a lot of him.
“All I see is growth from Julio Jones from last year,” Bailey said. “It’s like night and day.”
Jones had a solid rookie year with 54 catches for 959 yards and 8 touchdowns in 13 games, but many think his route running has improved as has his overall strength.
Don’t forget, along with Jones and White, tight end and former AFC West foe Tony Gonzalez is still running around out there as a big threat. In week one, he had just one catch for 5 yards, but it was a touchdown catch.
“I’m so tired of this guy,” Bailey said. “He never stops. He creates so many problems because he’s so savvy. His experience, it shows every week.”
That’s a tough homecoming for Bailey, but one that he fully embraces. Now that Porter is seen as more of a threat at right corner, more balls could be coming Bailey’s way.
Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan told the Denver media that he doesn’t mind just throwing the ball to a receiver that doesn’t look open and letting him make a play.
That’s a tactic that Bailey would eat up faster than any hungry Bulldog.