As John Fox and the rest of the Denver Broncos braintrust continue to devise ways to turn the Broncos back into a winner again, it would behoove them to consider how best to keep Champ Bailey in the fold as a Denver Bronco.
Bailey's speed, hands, and intangibles have been invaluable and have been on the few bright spots in a otherwise dismal Broncos defense. Because only the Texans had a lower defensive rank, the Broncos then must do everything in their power to Champ Bailey on the roster. Here are some good reasons why.
1. Bailey is consistently good. There are certain ways that ones attains status as a future hall of famer. Some, like Lawrence Taylor, are very flashy and make a splash for all the time that they are in the league. Some, like Bailey, are just very, very good at doing their jobs well.
Year in and year out, Bailey is a perennial Pro-Bowler, having made his 10th Pro Bowl this year, which is a record for his position. Better yet, he can serve as a mentor to the younger players on defense.
2. Bailey has speed. Regardless of whether Fox decides to go with a 4-3 scheme or a 3-4, Bailey's speed would be a huge asset to the team. In his article, "A Champ for the 2000s: Bailey the Best Cover Man of the Decade," Nate Davis notes that Champ can be a "shutdown corner" who has "fearlessness."
3. Bailey's career stats are top-notch. As of this writing, Bailey has 48 career interceptions, ranking fourth among active players at his position. He also has 812 career tackles and 6 forced fumbles.
4. Denver's defensive future is uncertain. With Perrish Cox facing serious legal trouble, there is a strong need for Champ to return. Couple that with the fact that Dumervil may or may not return in pre-injury form, and there is an almost-crucial need for Bailey to remain.
5. Fox is a defense-oriented coach. As a coach who emphasizes defense, Fox surely realizes that Bailey can only help his plan to revamp this team defensively. Knowing that Fox is more experienced as a defensivee-minded coach, has a defense-first philosophy and has the experience needed to hopefully deliver a more quality Broncos product, would that help convince Champ to stay? One can only hope so.