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Former teammates discuss Lynch

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Here is what some of John Lynch's former teammates are saying about his sudden departure from Denver, courtesy of the Broncos' PR department:

Cornerback Champ Bailey

On Lynch's departure

"I'm a little shocked. Me playing with John for last four years and how competitive he is and how much pride he has about what he is doing on the field. It (stinks) that he can't play every down but that is what he wants to do. He wasn't happy with his role and I am behind his decision all the way whatever he wants to do. I would love him to stay but every guy has to look out for himself."

On whether he expected Lynch's departure coming

"Not to this extreme, I didn't see it coming. I knew that he was uncomfortable with his role and that is pretty much all I knew."

On where the Broncos will suffer the most with Lynch's departure

"He was almost like a fourth linebacker out there. He's great in run defense and his leadership, most of all, is going to be missed because he is a proven winner and a Hall of Fame player and guys look up to him and respect him for what he has done and what he can do."

On filling the leadership role Lynch held

"Well you don't have to yell at anybody to be a leader. I think people misunderstand; you can just lead by example. I think the way you lead on this defense is by just working hard everyday and when guys get down you pick them up. I know myself that I have to step up a little bit without John here because John was always the guy who would say something. There are a lot of guys that lead by example, look at D.J. Williams. We expect everybody to pick themselves up and gather around him."

On Lynch's frustration

"He was very frustrated. This would have been his 16th year. I can't say that I have been there but he just came off of a pro-bowl year. It is not like he can't play. When a team is ready to move on and go in a certain direction that is the way you have to take it. Jerry Rice didn't finish in San Francisco but he was a great player."

On whether Lynch's absence will set the defense back

"Well not really. I think the hardest thing is that we will just miss his presence and what he brought to us. I think we have a lot of time to adjust so I don't think it will set us back too much."

Safety Marlon McCree, who replaces Lynch in the starting lineup

On his role in training camp

"I wasn't promised anything. All I was promised was the opportunity to compete, and I'm still competing. I have nothing but respect and admiration for John Lynch, I was sorry to see him leave. I was learning a lot for him, and he was a great veteran leader, and I am going to miss him around here."

On if he was surprised to see Lynch go

"I was surprised. He didn't say anything to anybody. Obviously he and Coach (Mike) Shanahan spoke. It was new to us all yesterday. I wish him the best and I hope that he lands somewhere else. I wish him nothing but success."

Cornerback Domonique Foxworth

On if he was surprised to see Lynch go

"It caught me off guard a little bit. It's hard to say I'm surprised. What is it, like 15 years? It's not just a flat out surprise, but the fact that he has been here five days and just disappeared caught us all off guard."

On if he was surprised to see Lynch go

"It caught me off guard a little bit. It's hard to say I'm surprised. What is it, like 15 years? It's not just a flat out surprise, but the fact that he has been here five days and just disappeared caught us all off guard."

On if he sensed frustration in Lynch during training camp

"I didn't sense it. He did a good job covering it up. It's hard to imagine he wasn't a little frustrated, being the perennial pro-bowler that he is. To come in and not be an every down guy, I'm sure he's frustrated."