Longtime nemeses join forces in Denver

The two are two sure Pro Football Hall of Fame players on the Denver Broncos’ roster.

There is a mutual respect forged between the two for three decades, dating back to their days as rivals in the SEC when Peyton Manning was quarterbacking Tennessee and Champ Bailey was a lock-down cornerback at Georgia.

Finally, after all these years, they have joined forces as the leaders of their respective units in Denver. Manning is thrilled to be on the same side as his longtime foe.

“He’s the best corner I’ve played against in my career, and he’s been unbelievably consistent,” Manning said of Bailey on Thursday in quotes distributed by the team. “I’ve played the Broncos a number of times, and he always shows up, he’s always ready to go. He presents an intense matchup problem. Champ has never intercepted me in the NFL, but I don’t think I’ve ever thrown a touchdown on him either, so it’s a pretty good battle. He got me in college one time on an interception, so I’m glad we’re on the same team.”

When I was at Denver’s camp last week, Bailey raved about Manning and basically said the same thing. He was thrilled to finally be on the same side of the man who one day will be his bronzed bust neighbor in Canton, Ohio.