Broncos' DB Bailey: Team changing course

Denver Pro Bowler chats with "Waddle & Silvy"

July 6, 2009, 4:08 PM

By: Jeff Dickerson

In addition to Eddie George, Marc Silverman and I had a chance to speak with eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey on Monday morning on ESPN Radio 1000's "Waddle & Silvy." The Denver defensive back offered his insight on Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Kyle Orton and Devin Hester.

Waddle & Silvy: How do you sum up what's been going on in Broncos-land?

Champ Bailey: I'll tell you what, starting with [former Broncos coach Mike] Shanahan, when you talk about changing the course of the organization, it really got thrown off right there. When he left, then [quarterback Jay] Cutler leaves, now [wide receiver] Brandon Marshall's talking about leaving. I mean, these are three guys that have done great things for this organization. I'll tell you what, once we get all of this behind us and the season gets started we'll be able to focus on what we need to focus on and that's winning a championship. We've got a good coach and a good thing going right now, and we just need to make sure we prove it on the field.

W&S: Did you question some of the tactics of Josh McDaniels?

Bailey: Well, you just have got to take it as it comes. You never know the whole story about what's happening. Being in a one-on-one conversation with him, I understand where he's coming from and I can't help but do one thing and that's worry about the Denver Broncos, my head coach and myself. I can't worry about everyone else that's not here and who wants to leave. I can't worry about that. I just got to worry about what we've got to do to get out there in a position to win and that's all I care about right now.

W&S: Where do you rank Jay Cutler among the top QBs in this league?

Bailey: Well he's definitely in the top ten as far as what he's done to this point. Now where he can be, he can be the best in the game, he has that ability. The guy's very smart, very sharp, a good arm; he has all the stuff you'd want. He reminds me of a [Dan] Marino-, [John] Elway-type of guy, and he's going to be a great winner for them. It's unfortunate for us that we had to lose a guy like that, but we've got to move on. We've got some quality guys back there that can definitely get the job done so we've just got to go out and handle business as necessary.

W&S: Did you ever question Jay Cutler as a leader?

Bailey: No, not at all. That's one thing about him: He's not a shouter, but when he gets upset and he knows we've got to get going he opens his mouth. I appreciate that from him; I'd rather have a guy that leads by example than a guy that talks all the time.

W&S: Was it a shock to you when you first heard the news of the Cutler trade?

Bailey: The possibility was a shock, but once it sunk in a little bit, that's just the nature of the NFL: You never know. You see guys leaving here -- look at Jason Taylor, he left, a No. 5 all-decade guy, you never thought he'd leave Miami, but it just happens.

W&S: How has Kyle Orton had an impact with you guys? Has he earned your respect as a player?

Bailey: Well, he's going to earn that over time, what he's done, I respect what he's done, but you know, as you go to a new team, you've got to earn their respect over time. People knowing that he's the quarterback and having a winning record as a starter, that'll get that instant respect a little, but as you play and as you lead us, that's how you earn the respect.

W&S: Would you be surprised to not have Brandon Marshall as a teammate come training camp?

Bailey: Nothing surprises me at this point; it wouldn't be a surprise. I talked to him and told him I don't want him to leave, but Brandon's got to do what he thinks is best for him. It's his career; I never tell a guy how to run his own career because when you look back, that's your legacy -- you make all the decisions. I'd love to have him on my team, but I wish him the best with whatever he does.

W&S: Do you think he will be with you guys?

Bailey: With my fingers crossed, yes, I definitely hope so.

W&S: So you think he'd be mature enough to come back and mend fences with the Broncos?

Bailey: He can do it, there's no doubt about that. He's under contract: If they don't trade, he has to come back. So it's not really in his hands completely. You can talk all you want, but when you're under contract you don't really have control.

W&S: When you see Devin Hester lining up against you do you see a No. 1 wide receiver?

Bailey: Uh, I see No.1 potential -- that's what I've seen. I haven't played against him or watched him enough to know what he's done over the course of last season. But I'll see him in preseason this year and I'll play extensively in that one, so I'll give you my evaluation after that one.

W&S: What will the reception be like for Jay Cutler in that preseason game?

Bailey: I don't know. I think it's going to be kind of mixed because I know part of him probably wanted to stay and finish his career here, but if you can't get along with the head coach, then you've got to move on. So we'll see what happens, but it'll probably be a little mixed.

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