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Champ Bailey tribute and reflection


Latest Champ Bailey tribute

By: Jake Rajala

The imposing 6’0 Champ Bailey, who clocked a freaky fast 4.29 40-yard dash, entered the league with the Washington Commanders in 1999. Bailey certainly hit the ground running in his rookie campaign: 5 interceptions and second in DROY voting. It was clear that the world would know Bailey’s name and glory would be his.

Bailey went to his first Pro Bowl in his sophomore season and his subscription to the PB wasn’t canceled until 2008. In 2009, he returned to Hawai and he proceeded to make the PB trip in each season from 2009 to 2013. Bailey wasn’t shy from making All-Pro teams, too. He was first-team All-Pro in 2004, 2005, and 2006. If you already believe that Bailey’s resume looks unusually successful – then you would be in the same boat as the writer of this article. It shouldn’t be a surprise to then note that Bailey’s number of Pro Bowl trips (12) is the most PB trips by a defensive back in NFL history.

Bailey recorded a personal-best 10 interceptions in 2010 — which led him to be placed second in DPOY voting (with the DPOY being none other than Troy Polamalu). The record for the most interceptions in a single season belongs to Night Train Lane (who recorded 14 ints in 1952).

The long-time Denver Bronco and Washington defender collected 52 interceptions, 931 tackles, 42 TFLs, 7 FFs, and four TDs in his career. His dominance and habit of keeping OCs up at night led him to be featured in the 2000s decade team.

Bailey’s football life was really celebrated when he made it into Canton (and in the Broncos ring of honor) in his first year of eligibility (2019). He was also cast into the College Football HOF in 2022.

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