Bell must rescue Chiefs' defense

The Broncos will need big plays from Champ Bailey, while LaMont Jordan could enjoy a monster season with the Raiders.

Originally Published: May 17, 2005
Scouts Inc.
The AFC West has been as unpredictable a division as any in the NFL. Last year the Chargers went from worst to first, making it three different teams in three years to win the division. Scouts, Inc. highlights the one player on each team who could vault his team to a division title in 2005.

Champ Bailey, Denver Broncos
When the Broncos gave up RB Clinton Portis to obtain Bailey from the Redskins, they thought they got a play-making, shutdown corner. The Broncos saw Bailey as a huge asset in the pass-happy AFC West. What they got were only three interceptions and no return yards -- not exactly the play-maker they were hoping for.

There was much discussion last season about the new illegal contact rule and how it would affect the elite cover corners. These changes didn't affect Bailey's game as much as his penchant for taking more chances in 2004. Despite all of his amazing physical skills, he repeatedly tried to outguess opposing quarterbacks and jump a lot of routes. As a result, he gave up too many big plays for an elite cover corner.

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