2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Bailey, Harris reverse roles in Broncos secondary

    2013-12-27 14:56

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Champ Bailey and Chris Harris Jr. are reversing roles down the stretch.

Bailey is playing in the slot. Harris is playing outside. And the protege is giving tips to his mentor.

Bailey has missed 11 games this season with a nagging sprained left foot. When he returned to action Sunday at Houston for the first time in five weeks, defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio kept Harris at left cornerback and used Bailey in the specialty packages as the nickel and dime cornerback.

Although Bailey has lined up in the slot at times throughout his illustrious career when shadowing a top-flight receiver, playing it full-time is a new experience for the perennial Pro Bowl cornerback who's in his 15th NFL season.

So, Bailey found himself seeking advice from Harris, an undrafted third-year pro he's taken under his wing.

''You know, it's funny because I find myself asking him little things about coverages, mostly. Just what is he looking at, this and that,'' Bailey said. ''He's had so much time in there and he's been so good at it, I'd be a fool not to look at him and ask him a few things.''

Harris certainly isn't shy about sharing tips.

''Oh, yeah, I mean, I know the position so well and I consider myself the best at it, so I definitely can give him some of my little tips at it,'' Harris said.

Even to a man many consider the pre-eminent cornerback in the game's history.

''Yeah, that is kind of funny now that I think about it,'' Harris said. ''But it's a new position. He's always been outside. I've always been playing it in Jack's system so I know it the best out of anybody. That's the reason why he comes to me.''

With Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on the right side and Harris on the left, the slot seems the perfect role to ease Bailey back into action. He played 35 of 67 snaps against the Texans, last week, enough to give him some confidence in his foot but not enough wear him down.

''I didn't play as many snaps as I have in the past, so it felt pretty good to get my feet wet a little bit,'' said Bailey, who has played just 12 quarters this season.

The Broncos aren't saying whether they'll switch Bailey and Harris for the playoffs, but this certainly is giving them the flexibility to do so based on matchups they'll see in January.

''Right now it's what we do,'' Bailey said. ''Moving forward we'll do what's best for our team that week. The good thing is it creates some versatility across the board because now I can go in, Chris can go back in there at any moment. It just depends on matchups and things like that, if we want to switch it up we could.''

Bailey might get even fewer snaps Sunday when the Broncos (12-3) try to wrap up the top seed in the AFC playoffs with a win at Oakland (4-11) because rookie cornerback Kayvon Webster figures to play in the dime packages even though he'll have a cast on his right thumb following surgery on Dec. 13 in which six screws, five pins and nine stitches were needed in an operation to repair two fractures.

Harris has started 10 games at left cornerback for Bailey this season and another on the right side when Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was out with a shoulder injury, and he's taken a liking for playing outside.

''On the inside, you have a lot more responsibility. They can run 1,000 routes compared to outside, you have kind of the sideline help,'' Harris said. ''It's a lot easier for me just playing outside, not having to play inside and communicate with safeties and linebackers. Outside I'm just on my own.''

Except when he's giving advice to his mentor on the inside.

Notes: Harris was named the seventh annual winner of the Darrent Williams Good Guy Award. ... As expected, WR Wes Welker was ruled out for Sunday's game. He hasn't played since suffering his second concussion in four weeks on Dec. 8. ... DE Derek Wolfe returned to practice after missing a day with the flu. He hasn't played since a seizure-like episode last month and will also miss the Oakland game.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Sam BradfordApr 24 06:02p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota could be selected by the Philadelphia Eagles if the team could make trades with the Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans, according to one draft rumor. [ More ]

Chris PolkApr 24 05:42p

Philadelphia Eagles restricted free-agent RB Chris Polk's tender offer has been rescinded by the Eagles, according to a source. Polk will become an unrestricted free agent and allowed to sign with any team.

Jaiquawn JarrettApr 24 04:52p

New York Jets restricted free-agent SS Jaiquawn Jarrett signed his tender offer Friday, April 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Hakeem NicksApr 24 01:42p

Free-agent WR Hakeem Nicks (Colts) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the Tennessee Titans Friday, April 24.

Justin BlackmonApr 24 12:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon is likely done with the Jaguars if he's reinstated into the league, in the opinion of beat writer Ryan O'Halloran.

Adrian PetersonApr 23 05:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson may not be in the Dallas Cowboys' plans after all, according Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. Robinson said the Cowboys have not spoken to the Vikings regarding Peterson.

Demaryius ThomasApr 23 03:32p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas has decided not to participate in offseason workouts because he does not want to suffer an injury, but general manager John Elway does not [ More ]

Will HillApr 23 03:12p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent FS Will Hill signed his tender offer Thursday, April 23, according to sources. Hill received a one-year deal worth $1.54 million.

Andre EllingtonApr 23 03:02p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington's (foot) injured foot is about 95 percent healed, and Ellington has not suffered any setbacks, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

M. Jones-DrewApr 23 02:22p

Free-agent RB Maurice Jones-Drew (Raiders) will sign a one-day deal to retire as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars next Tuesday, April 28. He played nine seasons and rushed [ More ]

Victor CruzApr 23 02:12p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) said he believes that he will be ready to play in the season opener next season and play like he did before he suffered the injury.

Justin TuckerApr 23 01:52p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent PK Justin Tucker has signed his one-year tender offer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bear PascoeApr 23 12:52p

Free-agent TE Bear Pascoe (Falcons) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Thursday, April 23. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sam BradfordApr 23 01:53a

The Philadelphia Eagles and QB Sam Bradford have yet to make significant progress on a contract extension sparking speculation the quarterback might be traded again, although head coach Chip [ More ]

Brandin CooksApr 22 11:43p

New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks (knee) spent time training together with QB Drew Brees during the offseason in San Diego. 'Man, I love everything about him, his makeup, [ More ]

Greg JenningsApr 22 06:13p

Free-agent WR Greg Jennings (Vikings) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Philip RiversApr 22 05:33p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers may be losing faith in the organization, according to NFL Network analyst and former Chargers' RB LaDainian Tomlinson. 'The parts around him keep [ More ]

Jacques McClendonApr 22 04:13p

Free-agent OG Jacques McClendon (Jaguars) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Adrian PetersonApr 22 02:23p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not expected to be traded by the Vikings unless the team is overwhelmed by an offer from another team, according to a source. [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 22 02:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown said he is not participating in voluntary workouts because he is spending time with his newborn child. Brown said he will report to offseason [ More ]

Marvin LewisApr 22 11:33a

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis signed a one-year extension Wednesday, April 22. He's under contract through the 2016 season.

S. RichardsonApr 21 05:23p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Shaquille Richardson (undisclosed) was released Tuesday, April 21, with a failure to disclose physical condition designation.

Adrian PetersonApr 21 01:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson remains a candidate to be traded, and a source close to the situation believes that if he isn't traded before or during the 2015 [ More ]

Dennis PittaApr 20 06:52p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) is participating in the team's voluntary conditioning program that started Monday, April 20. Pitta's career remains in doubt after fracturing his right hip [ More ]

Prince AmukamaraApr 20 05:22p

New York Giants CB Prince Amukamara (biceps) said he's about 90% recovered from a torn biceps he suffered last season.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 05:02p

Updating a previous item, free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) signed a contract to officially retire with the Arizona Cardinals.

Tim TebowApr 20 03:52p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) officially signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 20 01:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not in attendance for the start of the team's offseason workout program Monday, April 20, according to league sources. However, Peterson hasn't attended [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 20 11:02a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown is seeking a new contract and could hold out from minicamps and training camp, according to sources.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 07:22a

Free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) is expected to retire Monday, April 20, and join the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff. The Cardinals, the team Wilson played for from 2001-2012, have announced a press conference.

Tim TebowApr 19 07:42p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) is expected to sign a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20.

Stefen WisniewskiApr 18 01:02p

Free-agent C Stefen Wisniewski (Raiders) signed a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday, April 18. Financial terms were undisclosed.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group