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

Eric BerryNov 24 05:13p

The Kansas City Chiefs placed SS Eric Berry (illness) on the Non-Football Illness list Monday, Nov. 24, according to a source. Berry will miss the rest of the season.

Eric BerryNov 24 05:13p

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (illness) underwent an MRI on his chest, which revealed a mass in his chest. The team believes he has lymphoma, but there is no definite diagnosis.

R. Griffin IIINov 24 03:33p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will start Sunday, Nov. 30, against the Indianapolis Colts, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Jay FeelyNov 24 03:33p

Free-agent PK Jay Feely (Cardinals) will visit the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Nov. 25, for a kicking audition, according to sources.

Vernon DavisNov 24 01:53p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis had three catches for just 21 yards in the team's Week 12 win over the Washington Redskins, and that came after he had [ More ]

Ryan MallettNov 24 01:13p

Houston Texans QB Ryan Mallett (pectoral) is expected to miss the rest of the season because of the pectoral injury he suffered in Week 12.

Tony RomoNov 24 12:43p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) went 18-for-26 for 275 yards and four touchdowns in Week 12 against the New York Giants, and he didn't show any signs of [ More ]

Shane VereenNov 24 12:33p

New England Patriots RB Shane Vereen had a team-high 62 snaps in the team's Week 12 win over the Detroit Lions, but RB LeGarrette Blount had 17 snaps and [ More ]

C.J. AndersonNov 24 12:23p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson rushed 27 times for 167 yards and a touchdown in the team's Week 12 win over the Miami Dolphins, and it was the most [ More ]

Alfred MorrisNov 23 11:52p

Washington Redskins RB Alfred Morris averaged 6.0 yards per attempt on 21 carries in the Week 12 game against the San Francisco 49ers. It was his first 100-yard game [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 23 10:32p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald's (knee) sprained knee did not respond as hoped before the Week 12 game against the Seattle Seahawks, so he was inactive. He could well miss more games.

Doug MartinNov 23 10:23p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (ankle) returned to the lineup in Week 12 against the Chicago Bears. He carried 11 times for 27 yards. He was sidelined for [ More ]

Michael FloydNov 23 10:22p

Arizona Cardinals WR Michael Floyd was targeted twice in the Week 12 game against the Seattle Seahawks, but he did not record any catches or offensive statistics.

DeAndre HopkinsNov 23 09:33p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins posted five receptions for 39 yards in Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. He is now over 100 receptions for the first time in his career.

Jorvorskie LaneNov 23 09:33p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers FB Jorvorskie Lane (ankle) was carted off in the second quarter of the Week 12 game against the Chicago Bears due to what head coach Lovie [ More ]

Mike EvansNov 23 09:33p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans had three receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown in the Week 12 game against the Chicago Bears. He has now scored at [ More ]

Ryan MallettNov 23 09:33p

Houston Texans QB Ryan Mallett (pectoral) suffered a pectoral injury in the Week 12 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, and he will go for an MRI. He might miss [ More ]

A.J. GreenNov 23 09:22p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green posted a career-high 12 receptions for 121 yards in Week 12 against the Houston Texans. 'It's just one of those days when you just [ More ]

Andre SmithNov 23 09:22p

Cincinnati Bengals OT Andre Smith (triceps) suffered a partially torn triceps muscle in the Week 12 against the Houston Texans. He will go for an MRI Monday, Nov. 24.

T Y HiltonNov 23 08:02p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton was up early Sunday, Nov. 23, for the birth of his daughter, and he promised a touchdown. After his wife delivered their child, he [ More ]

Eddie LacyNov 23 08:02p

Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy (illness) ran 25 times for 125 yards and a touchdown in the Week 12 game against the Minnesota Vikings, and he added two [ More ]

Andrew LuckNov 23 08:02p

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck completed 21 of his 32 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown in Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He also ran eight times [ More ]

Charles JohnsonNov 23 08:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Charles X. Johnson had three receptions for a team-high 52 yards and a touchdown in the Week 12 game against the Green Bay Packers.

Greg JenningsNov 23 08:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Greg Jennings (rib) had four receptions for 38 yards and a touchdown in the Week 12 game against the Green Bay Packers, his former team. It [ More ]

C. PattersonNov 23 08:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (ankle, knee) left the Week 12 game against the Green Bay Packers due to ankle and knee injuries.

LeGarrette BlountNov 23 06:52p

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount carried 12 times for a team-high 78 yards and two touchdowns in the Week 12 game against the Detroit Lions after re-signing with the team this week.

Golden TateNov 23 06:52p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate had four receptions for 97 yards in Week 12 against the New England Patriots. He went over 1,000 yards receiving for the first time in his career.

Jonas GrayNov 23 06:52p

New England Patriots RB Jonas Gray did not play in the Week 12 game against the Detroit Lions after he did not report to the team's facility Friday, Nov. [ More ]

Timothy WrightNov 23 06:52p

New England Patriots TE Tim Wright played a season-high 60 snaps in Week 12 against the Detroit Lions, which shattered his previous best of 21 snaps, which he hit [ More ]

Kendall WrightNov 23 06:23p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright was limited to just one catch for 28 yards in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles. That catch did not come until 10 minutes remaining in the game.

Isaiah CrowellNov 23 06:12p

The Cleveland Browns have 14 rushing touchdowns this season, which is the most by the franchise since it had 14 in the 1989 season. The team had just four [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerNov 23 06:12p

Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger completed 20 of his 39 pass attempts for a career-high 345 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the Week 12 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group