Blame Champ Bailey

December 4th, 2012

Broncos defensive back Champ Bailey was a nightmare for Bucs receivers Sunday.

Yes, Joe angered some Bucs fans when he suggested a more consistent performance from Josh Freeman could have been enough to beat the Broncos.

A number of Bucs fans attacked Joe, claiming the pass rush of the Broncos was too much, despite the fact Freeman was sacked but once.

Perhaps a better foil for Freeman’s ugly third quarter was Broncos stud defensive back Champ Bailey who, per Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post, locked up Bucs receiver and Freeman’s favorite target Vincent Jackson and wreaked havoc on both Mike Williams and Tiquan Underwood.

When Bailey was matched up on Jackson in one-on-one situations, which was for most of the game, Jackson had one reception for 12 yards Sunday. And that catch didn’t come until the third quarter was drawing to a close.

Jackson had another catch in zone coverage, away from Bailey, and his third and final catch of the game came with Bailey having already been taken out of the game because the Broncos were protecting a two-touchdown lead facing a three-day turnaround to play in Oakland on Thursday night.

“Vincent’s one of the toughest matchups because he plays hard all the time,” Bailey said. “He’s not one of those guys where if he’s not getting the ball, he’s out there running slower or anything. He’s a beast.”

Bailey went on say he sensed Freeman was flustered and frustrated, which also led to his subpar afternoon.

There will be days like that when Jackson is taken out of a game because of solid play by a defense. Hey, those guys collect checks as well and Bailey is one of the best around. When that happens, it is imperative other receivers get open, and for Freeman to remain calm, collected and above all, patient.

Yes, some will blame the Broncos’ pass rush for getting to Freeman. Perhaps Bailey is as much to blame, or in better words, deserves the credit?

23 Responses to “Blame Champ Bailey”

  1. flmike Says:

    When a team has a lock-down corner who can take your best WR one on one all day, your other WR is going to get shutdown too, why because the D can roll coverage away from the #1 and apply it to your #2 & #3 guys, that’s why it is so important in this league to have “That” guy. Now, is there a way to open those other WRs up, yeah, run the ball effectively, which Denver didn’t allow us to do. We didn’t get beat by Peyton Manning we got beat by a very, very good Denver defense, which didn’t allow us to do anything we wanted to do.

  2. bucfanjeff Says:

    @flmike – good explanation, you’re right.

    The Denver defense played above expectations. We did hang 23 on them and will need our defense to bail us out from time to time. (I’m sensing DB will be the focus of our draft and FA. It has to be.)

    It might help if Underwood would catch some balls too. He seems a little timid going across the middle, uncomfortable.

  3. Macabee Says:

    That’s the way it’s supposed to work. It’s called a game plan. When a team takes away your primary receiver, there should be a 2nd or 3rd receiver that becomes primary. Of course that assumes that you have a capable 2nd or 3rd WR or TE that is a legitimate threat.

    There should be a weakest link CB that is targeted (as Manning did LJ) and exploited. Someone said yesterday that Freeman has a preferred side of the field (I think right) and he always looks there first to throw. That cannot be allowed! The preferred side must be the weak side as identified by the game plan and attacked often.

    Then there are always those halftime adjustments where downfield strategies may be revised. It was obvious that the Broncos made some. Perhaps Schiano should reconsider whether halftime adjustments are useful or not!

  4. Ian's Gay Lisp & Ron's Drinking Problem Says:

    #5 needs another big target…and thats why we’ll be drafting TE Tyler Eifert after we trade down a few spots

  5. TampaRob Says:

    Guys- this is a brand spanking new offense for everyone.. give it time. Remember with a similar system they were running Eli Manning out of town right until the time he won the Super Bowl. I’m not panicking yet.. the playoffs this year seem a bit out of reach, but this team is performing well. I said it in the other post, but they are scoring between 1 and 2 points a game less than the Broncos with the highly exalted Sir Forehead at QB. And it’s not like they’re beating up on weak teams and padding stats in garbage time. Broncs and Bucs have similar opponents so far AND a much better D as Joe notes very well in this article.

    think about this- 1 PPG less than Peyton Manning. Why the rush to the fire exits? And Maccabee- everyone including Schiano has noted that there are no specific halftime adjustments and that it’s a myth. Adjustments are made on the fly in real time. In 12 minutes they have time to pee. Free is on the sidelines looking at photos and talking to coaches all game.

    Jeff is right- Bucs need a stud CB more than anything else.. and Clayborn back.

  6. McBuc Says:

    Macabee, Mike Williams and Dallas Clark are capable guys. Underwood is coming along, and everyone loved the guy before this game. I think we can tell the Shiano was blowing smoke when he made half time adjustment statements, and he also said you make adjustments throughout the entire game. We have seen adjustments made in every game this year. Lynch stated that the problem with Manning is you may shut him down, but he will eventually figure it out and hurt you. This explains all of his comeback wins. The Denver D came to play, the same way they did last year and made FL people think Tebow was the baby jesus again. Send Tim packing and pick up manning, I think they have a great shot at going the distance. Their weekest link CB must have had his A game with him, because you are right that is what you try to do.

  7. Tampa2 Says:

    “We DID hang 23 on em.” That score is super Misleading. I love the Bucs as much as anyone, but I’m trying to be objective here to. Freeman racked up garbage yards at the end of the 4th quarter. It was 31-13 with 6 min to go. The game was over. At that point Denver was giving the Bucs the middle of the field..

    On another note Champ Bailey is one of, if not THE best all around corner of all time. Note sure how Revis started to get more love then him (oh I know- New York Media Hype) but Champ has been doing this a lonnnnnnng time. Defensive MVP in 05. John Lynch has said he is the best player he has ever played with. Those are super strong words considering who else he has played with…

  8. Tampa2 Says:

    Don’t understand how anyone could attack you for that statement Joe. Freeman didn’t look very good against Denver. Seen many balls thrown to Clark & williams that were under or over thrown.

  9. FloridaGirl Says:

    “one of those guys where if he’s not getting the ball, he’s out there running slower or anything”…..wonder who Champ is talking about with this comment??

  10. BigMacAttack Says:

    Champ did what good CB’s do. It sure would be nice to have 1 or 2. I think LJ can be one if he just learns how to get his head turned around. I’m glad this team doesn’t dwell on the past and shifts focus to their next opponent.

  11. TampaRob Says:

    BigMac- agreed about LJ. I remember seeing Brian Kelly totally toasted on Ricky Proehl’s game winning TD in the NFC championship game.. he turned out to be a pretty good CB. LJ is even faster (I think) and more potential. CB is probably one of the hardest positions after QB to start as a rookie especially against veteran WRs and QBs like he’s faced this year. So far I’m really pleased with the progress and think with a few additions and reps they’re building a team with a great chance to win a lot of games. Maybe not this year (although I’m hoping)

  12. Sneedy16 Says:

    I think LJ is better fit for covering slot receivers. He is quick but not fast so like Barber his lack of top speed will help with less coverage area.

    I don’t know if there will be any good corners on the market next offseason, but I can tell that everyone in the NFL knows that the Bucs are looking. The Bucs just needs one good corner to cover top receivers and they will be fine. I just feel sorry for LJ since teams knows his lack of top end speed they keep trying to throw deep on him.

  13. Raphael Says:

    2 words for you joe: Offensive line…..ours.. It doesn’t make a good story but that was the difference..

  14. McBuc Says:

    I know the focus of the last few articles has been on the pass rush and Freeman. Also the comparison of Freeman to Rodgers and Cutler. On they have Rodgers ranked 10th, Cutler 26th, and Freeman 13th. So statistically Freeman is playing better than Cutler, and Rodgers is playing slightly better than Freeman. I think the defenses of these two teams is the reason for their winning records, especially Chicago.

    I will give Champ props for playing one hell of a game, now bring on the Eagles!

  15. Fish Says:

    That’s not even Champ Bailey in the picture.

    That’s the “other guy” who I believe was an undrafted rookie last year (I’m pretty sure I heard the commentators mention that) who was making plays on the ball like he was a pro-bowler.

  16. McBuc Says:

    Why not compare Freeman to Stafford, Breeze, and Romo…they are ranked 1, 2, and 3. If win / loss is the most important stat, Freeman is in the middle of the road.

  17. Don't Ask Says:

    That’s not Champ in the picture by the way

  18. CanadianBucsFan Says:


    You’re right, LJ is too slow on getting his head turned around to see where the ball is. That touchdown to Thomas was tooo easy. This kid has a lot of potential in my eyes, just might take a full year or two to get him going.

  19. CanadianBucsFan Says:

    + Joe you have a real problem with putting the wrong pictures for guys.. always happens.

  20. BrianDorry55 Says:

    Enough with the “only got one sack” BS. I’ve been hearing it since the game ended from you and the radio voices. Did you watch the game? Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil were on Freeman’s a$$ on every play. That doesn’t mean I’m giving him a pass for not playing that well, the quarterback has to find a way…but the fact that they only got one sack is more a testament to Freeman’s ability to get rid of the ball without taking negative plays and no a reflection of the Broncos pass rush which is probably the best in the NFL right now. They were a tough defense…we’ve got to find a way next time.

  21. lurker Says:

    this spin is funny…

    so only 1 sack means no pressure? lol and yet you say gmc is disruptive though he doesn’t get sacks…lol

    also, how many times was vj thrown to? and how many were catchable passes?

    the spin is getting worse.

  22. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    More proof that a good defense consists of two things: a pass rush and tight coverage in the secondary. Simple as that.

    The Bucs have neither.

  23. bucfanlostiniowa Says:

    hahaha freeman is not that good, couple weeks ago people were hanging the franchise tag on him, he is slightly above average at best