20 May 19
The Denver Post
Champ Bailey made history earlier this year when he became the first Broncos defensive player to be selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Monday, Bailey achieved another milestone when he was voted to the Broncos’ Ring of Fame, the first player in team history to earn those two honors in the same year.
“I don’t even know how that’s possible,” Bailey said on a conference call. “With all of the Hall of Famers and Ring of Famers we have, I’m a little surprised and taken aback.”
Bailey will be the 33rd member of the Ring of Fame. He played 10 years (2004-2013) for the Broncos and will be honored during the Broncos’ Oct. 13 game against Tennessee. Also on that day, Bailey and owner Pat Bowlen will receive their Hall of Fame rings.
“I have to be honest — I expected it at some point, maybe, but at the same time, it’s out of my hands,” Bailey said. “When it happened, it still caught me off guard. I’m so grateful that the Broncos consider me part of their family and are willing to put my name on the stadium.”
Bailey said he has a “few” favorite memories of playing for the Broncos and the first one he mentioned was the January 2012 overtime playoff win over Pittsburgh.
“A couple of weeks ago, I was watching the playoff game against Pittsburgh when we beat them in overtime on the first play,” Bailey said. “I was thinking about the moment when DT (receiver Demaryius Thomas) ran through the back of the end zone and I met him in the tunnel and I hadn’t felt like that since maybe (January 2006) when we beat the Patriots. Those are moments you just don’t forget.”
Leary progressing. Right guard Ron Leary continues to do early-practice work, but is sitting out team drills. He sustained a torn Achilles last October.
“Hopefully Ron makes a full recovery from his injury, which I think he can and he will,” coach Vic Fangio said. “Everybody has been positive from the medical people and talking to him. We’re hoping Ron makes it and hopefully we see him partaking by the last couple practices before the break and he’ll be ready to go full in training camp.”
Don Barclay took the first-team right guard snaps for Leary.
The Broncos’ right guard in 2017 and left guard last year, Leary so far has moved back to the right side to make way for rookie Dalton Risner.
Approached by The Denver Post after practice, Leary declined to answer questions.
Fangio hosts coaches. Fangio hosted 130 high school coaches representing 64 high schools from 25 Colorado cities/towns at practice.
Included were Haxtum coach J.D. Stone and defensive coordinator Marc Bornhoft. Located 30 minutes east of Sterling, Stone and Bornhoft coach six-man football and drove 2 1/2 hours for the opportunity to watch.
“Just seeing the efficiency and (how they’re) detail-oriented,” Bornhoft said. “Some of the drills we can translate to what we do.”
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Said Stone: “We try and steal a drill here and there. Efficiency is the biggest thing because our time is very limited with our kids.”
The six-man football field is 100 yards long, but 40 yards wide. Stone said he expects 20 kids to participate in football this fall.
“We run pretty much the same blocking concepts in our interior run game because we’re only losing a couple of tackles,” Stone said.
Footnotes. Eighty-eight of the 89 Broncos players under contract were present for the fourth OTA. Only cornerback Chris Harris (contract dispute) stayed away. “I stay out (of that),” Fangio said. “That’s the business side of football. I deal with football business.” … Safety Shamarko Thomas did not participate in practice. … The workout was moved to the indoor facility because of weather that produced snow flurries. … Former Colorado defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt, who coached with Fangio in San Francisco, attended practice. … Cornerback Isaac Yiadom (shoulder surgery) continues to be limited.