Analysts like Bailey's move to nickel

August, 29, 2011
8/29/11
10:00
AM ET
The Denver Broncos’ decision during training camp to make star left cornerback Champ Bailey the nickel cornerback is getting rave reviews.

On “SportsCenter" recently, former New England linebacker Tedy Bruschi said he loves the move. He said he believes Bailey is physical and intelligent enough to star in the area. Often the nickel back blitzes, so Bailey will get some chances for sacks. That shouldn’t be a problem. Bailey has long excelled against the run and he prides himself as being one of the NFL’s best tackling cornerbacks.

As part of their new aggressive style of play in Denver under coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, the likely future hall of fame cornerback is undergoing the change at the age of 33, months after he signed a four-year contract extension to stay in Denver.

In many NFL cities, the nickel cornerback is a young, up-and-coming player. Bailey is a 10-time Pro Bowl player. Bailey is not the only star cornerback to play nickel. It’s working out pretty well for Charles Woodson in Green Bay. Bailey will still play left cornerback on first down and on running downs

Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. thinks Bailey can have similar success as Woodson as the nickel.

“I do think Bailey can handle it,” Williamson said. “When Denver signed Bailey, I said it made sense because I see him eventually moving to a deep center-field type safety role in time.”

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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