About five years ago or so, Champ Bailey let it be known.
He did not like Philip Rivers.
The young San Diego quarterback was lippy and he famously feuded with then-Denver quarterback Jay Cutler. Having his teammate’s back, Bailey was open about his disdain for Rivers. However, Cutler is long gone from Denver and Bailey -- a star cornerback, who will face Rivers on Monday night -- said he has grown to appreciate Rivers.
“The thing was, back then, he was talking when he shouldn’t have,” Bailey explained Friday why he had a problem with a young Rivers.
“I think he hadn’t earned his respect around the league at that point. But now, it’s a different story. That was a few years ago. I think he mostly hated our quarterback at the time (laughing). I know what type of person he is. He’s one of those guys you hate to play against him; you love to play with him. I like guys like that.”
How exactly did Rivers grow on Bailey?
“Just mutual respect, I think,” Bailey said. “That grows when you have a guy out there proving himself every week. I don’t like people who talk a lot of smack that haven’t done anything. He’s done a lot since then. He hasn’t won the big one, but neither have I. It’s hard in this game to earn that respect. I think people respect him now because of what he’s done.”