New England Patriots: Champ Bailey

Welker: Can't be sloppy against Bailey

October, 5, 2012
10/05/12
1:22
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick talked during his Friday press conference about the unique ability of Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey to cover wide receivers of all sizes, speeds and skill sets.

Though Bailey often draws big perimeter receivers, he may be lined up opposite Wes Welker this weekend, who has a history of working well from the slot.

Welker knows going up against Bailey is always a challenge.

"He's just a great ball player. I think he just gets out of bed and he's just great," Welker said on Friday. "He's very patient, and does a good job getting his hands on you and plays realy well. Smart guy, instincts, all those things. It's why he's stayed around so long."

He says Bailey is also capable of mixing up the way he covers an opposing receiver.

"He's got great instincts, and he changes things up quite a bit, and does a great job," said Welker.

The veteran receiver says precision is key in order to get open against Bailey.

"You have to be very precise, and keep him on his toes, and make sure that you're really mixing it up on him and being physical," he continued. "And doing things necessary to try and get open."

In two games last season against Denver, the Patriots totaled over 40 points in each contest. Welker says the key for those games holds true this Sunday: execution.

"We played well. I think that's what it comes down to, us going out there and playing well," Welker said. "Playing to our capabilities and going out there and executing the way we need to. We're going to have to do it again this Sunday."

Champ Bailey: Lloyd 'best athlete in NFL'

October, 4, 2012
10/04/12
4:49
PM ET
Throughout training camp and the first quarter of the 2012 season, we've seen Patriots wide receiver Brandon Lloyd perform some impressive feats of athleticism, be it making a sideline catch or running past a defensive back deep into the secondary.

Former teammate and current Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey shared some high praise for Lloyd's physical abilities on Thursday, calling him "the best athlete in the NFL," according to Lindsay Jones of the Denver Post.

While the quote is likely to come as a surprise to most, it's a sign of the mutual admiration shared between the 11-time Pro Bowl cornerback and Lloyd, who in his first season with the Patriots has totaled at least 50 receiving yards in each of the team's first four games.

Though he spoke highly of Lloyd's athleticism, Bailey claims that he got the better of Lloyd in most of their 1-on-1 matchups in practice while they were teammates.

On Wednesday, Lloyd referenced those 1-on-1 battles, and expressed that he learned a lot playing with Bailey.

"There were good battles," he said. "And like I said, I learned a lot from him, from just a technique standpoint, catching, finishing the play, because Champ's one of the only cornerbacks I've gone against that the play was never over. You can even catch the ball, and if you're not bringing it in and protecting it, he'll find a way to get it out."

The veteran receiver understands it's never easy when facing Bailey.

"Champ is very talented when it comes to his film study and how he plays out there," Lloyd continued. "I'm sure the coaching staff is going to do a good job mixing up the routes and combinations that we're doing out there on him."

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