Broncos’ Bailey makes 8th straight Pro Bowl |

Broncos’ Bailey makes 8th straight Pro Bowl

Pat Graham
Associated Press
Vail, CO Colorado
Jack Dempsey/APDenver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, right, intercepts a pass in front of Kansas City Chiefs tight end Kris Wilson on Dec. 9.

DENVER, Colorado ” Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey doesn’t need gaudy numbers to draw attention to his play.

His reputation is already well established.

Despite just three interceptions this season, Bailey was named to his eighth straight Pro Bowl squad Tuesday. Bailey will start at cornerback, along with New England’s Asante Samuel.

He was the only Broncos player to earn the Pro Bowl honor, the fewest the team has placed on the list since 1988.

Bailey’s eighth straight selection to the Pro Bowl is the longest current streak among all active NFL defensive players. Players are selected to the Pro Bowl based on an equally weighted vote of NFL coaches, players and fans.

“It’s a little bittersweet because we haven’t met our team expectations for the season, but it’s an honor to be respected around the league and by fans,” Bailey said in a statement.

Bailey had a career-high 10 interceptions in 2006, which hindered him this season as opposing quarterbacks preferred to pick on fellow cornerback Dre’ Bly instead. Bly leads the Broncos with five interceptions and has 19 pass deflections.

However, Bailey found other ways to chip in, lending his textbook tackling skills to special teams when they were struggling. Bailey had five tackles on kickoff coverage.

Bailey leads the Broncos secondary in tackles this season and has deflected 14 passes on those rare opportunities when quarterbacks decided to test him.

Safety John Lynch had been a Pro Bowl fixture as a member of the Broncos, making the team the last three seasons.

But his streak was snapped this season after being hobbled by injuries, missing three games with groin and neck ailments.

The Broncos’ subpar 6-8 record didn’t help the team place more players on the Pro Bowl list. Denver had a few other players with strong credentials for inclusion:

” Defensive end Elvis Dumervil is fourth in the AFC with 11 sacks, including four multi-sack games.

” Brandon Marshall has 1,136 yards receiving this season, ranking him fifth among his AFC counterparts. He also has 86 catches and six touchdowns.

” Offensive tackle Matt Lepsis has been one of the mainstays on an injury-plagued line this season. Denver lost Ben Hamilton (concussion) and Tom Nalen (torn biceps) to season-ending injuries early in the season.

” Linebacker D.J. Williams is tied for first with Houston’s DeMeco Ryans for the AFC lead in tackles with 121. Williams is in his first season at middle linebacker after taking over for perennial Pro Bowler Al Wilson.

Ryans, along with Baltimore’s Ray Lewis, made the team at inside linebacker.

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