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Former Broncos CB Champ Bailey admits Marvin Harrison was the toughest matchup he ever faced

Champ Bailey, Broncos

Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey’s career spanned 15 seasons, 226 games, 12 Pro Bowls and two conferences. During that time, he was always matched up against the oppositions’ best pass catchers.

Bailey, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 3, often handled these matchups with relative ease — a testament to the greatness of one of the best cornerbacks to ever wear an NFL uniform.

During a recent interview, Bailey was asked a question we all have probably thought, who was your toughest cover?

“Wow,” Bailey said in an interview with the Talk of Fame Sports Network, “I could really go on and on about who was tough. But I’ve got to give respect the guys who don’t get mentioned or get talked about a lot … (like) Jimmy Smith, Eric Moulds, Chad Johnson … I mean, all these guys were tough.

“But what really made these guys tough for me were the quarterbacks. Marvin Harrison having Peyton Manning … the toughest matchup I’ve ever had. That was easily the one that stands out because Peyton was so accurate, and if you’re all over Marvin, Peyton knows to throw the ball away from you.”

Bailey heads into Canton as a linchpin of the 2019 class, which includes late Denver owner Pat Bowlen. This marks the first time in franchise history that two Broncos were elected in the same class.

Bailey, the ex-Redskin who arrived via trade in 2004 and started 132 of 135 games during his decade in the Mile High City, was also named to the club’s Ring of Fame, becoming the first Broncos player to pull off HOF and ROF honors in the same year.