The Norman Transcript

National Sports

October 7, 2012

Bailey: Broncos have closed gap

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — After giving up 86 points to the Patriots last year, the Denver Broncos realized just how far away they were from becoming a championship contender.

Following the Broncos’ 45-10 loss at New England in the playoffs, coach John Fox pledged, “We will do everything we can to get better.”

And they did.

They swapped Tim Tebow for Peyton Manning, retooled the offense and fortified their defense. They’ll get to gauge just how much they’ve narrowed that gap Sunday when they visit Tom Brady and the Patriots.

Champ Bailey insists the gulf hasn’t just been narrowed but closed entirely, suggesting the Broncos “know we can win” this time, something he’s not so sure they believed nine months ago.

“I didn’t feel like there were 53 guys that thought we could win,” Bailey said. “And it showed.”

He wouldn’t name names, instead saying the Broncos (2-2) are simply better equipped and better prepared to keep up with the Patriots (2-2) this time around.

“Couple of different players here and there. Different coordinator. Different mentality,” Bailey said. “But I think last year, it was pretty obvious we didn’t put our best effort in that last game. It was real disappointing to get that far and not put forth 100 percent. But it is what it is, it’s in the past, and this is a different year, different breed of guys going in there.”

With right guard Chris Kuper ready to return from a broken left forearm, middle linebacker Joe Mays back from a one-game suspension for an illegal hit, and second-year tight end Virgil Green’s month-long suspension for violating the league’s banned-substances policy over, the Broncos are as invigorated as they’ve been all season.

And they have a healthy confidence, too, insisting they can keep up with the high-powered Patriots after losing to them 41-23 on Dec. 18, ending a six-game winning streak, and by five touchdowns in the divisional playoffs in January.

“I think we have better personnel and we have a better scheme,” Mays said. “We just have to go out there and execute.”

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Tiger in the hunt after day one at Bridgestone

    AKRON, Ohio — Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational. Not just from back surgery, but from making bogeys....

    August 1, 2014

  • Cardinals Red Sox Trade Cardinals land Lackey, shore up rotation

    BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday’s deadline....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Defensive indefernce in Big-D as injury suffles front seven

    OXNARD, Calif. — Rookie pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence’s broken foot didn’t send the Dallas Cowboys scrambling because they’re already in rebuilding mode with their defensive line....

    August 1, 2014

  • Rams’ go with youth in secondary

    ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Rams secondary doesn’t have veteran leaders, high-dollar talent or big names. Those handling spots on the last line of defense are confident they won’t be a liability....

    August 1, 2014

  • Tigers go all in on Price

    DETROIT — When David Price was finally traded, it was to an unexpected bidder. The Detroit Tigers added another Cy Young Award winner to their star-studded rotation, acquiring Price from Tampa Bay in a blockbuster deal Thursday....

    August 1, 2014

  • Oakland lands Lester, Gomes in exchange for Cespedes

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics won the Jon Lester sweepstakes, acquiring the left-hander and outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Boston Red Sox for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes before Thursday’s trade deadline....

    August 1, 2014

  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

  • Cowboys sign tackle Smith to 8-year extension

    OXNARD, Calif. — Tyron Smith has a new contract that will probably make him the most important blocker for the next Dallas quarterback after Tony Romo....

    July 31, 2014

  • Quarterback questions abound with big stars gone from SEC offenses

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Quarterback battles and signal-caller questions abound in the Southeastern Conference going into preseason camps around the league. Big names, not so much....

    July 31, 2014

  • Jones says Brent out of rehab, NFL question next

    OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says former defensive tackle Josh Brent is out of rehabilitation and could have his future with the NFL resolved before the team leaves training camp in California in two weeks....

    July 31, 2014