Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Champ Bailey calls Charles Woodson a friendly rival.
B/R: You mentioned you talk to older guys. Is passing wisdom to younger players what it’s all about when we are talking about Champ Bailey’s legacy?
CB: Yeah, it means a lot. You spend so much time with these guys you kind of feel related to them. It kind of happens naturally. It’s not something I asked for, but it’s a natural thing that progresses once you get older. You want to be able to pass it along, and you want to see this league in good hands.
I want to be able to look back and say that I helped that guy, and then maybe he can pass it along to a younger guy when he’s older. That’s really what it’s all about.
B/R: You made some pretty strong comments about Charles Woodson signing in Denver this offseason, and he signed with your rival. What is your relationship with Woodson like today? Would you say you are friends, friendly rivals or just loose acquaintances?
CB: We’re obviously friendly rivals now, but he’s a guy that I respect a lot. I wouldn’t say we are friends, but I know he’s watched me throughout my career, and I’ve watched him throughout his career. I’m very observant of what he does, and I really admire the way he plays the game. I’ll always have a lot of respect for him because we did a lot of the same things in college and a lot of the same things in the pros. He’s a guy I kind of looked up to a little bit.
I’m not going to say we are friends, but he’s a guy I definitely respect a lot.
B/R: Are there any guys in your career who really helped you become the player you are today?
CB: I can give a lot of credit to some good coaches and several veterans, but one guy that kind of sticks out is Darrell Green. Our relationship back in Washington—I had him my first three years or so (actually four), and he just kind of told me what it was all about as far as covering and keeping your body healthy. He was in his 17th or 18th season, telling me little things about how to prepare and how to get warmed up.
I learned a lot of that stuff from him, and I think that’s why I’ve been able to play as long as I have at a high level, because of the things he taught me.