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Champ Bailey: Philip Rivers has earned right to talk trash

San Diego Chargers v New Orleans Saints

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 07: Cornerback Corey White #24 of the New Orleans Saints hits quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers as he throws the ball in the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 7, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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Back in 2007, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers earned the ire of Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey after Rivers engaged in trash talk with then-Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler during a Chargers win.

After the game, Bailey called Rivers “classless” and said he didn’t respect the quarterback. A lot of time has passed since then and Bailey revisited the topic in advance of Monday night’s game between the team. The passage of time has changed Bailey’s mind about Rivers speaking his mind.

“Back then, he was talking when he shouldn’t have. I think he hadn’t earned his respect around the league at that point,” Bailey said, via the Associated Press. “But now it’s a different story.”

Rivers has done well against the Broncos in his career. The Chargers swept Denver in each of Rivers’ first two years as a starter and he’s won five of eight in the last four years. Bailey and the Broncos might not like those results, but they have to give at least grudging respect to a guy that’s beaten them eight of the 12 times they’ve faced off.

If the Broncos can’t beat Rivers on Monday, they’ll be two games back in the AFC West so it would certainly behoove them not to let Rivers’ talking get into their heads this time around.