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Bailey says he never plans on playing safety

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Bailey says he never plans on playing safety

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Champ Bailey admires Ronde Barber. He just doesn't want to follow in his footsteps.

Barber is a 37-year-old cornerback who has been converted to safety this season and has four interceptions, which leads the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver's next opponent.

Bailey, 34, is the most decorated cornerback in league history with a record 11 Pro Bowls. He said he appreciates Barber's longevity, but doesn't foresee himself ever switching to safety.

``I don't plan on doing that,'' Bailey said Thursday. ``I do admire the way he's been able to play at a high level. He's one of those guys I do look up to and kind of pay attention to what he's doing.''

As Bailey gets long in the tooth himself, he said he also looks up to former NFL great Rod Woodson, who moved to free safety his last five seasons after a torn ACL ended his days as a cornerback.

Another player he reveres is former teammate Darrell Green, a Hall of Famer who played cornerback at Washington his entire 22-year career. Bailey played with Green from 1999-2002, the last three of which, Green was a reserve.

``Yeah, I've always said if it comes to the point where I have to come off the bench, I don't know if I could deal with that,'' Bailey said. ``And he did it for like three years. So, we started together that one year but after that he was coming off the bench. So, I don't know if I'm made that way. We'll see. But right now I just think about what he used to do to prepare himself for games, after games, I remember all that stuff.''

It's long been thought Bailey would switch to safety after his skills started to decline - and they've shown no signs of dipping in this, his 14th NFL season.

Asked to clarify that he'll never consider a move to safety, Bailey retorted: ``I didn't say that. I said I don't PLAN on it.''

Since entering the league as the seventh overall pick out of Georgia in 1999, Bailey ranks third in the league and first among cornerbacks with 51 interceptions. He also leads the league with 199 pass breakups since 1999, just ahead of Barber's 197.

Bailey is having another stellar season and in January could tie the NFL record for most Pro Bowls played with 12 - but that's one honor he'd rather leave to Randall McDaniel and Will Shields because he'd rather be back home getting ready for the Super Bowl the following week in New Orleans.

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Summer Guide: The top pizza places in and around Washington, D.C.

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NBC Sports Washington

Summer Guide: The top pizza places in and around Washington, D.C.

Last summer, NBC Sports Washington put together guides that highlighted the best bars and restaurants to watch the Capitals' Stanley Cup run and the FIFA World Cup. Earlier this summer we provided some spots around Nationals Park and Camden Yards too. 

With summer 2019 halfway over, now is the time to highlight some go-to spots for pizza in and around the district.

Here are, in no particular order, some of the top pizzerias in and around Washington, D.C.

Etto, 1541 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20005

  • Logan Circle
  • With veggies specials and pizza alike, the leisurely atmosphere at Etto provides a needed respite from the hustle of D.C.
  • Check out the roasted cauliflower pizza, or the seasonal zucchini and squash blossoms pie, two non-traditional menu options

 

Wiseguy Pizza, 300 Massachusetts Ave NW, Ste 1, Washington, DC 20001

  • Near the Judiciary Square Metro stop.
  • Wiseguy owner Tony Erol perfected a New York-style pizza without making it chock-full of grease, ensuring a crispy slice. 
  • Between the expected Buffalo chicken pizza and the unexpected paneer tikka pie, Wiseguy's menu appeals to many palates. 

 

Menomale Pizza Napoletana, 2711 12th St. NE, Washington, DC 20018

  • Between the Rhode Island Ave and Brookland Metro stops.
  • Neapolitan pizzas are Menomale's specialty, but with stellar crust the pizzeria also produces delicious calzones and sandwiches.
  • Take a look at the menu, which houses all the tasty carb-loaded food, plus a surprising range of craft beers. 

 

2 Amys Neapolitan Pizzeria, 3715 Macomb St. NW, Washington DC 20016

  • Near Washington National Cathedral
  • 2 Amys' wood-fired pizzas and family-friendly setting combine for an authentic atmosphere.
  • The menu offers some less-known pies, like the Etna 2.0, which in part features fried eggplant. 

 

All-Purpose Riverfront, 79 Potomac Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003

  • Navy Yard, across from Nationals Park
  • With All-Purpose, chef Mike Friedman revamps classic Italian-American flavors, like his garlic knots coated with a fonduta reminiscent of alfredo. 
  • Head to happy hour on weekdays from 4-7 p.m. for drink and food specials, like the Little Caesar or the Crispy Chicken Wings. 

 

Ghibellina, 1610 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009

  • Logan Circle
  • Does $10 pizza happy hour sound appealing? Then head to Ghibellina from 3-6:30 p.m. (or 4-6:30 pm. Monday's).
  • Between pizzas, specialty cocktails and other Italian cuisine, the restaurant and its authentic atmosphere is sure to please. 

 

OUTSIDE OF D.C.

Pupatella, 5104 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22205

  • On the outskirts of Downtown Arlington
  • After growing from a food cart in Ballston, Virginia, Pupatella has grown to a reputable source for classic pizza pies. 
  • Check out the red or white pies, which include the Mimosa and Buffala Bianza pizzas. 

 

Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana, 12207 Darnestown Rd., Gaithersburg, MD 20878

  • Out past Rockville, Maryland
  • While a bit of a trek from inside the district, the variety of pizzas including the Smoky Meatball is sure to make the trip worthwhile. 

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This video of early Thomas Bryant-Isaiah Thomas chemistry should make Wizards fans smile

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Isaiah Thomas Instagram

This video of early Thomas Bryant-Isaiah Thomas chemistry should make Wizards fans smile

One of the best parts of the NBA offseason, behind free-agency and the draft, has to be the open run's that go on all summer long. These sessions give an opportunity for NBA players to team up with each other, while also playing alongside high school, college, and overseas talent. 

Some new Wizards teammates, Isaiah Thomas and Thomas Bryant, made their way to the Rico Hines private run in Los Angeles, California to establish some chemistry before training camp opens in late September.  

As seen above, IT is no stranger to sharing the sugar as he finished top 20 in the league in assists per game (5.9) in 2016, the last season he was fully healthy. While TB is one of the most efficient rim-runners in the league, leading the NBA in two-point field goal percentage (68.5) last season. 

Could this be a preview of what to expect come season's tip? Wizards fans sure hope so. 

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