Champ Bailey got his PhD in cornerback when Washington signed Deion Sanders in 2000.
Story time, kids! What’s better than learning from one Hall of Fame cornerback? Learning from two of them, especially when they are Darrell Green and Deion Sanders!
While appearing on Takeo Spikes' Behind the Mask Podcast, former Washington Football Team cornerback and 2019 NFL Hall of Fame inductee Champ Bailey was asked what assistance he received from Deion Sanders and Darrell Green once Sanders joined the team in his second year, in 2000.
Before you get that answer, you have to digest the fact that Bailey thought he would immediately shift to the third CB on the roster. His respect for Sanders initially placed himself out of the starting lineup…wow!
However, Bailey was assured he was in fact remaining a starter.
When asked about what tools, tricks, and techniques he gleaned from Sanders, Bailey made it clear that Sanders would constantly reiterate Green’s teachings, primarily footwork.
Green's philosophy was anchored by a belief that everything began with proper footwork and technique, “if your feet are off, everything’s off.”
Already a talent within his own right, Bailey became a human sponge, soaking up critical nuances that would catapult his own career into Hall of Fame status.
Built closer to Sanders in size and style, Champ understood a fundamental component of Sanders’ game that helped him throughout his 15 season career. Sanders was about intimidation but would always remain squared up on his opponent. That was his foundation.
Bailey took the footwork from Green and the hands-on approach from Sanders; two huge pearls of wisdom from two Hall of Fame cornerbacks.
Laughing throughout the story, Bailey reminded us all just how fortunate he was to learn from two of the best to ever take the field, saying, “you have no idea how blessed I was.”
Au contraire, Mr Bailey. Washington Football fans and NFL fans alike know just how fortunate you were, and are better for it. That yellow coat looks spectacular on you!
Could there be another Hall of Fame player in the current Washington Football secondary? That case will have to continue to be made on the field. For now, thanks for the story Mr. Bailey.