It’s no secret that the Detroit Lions still need help at the cornerback position. Since the Lions, only have five cornerbacks on the roster at the moment, it appears they may be ready add help. However in this case, that help would be possibly coming from veteran cornerback Champ Bailey, who the Lions workout on Thursday, according to Lions’ website, which was later confirmed by head coach Jim Caldwell at the media presser.
A 12-time Pro Bowler, Bailey was reportedly limited with a foot injury during Saints training camp, which ultimately led to him being released from New Orleans during the final round of cuts last Saturday, officially making him a free agent. Nevertheless, despite the rough with the Saints, his agent has said that Bailey is now fully healthy and that he is eager to play in 2014.
If you’re looking for some details as to how well Bailey performed in his workout or if he will soon be a Detroit Lion. You should know that head coach Jim Caldwell did not provide any specifics about Bailey’s workout or acknowledge whether he will be signed. In fact, he wouldn’t elaborate at all on his impressions of Bailey.
“I’m not going into details about different guys that we work out because that’s kind of the job of our personnel department,” Caldwell said. “We worked him out, had a good look at him, as well as several other guys. At this point, we are where we are.”
Although, a few more reporters would try to get more out of coach Caldwell, he remained resilient, when it came to not speaking much about Bailey’s workout. However, while coach Caldwell did not go into further detail about Bailey’s workout, he did express that he feels that he has a great group of guys at cornerback right now.
“I think we got a great group of guys [at cornerback].” replied coach Caldwell. “I think we have a great group of guys that are extremely focus, that have talent, their young. Some of them have get some experience on the run, there are some with some experience. They are just gonna have to play well, which we anticipate. It’s also not a one position game, I think the thing you find out in the game of football, is that there are a lot of things that type into the position you play, if the pass rush is stiff enough and tough enough, you don’t nearly have as much time. It’s sorta of lessens the problem that you have at one position or another.”
While I do agree with coach Caldwell, when he says he has a solid group of guys already at cornerback, I must say that Bailey would make a nice addition to the Lions secondary, that still needs help.
Let’s not forget that Bailey is one of the best cornerbacks of his generation. Even though, Bailey is nowhere near the player he was in his prime, when he was a seven-time All-Pro but he is still probably good enough to start in Detroit and help them upgrade their secondary, especially at the cornerback position.
For starters, as a veteran, the Lions would likely get Bailey at a bargain, due to his previous injuries and declining production, so that’s a plus there.
Since he is completely healthy heading into 2014, I honestly think the Lions could see the 2012 version of Bailey. Some of you may not remember, but before he became injury riddled in the 2013 season with Denver, Bailey played well in 2012, accounting for two interceptions and nine pass deflections. While those stats may not seem impressive, keep in mind that opposing teams were usually throwing away from him, for the main fact that Bailey is in intelligent corner who will find ways to make plays on the ball anytime you throw it his way.
At 36 years old, Bailey has an impressive 785 career tackles, 142 career passes defended and 52 career interceptions. Although he may be older now, there is no doubt that coming into the Lions, he would provide another veteran presence to the Lions’ secondary, which currently starts Rashean Mathis and Darius Slay at cornerback.
Even if Bailey doesn’t start or even play much for the Lions this season, he could still serve as a great mentor to the younger defensive backs like Slay along with the many others. Bailey could teach them how to play the position and he could teach them how to become professionals, while helping to provide depth at the same time, which is one thing that the Lions want and need at this point.
Then if that’s enough, Bailey wold also provide the Lions with another veteran in the locker-room. I know the Lions already have a nice amount of veterans but trust me when I say it would be huge for this locker-room to have player like Bailey. Not only would Bailey provide leadership and guidance, but he would also provide knowledge and experience on everything football, whether it be facing adversity or simply knowing what it takes to win at the highest level.
Overall, I feel like Bailey still has enough in the tank for him to contribute in more ways than one in Detroit and the Lions need to give him that opportunity.
If you think I’m the only one who thinks highly of Bailey, you should know that the Lions starting cornerbacks, Rashean Mathis and Darius Slay, are for the addition of Bailey, if the Lions do indeed chose to go that route.
I asked Rashean Mathis about Champ Bailey and he said there's no substitute for experience in this league at that position.—
Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) September 04, 2014
Darius Slay watched part of Champ Bailey's workout. "I would" sign him. #Lions—
Josh Katzenstein (@jkatzenstein) September 04, 2014
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
For more of L-Beasley’s (Lauren Beasley) sports news and in-depth sports content, click here.