Bailey was one of the stars of the 2005 Broncos that stumbled one step from the Super Bowl. He laughs when asked to compare 2012 to 2005.
“We're so much better,” he said.
He believes this team boasts a better pass rush and, most importantly, a better quarterback.
“18 is better,” Bailey said. “I love Jake, but 18 is better. Even Jake would say so.”
Here's the main reason for optimism as the Broncos travel toward the games that really matter:
This team embraces the Manning credo. Manning, one of the top dozen players in NFL history, endlessly searches for improvement.
After wasting the Browns secondary for 339 yards and three touchdowns, Manning conducted a soul-searching news conference. He said he's not “as good” as he once was. He said he's still learning to understand his teammates and a new offense.
This was an honest conversation with a small group of sports writers. Manning chases perfection, and like any perfectionist he never quite arrives there. He was genuinely frustrated by a 22-point victory.
Tight end Jacob Tamme played with Manning in Indianapolis. He knows how Manning can lift a team into a constant sense of striving. Satisfaction is unacceptable in Manning's football world.
“That's how he is as a person and as a leader,” Tamme said.
After 10 straight victories, after an impressive road win in Baltimore, after this breezy triumph over the Browns, Manning ruthlessly and endlessly demands more.
His relentless quest leads to the best kind of Christmas present:
There's every reason to celebrate.
Distributed by MCT Information Services