Despite 0-2 start, Broncos Hall of Famers Champ Bailey, DeMarcus Ware see light at the end of tunnel under Sean Payton

Former Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey was full of swag as he walked up to a scrum of reporters with his gold Hall of Fame jacket and sunglasses. Moments later, former outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware entered the scene and couldn’t help but talk about Denver, which he called “God’s Country.”

Bailey and Ware represent the glory days of the Broncos organization. Ware helped Denver to win Super Bowl 50 –the franchise’s third title. Bailey, who played 10 of his 15 NFL seasons in Denver, was a part of five playoff appearances and a Super Bowl in 2013.

As both players were at Empower Field at Mile High for Sunday’s matchup against the Washington Commanders, they looked back at their time in Denver and what it will take for the franchise to return to its winning ways. Ware and Bailey agreed that change starts and ends with first-year head coach Sean Payton.

“He’s a proven winner and that’s something we needed around here,” Bailey said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how successful we can be.”

Ware called his time in Denver a “rebirth” for his career following his release from the Cowboys in 2014 after nine years. Ware, who was honored pregame for his Hall of Fame induction, said the Broncos gave him another opportunity to do something special.

“You don’t know if you’re (ever) gonna get a second chance,” Ware said.

Ware was named a Pro Bowler in two of his three seasons in Denver, recording 81 tackles and 21 ½ sacks in 37 games. But in 2015, he accomplished his greatest feat. Ware, former quarterback Peyton Manning and edge rusher Von Miller helped the Broncos defeat the Carolina Panthers, 24-10, in the Super Bowl. Ware had two sacks and four quarterback hits in the victory.

Things have gone downhill since the Broncos last hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. Denver has missed the playoffs eight straight seasons and hasn’t had a winning season since 2016 — Ware’s final year in the NFL.

Last season was a complete disaster. The Broncos went 5-12 and former head coach Nathaniel Hackett was fired after a horrific 51-14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Christmas day.

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Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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