Friday July 3rd, 2015 1:27PM

Broncos' Bailey relishing return to Georgia

By The Associated Press
ENGLEWOOD, COLORADO -- Champ Bailey went all out for his Georgia homecoming, buying tickets for "everybody that I cared about."

And since the Denver Broncos' Pro Bowl cornerback is assembling such a big audience at the Georgia Dome, he's hoping that maybe the Atlanta Falcons might indulge him and throw his way.

Don't be bashful, either, Matt Ryan, because Bailey doesn't mind the action.

With the Falcons having one of the top receiving tandems in the league - Bailey's hoping to be kept quite busy Monday night.

"I welcome that," said Bailey, who grew up in Folkston, Ga., and became a star for the Georgia Bulldogs. "I look forward to it every week anyway, even though sometimes that's not the case. I'm always prepared for it."

Bailey and Porter will certainly have their hands full as they try to keep track of Roddy White and Julio Jones. The duo combined for 12 catches and 195 yards last week in a win at Kansas City.

"They're as good as they come," the 34-year-old Bailey said. "We're going to see a lot of great tandems, but (White and Jones) are emerging to be one of the best. All I see is growth from Julio Jones from last year. He's like night and day."

Bailey is relishing this rare trip home, knowing there may not be many more chances.

About the only thing Bailey's not looking forward to is covering tight end Tony Gonzalez. They've had quite a few memorable matchups dating back to Gonzalez's time with the Chiefs.

"I'm so tired of this guy," Bailey said, laughing. "He never stops. He creates so many problems because he's so savvy, and his experience, it shows every week."

Given that Bailey is one of the best in the business - his 11 Pro Bowls attest to that - QBs typically don't throw his way all that often. But that may be changing with the arrival of Tracy Porter.

He's pretty good, too. Just ask Ben Roethlisberger, who tried to throw on Porter last weekend, only to have Porter step in front of the pass and return it for a game-sealing 43-yard TD.

Porter's presence just may lead to more chances for Bailey.

"I hope so," said Bailey, who has 50 career interceptions.

Still to be figured out, though, is who will play in the Broncos' nickel package. With defensive back Chris Harris bothered by a sore ankle and questionable for the game, Denver may turn to rookie Omar Bolden or little-used Tony Carter when another defensive back is needed.

The soft-spoken Carter is confident he can do the job, should he get the call. That conviction comes from hanging around Bailey, who's taken the fourth-year player under his wing.

"I'm staying in Champ's hip pocket, trying to learn everything I can," said Carter, who has a locker right next to Bailey. "You've just got to take advantage of every opportunity you get."

Bailey believes Carter is ready.

"He understands what he's great at," Bailey said. "I think that's part of maturing when you're a pro, is (to) know your strengths and know your weaknesses.

"You see his speed, you see how quick he is. Now it's just showing up because he understands how to play the game. That's the reason we kept him - he's a great cover corner, and those are hard to come by."

Sure are. And never in more demand than when going against a team with the weapons that Ryan has at his disposal.

"You can't account for everybody on every play, as far as double-teaming or whatever, so you've kind of got to say, `You've got your guy, you better take care of it,' Bailey said. "That's the way you've got to approach this thing. We know we've got to win some one-on-ones."

Not to mention pressure Ryan, who's quickly becoming one of the elite quarterbacks in the league.

Even more, Ryan has been so good at home.

"For some reason, I don't know if he has a chip on his shoulder when he's at home, (but) he turns it up a bit," said Bailey, whose team beat Ryan and the Falcons 24-20 in 2008 at the Georgia Dome.

"We're aware of that. We've just got to go out there and take care of our job and not worry about it too much."

NOTES: Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas (shoulder) and OL Manny Ramirez (elbow) are probable for the game. ... Broncos coach John Fox on playing a difficult schedule to open the season: "There are no cupcakes in this league. Each week is a tough game."
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Tech beats Southern California in Sun Bowl
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to help Georgia Tech beat Southern California 21-7 on Monday in the Sun Bowl.
5:54PM ( 2 years ago )
Top 10 sports stories of the year: 2012 one for the history books
2012 has been all things to all people in the sports world. The last 12 months have run the gamut of emotions and given fans and spectators much to awe, rue and everything in between.
2:33PM ( 2 years ago )
College Football Hall to break ground in Atlanta
Groundbreaking for the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta will be Jan. 28 and the museum is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.
2:15PM ( 2 years ago )
Williams, Horford pace Hawks past Indiana
Lou Williams had 21 points and a career-high 12 assists, Al Horford added 20 points and the Atlanta Hawks won their fourth straight, 109-100 over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.
10:19PM ( 2 years ago )
Gwinnett wallops Greenville, 6-2
Five different Gladiators racked up multiple points, as Gwinnett dominated the Greenville Road Warriors 6-2 Saturday night at the BI-LO Center to move into a tie atop the South Division with Greenville.
10:05PM ( 2 years ago )
Teague leads Hawks past Cavaliers, 102-94
Jeff Teague scored a career-high 27 points and the Atlanta Hawks scored the game's final nine points to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 102-94 on Friday night.
10:26PM ( 2 years ago )
Professional Sports
Maybin gives Braves walk-off win over Nats
Cameron Maybin drove in the go-ahead run with a chopper against Max Scherzer that bounced over third base in the ninth inning, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a 2-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Thursday night.
By The Associated Press
9:23AM ( 4 hours ago )
Wolves' Bennett signs with Reds
Former Buford High standout pitcher Connor Bennett signed with the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday on. Bennett was drafted in 34th round of the 2015 MLB Draft by Cincinnati.
By AccessWDUN staff
9:15AM ( 4 hours ago )
John Smoltz the 1st HOFer following Tommy John surgery
When John Smoltz is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in three weeks he'll be the first player enshrined following Tommy John surgery.
8:53AM ( 4 hours ago )
Braves' Freeman says he won't return until after All-Star break
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman says he likely won't return from a wrist injury until after the All-Star break.
8:50AM ( 4 hours ago )
G-Braves' Banuelos named international League All-Star
In an announcement made Thursday by the International League, Gwinnett Braves’ left-handed starter Manny Banuelos has been selected to participate in the 28th First National Bank Triple-A All-Star Game, presented by Gildan.
By AccessWDUN Staff
8:43AM ( 4 hours ago )