Belichick: Bailey can match up with anybody

Belichick: Bailey can match up with anybody
October 5, 2012, 5:29 pm
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FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick doesn't like to rank players. He's said that many times before.

But with regards to the best all-around cornerbacks in the NFL, the Patriots coach -- even if he had to rank them -- wouldn't know where to start after Denver Broncos veteran cornerback Champ Bailey.

"He's, to me, one of the few corners in the league that really can match up against anybody," said Belichick on Friday. "He matches up against the Andre Johnson's of the world, the big, strong, physical, fast guys. And then he'll match up against quick, real good route-running quick receivers. It doesn't really make any difference."

The Patriots have many powerful weapons on offense. And if you were trying to guess which one of those weapons Bailey will be covering on Sunday at Gillette Stadium, then good luck. At least, Belichick believes he could be matched up with anyone, even New England's tight ends.

"You can watch him match up against whoever they want to put him on," said Belichick. "Whether it's Mike Wallace, or whether it's Calvin Johnson. Through the years, I'm not just talking about this year. And at times, he's been on tight ends, like when he would be on Tony Gonzalez back in the day, things like that. So, I think he's really capable of being physical, standing in there, and banging with the big guys. He's got enough quickness and length with the little guys, to match their quickness and give them as problem and stay with them. Or if he gets his hands on them and jams them, he can destroy the route right off the bat. He's a very instinctive player, so he has a good sense of what the guy's trying to do, and what his tendencies are, and things like that. So he's on a lot of routes, just because he's experienced and he's smart.

"I'd say there aren't too many corners in the league; it's hard to think of who the next one would be that, like him, could match up as well against any type of receiver," added Belichick. "Some guys do well against some type of players and have a little trouble with another type of guy. It looks to me like he does a pretty good job against everybody."