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Bailey, Dumervil, Miller React to Pro-Bowl Honor

Posted Dec 27, 2011

Each level of the Broncos defense, which has played a big part in the team's 7-3 record in its last 10 games, will be represented in Hawaii.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- What a difference a year makes.

Last year, the Broncos defense ranked 32nd in the NFL after Denver finished the season 4-12. Now, the Broncos have a shot at the AFC West title, in large part due to the outstanding play of the defense.

Tuesday, the Broncos defense received recognition for their production, when the NFL announced that three Bronco defenders were selected to the Pro Bowl: cornerback Champ Bailey, linebacker Von Miller and defensive end Elvis Dumervil.

"It's promising," Bailey said. "It's a good way to say, 'OK, we've got some talent.' Obviously we have more talent than the three of us. It's just saying a lot about what we've been able to do lately... We're just part of it. It takes 11 guys to be special."

For Bailey, it's the 11th time in 13 seasons that he's been selected to the Pro Bowl, proving that he is still one of the elite cornerbacks in the league.

"It's definitely special to me," Bailey said. "I'm in my 13th year and you don't see guys going to the Pro Bowl this late in their career. For me to be able to do it, it feels good because I feel like I have a lot more left. It feels good that I'm still playing at a high level and my peers still respect me."

Arguably more impressive than Bailey's selection was that of Dumervil. The 2009 Pro-Bowler missed all of last season with a torn pectoral muscle and continued to be bothered by injuries in the early part of this season. However, the defensive end has come on strong as of late, recording at least a half sack in eight consecutive games and has been a big part of the Broncos defensive turnaround.

"I was happy for him more than anybody just because I know how hard he worked this offseason to be ready for the season, and then to overcome the things that he went through in the early part of the season, and to still be able to make it, that's amazing to me," Bailey said. "I have to give him a lot of credit for the way he dedicated himself this year."

Dumervil will have his sidekick, Miller, with him in Hawaii. The linebacker leads all AFC rookies with 11.5 sacks, despite having played the last few games with his thumb immobilized in a cast.

As soon as he found out, Miller called his parents as well as some of his teammates from Texas A&M. He said he never played with the goal of making the Pro Bowl in mind, but his honored to be selected among such an esteemed group.

"It's going to be a learning experience," Miller said. "I'm probably going to be bright-eyed being around all those talented guys."