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Torrey Smith on Champ Bailey

Posted Jan 30, 2013

Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith talks about his respect for Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey.


Editor's Note: DenverBroncos.com's Stuart Zaas is in New Orleans working for the NFL during Super Bowl week. He will check in from time to time with updates leading up to the game on Sunday.

NEW ORLEANS -- In Denver’s Divisional Round loss to Baltimore, Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith led the game with 98 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

He was covered throughout the game primarily by Champ Bailey, a player Smith said he admires.

“He’s still one of my favorite corners of all time," Smith said. "To do it against him obviously means a lot because of his talent level.”

After the game, Bailey said that getting beat comes with the territory of being a cornerback in the NFL.

"I'm probably my biggest critic," Bailey said at the time. "So yeah, it's tough, because I know I'm better than what I put on that tape yesterday. There are a couple plays I'd love to have back. But if you haven't been beaten as a corner, you really haven't played."

Smith echoed that sentiment on Wednesday in New Orleans as he gets ready to play against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.

“Champ Bailey is a great corner,” Smith said. “Anyone that has played the game and knows the game knows that you’re going to win some battles and lose some. I was just fortunate to win some that game. It’s nothing against him.”

The first time Denver and Baltimore matched up in Week 15, Bailey held Smith to one catch on three targets for 14 yards in Denver's 34-17 victory. In the playoff rematch, Smith was able to break free for catches of 59 and 32 yards.

As Bailey pointed out, while Smith did break free for a couple of long touchdown catches, Bailey held him to just three catches in the game despite being targeted six times.

"The first one, I just kind of lost him," Bailey said after the game. "He got away from me. He’s fast, you lose him at the line, he’s going to get by you. The second one, he just made a great play. I was in position, he just made a good play. That’s why he’s in the league. Other than that, I don’t think he caught a ball. That’s just the way it goes.”

In Baltimore's next game, a 28-13 win in the AFC Championship Game at New England, Smith led the team with 69 yards on four receptions.

Smith said his success the week before against Bailey, a cornerback he has a lot of respect for, helped his confidence.

"I think you look forward to going against the best at any time," Smith said. "As they say, in order to be the best, you have to beat the best. Any time you can play well against a guy like that and a guy you have so much respect for means a lot."

After Baltimore's win in Denver, Smith said that Bailey found him after the game on the field.

"Yeah, just real quick," Smith said of their exchange. "He doesn’t talk trash. That’s what I like most about him because I don’t really talk in general. He wasn’t out there talking trash or anything. He’s very humble and that’s something that I respect."