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Adam Jones has 'always looked up to Champ,' plans to wear No. 24 if he makes Broncos' 53-man roster


GLENDALE, Ariz. — If Adam Jones jogs out to return a punt on Sept. 9 against the Seattle Seahawks, he'll do so wearing a No. 24 jersey.

Jones would be the first Broncos player to wear No. 24 since three-time First-Team All-Pro cornerback Champ Bailey roamed Denver's defensive backfield in that number from 2004 to 2013.

Earlier this week, Bailey told 9NEWS’ Mike Klis he would be supportive if the threads were loaned to Jones, who has worn No. 24 since 2010 but wore No. 20 on Thursday night against Arizona.

"I told [equipment manager Chris Valenti] I was all for it just because I respect Pacman's story,'' Bailey told Klis on Tuesday. "Being that [Jones] is a Georgia guy, I've always been a fan of his. Being 35 years old with all the [stuff] he's been through — it's respectable the career he's had."

Jones took notice of the 12-time Pro Bowler's words — and for good reason.

"I thought it was pretty cool," Jones said. "Me and Champ know each other. He's from Atlanta. Actually we talked a little bit before you guys got to him. I've always looked up to Champ. He's the reason I wore 24 in the first [place]."

When Jones entered the league in 2005, Bailey had just finished his first season in Denver. He capped that year with his first First-Team All-Pro selection and fifth Pro Bowl bid.

In Bailey, Jones found the perfect player to pattern his game after.

"He's a Georgia boy, and me being from Georgia, that was one of the guys that I tried to … build my game around," Jones said. "I've always been a fan of his. … I've got the utmost respect for Champ."

When Jones arrived in Cincinnati after beginning his career in Tennessee and Dallas, he showcased that admiration through his jersey.

Now with the Broncos, Jones could slide back in to a familiar number.

And while Jones has worn No. 24 for the last eight seasons, wearing Bailey's number in the Mile High City could be a little different.

"It brings a little pressure, but who don't like pressure?"

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