DENVER — Champ Bailey knows exactly how the Broncos can return to the postseason.
And his background as a Hall of Fame cornerback undoubtedly impacts his view.
"Defense," said Bailey on Tuesday after delivering the keynote address at the Boy Scouts' Denver Area Council Sports Breakfast. "You've got to play great defense. I don't know how much evidence you need. You saw it in the Super Bowl. Defense is how you win. Offense is great. You don't want to turn the ball over. You don't do that [and] you play great defense, you're probably going to win most games. You've got to start on [that] side of the ball."
If defense isn't the priority, Bailey said, then any team will struggle to consistently win games.
"I think people forget that's how we won Super Bowl 50," Bailey said. "It's all about defense. If you can't stop people, you can't win. The Patriots proved it this past season. You've got to stop people. If defense is not the priority, then you're really just running in place."
The Broncos' efforts to elevate their defense to the heights of Head Coach Vic Fangio’s previous defenses will be aided, in part, by the return of Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell.
Bailey, who played for Donatell from 2009-10, remembers his former coach as a "no-nonsense" person.
"He's always going to be straight with you," Bailey said. "It's [also] good to see Renaldo Hill be the [defensive backs] coach. I was in the same meeting room with them, so I know the knowledge that's going to be in there. I'm just anxious to see what [Donatell] does and how he runs his defense. He's had an opportunity to do it before, but I think we've got a new Ed Donatell this time."
And Bailey thinks a resurgence of an elite defense could follow.
"… We have to score points, absolutely," Bailey said, "but if we play great defense, we can do anything."