INDIANAPOLIS – SEPTEMBER 30: Marvin Harrison #88 of the Indianapolis Colts is tackled by Champ Bailey #24 of the Denver Broncos during the NFL game on September 30, 2007 at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Credit: Andy Lyons / staff
Number 3: His Cornerback Counterparts Agree
Sometimes with a player, it’s not so much what your teammates, coaches, and fans think of you, but also your primary opposition. According to future Hall of Fame cornerback, Champ Bailey, who was a 12x Pro Bowler and 7x All-Pro and like Harrison, was a member of NFL All-Decade 2000’s team, the latter was the best wideout he ever faced:
"“The guy that gave me the most problems was Marvin Harrison,” Bailey told ESPN’s Mike & Mike. “The guy was dangerous, and the guy throwing him the ball was dangerous. A lot had to do with the guy throwing him, the ball but he was quick, fast, and could do it all.”"
He was not alone in his sentiment, as current Chicago Bears cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman re-echoed his sentiment, in a Sports Illustrated Monday Morning Quarterback Interview with Robert Klemko in October of 2014:
"“THE MMQB: Who’s the best offensive player you ever played against? TILLMAN: Marvin Harrison. We played a lot of Tampa 2 with coach Smith, and I could never touch him, couldn’t jam him. He was so quick, like a little rabbit. I missed every time. Hardest person I ever had to cover. And most people don’t think that. Like, who would you have guessed I would say? THE MMQB: Randy Moss or Calvin Johnson. TILLMAN: Nope. Marvin Harrison. He was unstoppable. The best I ever played against. He made me look terrible.”"
Sometimes, the greatest compliment you can receive is by the players that actually have to defend you. Maybe we should ask Byron Russell what he thinks of Michael Jordan. Champ Bailey is one of the greatest players to ever play the position, so him saying that Harrison was his toughest cover holds a lot of weight. Ditto for Charles Tillman, who as a 2x Pro Bowler and 1x All-Pro, was a great cornerback by his own accord.