KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thanks to Champ Bailey and Monday night microphones, the Kansas City Chiefs should be well motivated for their next game against the Denver Broncos.
First, the Chiefs (2-1) were embarrassed 30-10 Monday night at INVESCO Field, one of their worst losses ever in a long and often-bitter AFC West rivalry.
Then they found out that while the rout was taking place, the Broncos' star defensive back accused them on national television of not even playing hard.
"The way they played up there in Kansas City, it ain't the same, though," said Bailey, who was miked by ABC.
Speaking to teammates on the Denver bench after the Broncos had taken control of the game in the first half, Bailey was clearly heard to say, "They're playing a little different. They're not playing as hard. I ain't going to relax, though."
The Chiefs beat Denver last year in Kansas City 45-17, dominating the Broncos almost as thoroughly as they were dominated on Monday night. They will host the Broncos again in Arrowhead Stadium this Dec. 4.
"I know this — none of our players said Champ Bailey didn't play hard when we beat them by three touchdowns last year out here," coach Dick Vermeil said Tuesday. "Eddie Kennison (Chiefs receiver) didn't say that Champ Bailey was not playing hard."
The Chiefs' players had the day off and will get back to work on Wednesday for Sunday's game at home against Philadelphia.
Vermeil tried to downplay Bailey's remarks, but was clearly irritated.
"That's why I don't allow players to be miked. I don't know what (Bailey) was referring to. That's a player's opinion," he said.
An experienced broadcaster himself, Vermeil said he had always been against miking players.
"I just think the broadcast ought to be done by the guys in the booth," he said. "That's what they're professionally trained to do. I just won't put one of my players in that position."
As it turned out, Bailey aggravated a hamstring injury later in the game and was taken out. He had an MRI exam on Tuesday, but results were not immediately released.
"Champ Bailey's a fine kid, respected by everybody in the league," Vermeil said. "But you put a mike on him, you never know what you're going to hear. You catch some things guys say in frustration, and you use them to enhance the broadcast. But sometimes that embarrasses the player.
"I was asked if we could mike our players. The director and I worked together for six years and we're very close friends. I said no way.
"I say things I shouldn't say all the time, let alone put a player in the heat of battle and then have it used to enhance the broadcast and maybe sometimes it embarrasses the player."
Vermeil also said the Broncos outplayed the Chiefs in every way, and indicated that he, too, was not entirely satisfied with his team's effort.
"I think we can play better than that. I think we can play harder than that," he said. "I don't know if Champ Bailey said that to evaluate."