Champ Bailey is a season removed from the question. Actually, he is a season, another Pro Bowl trip and a gut-wrenching playoff loss removed.

He is standing in a hallway at Broncos headquarters with the same unflinching assessment of himself, his team and where his 15th NFL season will go.

A season ago, as he gave some thought about 2012 with Peyton Manning at quarterback, Bailey was asked if he would consider a move to safety. And his answer then was "maybe into my 16th season or around there." And he added: "I'm a realist, though. If I see myself on tape and I think it's time to make a move, I'll know it's time to make a move. I'll be the first to see it, I'll be the first to know it. Maybe when I'm 36."

As the Broncos opened their offseason program Monday, Bailey was reminded, with a backdrop of the Broncos' loss to the Ravens that included two touchdown catches for Torrey Smith with Bailey in tow, that he said he would consider a move to safety when he is 36.

"I did?" Bailey said, smiling. "Hey, until these young guys start doing something, I'm not taking a back seat to them. Later on, maybe, but right now I still feel like I can play at the level I expect and the level they expect me to at corner. Besides, I'm not even close to 36. I'm 34."

He's 34 until his birthday in June, but no matter how many candles are on the cake, Bailey needs no reminder his football clock is ticking. January's double-overtime loss to the Ravens marked the second time in Bailey's tenure with the Broncos the team has had the No. 1 seed in the postseason only to lose at home in the divisional round.

As the AFC's top seed, the Broncos let a potential Super Bowl trip get away after a 13-3 finish in 2005, just as they did on a frigid evening this past January.

The difference this time, Bailey said, is the team left standing.

"I feel like we can be better this year," Bailey said. "That's what I'm looking forward to this year, and that's a big difference from some other years. There have been years when I came back to get going and you didn't feel that way about what we could do.

"What this team can do remains to be seen, that's on us. But when you look at who's here, starting with the quarterback (Manning) we have, if we stay healthy, we need to be there in the end."