Aqib Talib met with Coach Bill Belichick on Monday, the first time he was allowed inside the Patriots' facility following a four game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Talib cannot get on the field fast enough for the Patriots who's secondary again made an average NFL quarterback look like a superstar this past Sunday afternoon. Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 337 yards with 2 touchdowns, an interception, and a 67.5% completion percentage. This was only his second 300-yard game of the season, the other coming in week four against, oh yes, the Patriots.
It's no secret that the Patriot secondary is weak. They are giving up 285.3 passing yards per game good for dead last in the AFC and 29th in the NFL. Thus, the Patriots are in need of immediate help.
"We'll spend time with him, trying to get him caught up in terms of terminology and scheme and that type of thing. We'll see how all that comes together as we move through our preparations this week. I don't really know how it will turn out." Coach Belichick said of Talib. "[We'll] just try to work with him on an individual basis and work with him in terms of terminology, film study of what we're doing and also to get ahead on our opponents this week, start working on some of that too and see how it all comes together."
The 6-1, 205-pound corner's talent has never been questioned. He is a physical corner with excellent man coverage skills, an area of severe deficiency on the Patriot defense, and has the speed to keep up with receivers. However, after acquiring him in the first round of the 2008 NFL draft, Tampa Bay eventually tired of him after a slew of off field issues and legal trouble. The incidents include a fight with fellow Buccaneers rookie Cory Boyd in 2008, assaulting a cab driver from the back seat of a cab, and an indictment for firing a gun at his sister's boyfriend, however, those charges were eventually dropped.
Belichick has a history of taking risks on players with perceived off field issues e.g. Randy Moss, Corey Dillon, and Albert Haynesworth. Some of these moves, such as Moss, paid off while others, like Haynesworth, were regrettable.
The move is low risk and high reward. Talib's contract expires at the end of the season providing the Patriots with the opportunity to say goodbye or make strong play at resigning him depending on how the season plays out.
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