Aqib Talib told reporters yesterday that he is happy to once again be a member of the New England Patriots. He explained that the prospect of playing on a one-year deal (worth $5 million) will not bother him.
“It’s a great organization, great team,” Talib told reporters at the Patriots’ OTA’s. “This is where I wanted to be.”
Talib was pressed if he would be perturbed because he will enter the free-agent market again next season, barring a contract extension in the middle of the season.
“It’s just a time right now in — what’s this month? May? June? Or May? It’ time to get in shape, man,” Talib said. “That’s all we are worried about right now. That’s all I’m worried about right now, just getting in good shape. The best shape I can be in.”
It appears that Talib has the winning attitude that head coach Bill Belichick seeks out in his players. Belichick demands that players be completely engrossed at the task at hand and has no problem letting go of players who are not fixated on helping the team win. It is the main reason the Patriots traded Jeff Demps, who made it clear his focus was on his track and field career, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Patriots pass defense improved immensely last year following the mid-season acquisition of Talib. In six games with the Patriots, Talib recorded 21 combined tackles, and returned an interception for a touchdown.
The Patriots secondary has been beefed up this off-season. Not only do the Patriots suddenly look solid at the cornerback position with the re-signing of Talib, the safety position looks particularly strong with the free agent signing of Adrian Wilson. The veteran Wilson has playmaking abilities that past Patriots’ safeties have lacked.
Wilson and Talib will look to fortify the Patriots’ secondary, an area of weakness on the team in recent seasons. If the Patriots pass coverage can make a significant improvement, the defense will be able to make the strides necessary to become a Super Bowl caliber unit.