Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Patriots preparing for life with new cornerback Talib


The New England Patriots' defense might be a little less terrible starting this week.

Newly-acquired cornerback Aqib Talib, who came to Foxborough two weeks ago via a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is eligible to play this week against the Indianapolis Colts after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. (photo: Scott Smith, Flickr)

The addition of Talib certainly can't hurt, as the Patriots' defense, particularly in the passing game, continues to get embarrassed by subpar offenses, most recently giving up 31 points and 481 yards to the Buffalo Bills in Week 10.

New England will get its first real look at Talib Wednesday when the team returns to the field for practice. Until then, Patriots coach Bill Belichick and his staff are working out the non-physical kinks.

"We'll spend time with him, trying to get him caught up in terms of terminology and scheme and that type of thing," Belichick said Monday. "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."

Talib has recorded 18 interceptions and 53 passes defense in four and a half seasons, scoring twice in 2011 and once 2010. If the Patriots are anything on defense, they're opportunistic, so Talib should fit in in that regard.

Talib's presence also means defensive back Devin McCourty can get comfortable at safety for the remainder of the season, barring any injury complications.

"You know, here, anything is kind of possible as far as guys playing different positions," McCourty said. "Like I said after [Sunday's] game, I'm getting more and more comfortable at playing safety the more snaps I get."

"Coach is always telling me to be ready to play safety or corner, whatever the team needs me to do. Each week I think it could change; it could stay the same."

Time will tell whether or not Talib can make a difference. Andrew Luck will the first signal-caller in the experiment.

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