BY NICK ST. DENIS
The New Orleans Saints faced Aqib Talib twice a year for four years when the now-New England Patriots cornerback suited up for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Talib saw success then, and he's seeing plenty success now, but the Saints aren't necessarily seeing the same player on this year's film that they saw in person from 2008-11.
He’s playing, first, in a little bit different system," Saints coach Sean Payton told the New England media Wednesday, via Patriots.com. ". . . He’s playing a lot of man coverage, often times on the opponent’s best receiver."
Talib has emerged this season as one of the top cover corners in the NFL. He hasn't allowed a touchdown since Week 1 when the opposing quarterback has thrown at his assignment, and he's snagged four interceptions since.
"He’s got very good ball skills; you’ve got to be very careful on
where you’re locating the football," Payton said. "He’s got great makeup speed, and
he’s also got the size. He’s having a fantastic season, so you see him a
little bit different only because of the amount of man he’s playing
maybe relative to when we saw him at Tampa Bay."
Talib has also been more than serviceable against the run and has 14 tackles.
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